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Courtyards You Can't Actually Use Are Sprouting Across City

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Morris Adjmi's in-construction 32-apartment Tribeca building the Sterling Mason has already garnered a reputation of exclusivity, mostly in regards to its many sold and in-contract apartments reaching up to $23 million, but its exclusivity has a leg up, even, on residents: the 2,400-square-foot courtyard, planned by well-known landscape architect Deborah Nevins, will avail itself to the eyes only. That's right, like some kind of courtyard in a boring suburban business park, building dwellers will have zero access to the Sterling Mason's garden. "It should be a remarkably peaceful space," the vice president of developer Taconic Investment Partners told the Times. The space will be on view only from the building's lobby and library, and courtyard-facing rooms.

The Sterling Mason isn't the only ritzy building with an off-limits garden. Conversion project The Schumacher in Nolita is also poised for a look-but-don't-touch space. The Times speculates on the origin of the rising trend,

The newer residential gardens are largely an outgrowth of the current, post-bubble market, where financing has been scarce, leading to smaller boutique projects with larger units aimed at the wealthy. When apartments stop being cramped, there is less need to leave for a get-together on the terrace or in the courtyard. Plus, if the owners want to escape to nature, odds are good they already have a retreat or two somewhere. Ah, got it.
· Green Space So Exclusive It's Off Limits Even to Residents [NYT]
· All Sterling Mason coverage [Curbed]

Sterling Mason

71 Laight Street, New York, NY