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These Pricey, Pint-Sized Rentals Come With Extravagant Extras

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Small apartments are de rigueur from the West Village to the Upper West Side. But in many corners of New York City, they can come stacked beside hundreds of other homes, of varying sizes, in giant towers. The tinier units in these bigger buildings may be pricey—anywhere from $2,300/month to almost $4,000—but the loads of amenities developers pack in might make the price tag worth it. It means claustrophobic renters can escape. Sure, there are more traditional perks, like a pool, gym, lounge, or outdoor terrace. But these days the ante is upped with extras like basketball and bocce courts, golf simulators, wine cellars, outdoor screening rooms, and pet spas. Read on to find the cheapest, smallest (because often those are the same thing) apartments available in the city's most tricked-out fancy buildings. Is the minuscule size offset by the draw of major amenity? You decide.


↑ The cheapest studio currently available at the massive MiMA—a.k.a. "Middle of Manhattan"—is $3,780/month. There's a sleeping alcove, though, so the eighth-floor unit is bigger than many one-roomers, plus it has three closets and a washer-dryer. When the building debuted in 2011, the amenities wowed, and they still do. A 44,000 square foot slate of 'em, called the M Club, includes an Equinox-run gym, heated indoor pool, basketball court, volleyball court, multiple terraces, an internet cafe, indoor and outdoor movie screening rooms, and a pet spa run by Dog City.


↑ At Gotham West, whose 554 rentals were unleashed upon the world during the summer of 2013, the cheapest studio to come with a one-year lease is going for $3,065. There's a washer-dryer in the unit. But the amenities outside are nothing short of impressive: a gym with its own spinning and yoga studio and schedule of classes, a big lounge with pool table, art gallery, fireplace and seat-on-a-swing, a funky neon-lit kids room, and a bike valet. On the ground floor of the building, Gotham West Market, which our sister site Eater has covered extensively, serves as a kind of built-in food court, bar, coffee shop, and grocery story for the building. Then there are the tricked-out outdoor spaces: a courtyard with a reflecting pool and an elevated bamboo frond-lined deck with fire pit and seating; and the 32nd floor space, with a movie screen, full bar set-up for parties, deck chairs for sunbathing, misting apparatus for hot days, and grassy lawn area.


↑ Live in one of the smallest spaces in the newest giant rental building to open along the High Line: Abington House. Designed by starchitect Robert A.M. Stern, Curbed toured the rentals shortly after they went on the market in July. At the moment, the cheapest option available for a full year's lease is $3,940 for a junior one-bedroom. It has a washer-dryer and three closets. But the main draw is the 30,000 square feet of amenity spaces, which range from a lounge with Mac workstations to a "sanctuary room" to an Equinox-designed gym to multiple communal entertaining and meeting spaces to several outdoor terraces, including one outfitted with barbecue grills under pergolas.


↑ The undulating New York by Gehry building has been a fixture of the downtown skyline since it opened in 2007. Right now, the cheapest apartment is up for rent is a regular-sized one-bedroom on the 43rd floor for $3,675. Its amenities are, as you'd expect, the schmanciest. They're large (22,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space) and include a private dining room and drawing room with a grand piano, connected to chef's demonstration and catering kitchen. There's a gym, private fitness studios, spa treatment rooms, and a pool with fully retractable glass walls surrounded by a sun deck. There's a separate terrace equipped with grills and picnic ables. The screening room's amphitheater-style seating is also designed by Gehry. There's not only a kids' playroom, but also a separate "Tweens' Den." And a library for adults to escape their offspring. Just beware, because the gym fees were suddenly raised a ton.


↑ Downtown Brooklyn's 388 Bridge Street is the opposite of micro—it's the tallest tower in Brooklyn. But that doesn't have to mean tall prices, per se. 388 Bridge has both condos and rentals; the cheapest available studio with a floorplan available is a $2,600 unit on the 37th floor with an open kitchen, a walk-in closet and one other closet, and a washer-dryer. Curbed toured the amenity spaces in September of 2014; check out the children's playroom, media room, gym, lounge, and fifth-floor outdoor terrace, and a small, mildly scary roof deck, complete with wind turbine-powered, color-changing LED lights.


↑ Lovers of the outdoors, look no further than one of Long Island City's East Coast rental buildings. 4545 Center Boulevard, a massive 820-unit rental, has a 50,000-square-foot amenity deck. There's your normal sun deck with grills and lounge chairs, plus two tennis courts, a dog run, a lawn, a sand volleyball court, and a reflecting pool. Since wintertime is perhaps not the best season to make use of these extravagances, there's also a gym, children's playroom, lounge, and 1,000-car parking garage. There's also a free shuttle bus to the nearest 7 train stop. All that for $2,818/month, the price of the cheapest unit available right now that has a floorplan. It's a 720-square-foot one-bedroom on the 22nd floor; there's also a fifth-floor studio for $2,245.


↑ Also in Downtown Brooklyn, but shorter than neighboring tower 388 Bridge, there's the building that eschews vowels. And lower-case letters. BKYLN AIR launched leasing in July of 2014, touting its amenities, many of which are high up. There's a heated pool on the roof, a lobby with a reflecting pool, and indoor valet parking garage. There's also bike storage, a terrace with built-in game boards, a two-story gym, a lounge with Wi-FI, and a landscaped roof deck. A 24th-floor one-bedroom is the smallest, cheapest thing available right now.


↑ The Karl Fischer-designed rental building that swallowed an entire Williamsburg block is so huge because it has so much stuff packed inside it. 101 Bedford has a gym and a pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, and spa rooms (sure), but it also houses a wine cellar, a game room (with a golf simulator), a screening room, a soundproof recording and photography studio, a business center and conference room, a library with fireplace, on-site parking, ATMs, and vending machines, and a pet spa (a.k.a. a "canine-cleaning station"). You might never need to leave once you move in, so consider this $2,595 studio with balcony, which is the cheapest offering at the moment.


↑ The Williamsburg waterfront's newest rental tower is also packed with extras, perhaps to make up for the small apartments. (Though 1 North 4th Place does have stellar views.) The least expensive studio is a south-facing alcove unit $2,650. In addition to the three closets and the washer-dryer, a renter would get access to the vaunted outdoor pool (which also has a great perspective of Manhattan), the gym, the spinning and yoga room with "virtual fitness-on-demand classes" a lounge, another lounge with a pool table, a business center-library, private storage, indoor valet parking, bike storage, free Wi-Fi, and pet care and housekeeping services. Outdoors, there's a 8,500 sun deck surrounding the pool that has chaises, a movie screen, and an outdoor barbecue area. Remember, they're selling the view.


↑ Christian Portzamparc's Fortress of Glassitude on Park Avenue South has condos, of course, but there's also a rental component—269 of them, to be precise, which started leasing in October. A host of "Prism Apartments" are on the rental market; at the bottom of the roster is a 440-square-foot studio on the fourth floor, asking $3,480. Starchitecture comes with a steep price tag, but that also gets you the same luxe amenities that the condo owners at 400 Park Avenue South get. That means a 60-foot indoor lap pool with steam room and sauna, a garden courtyard, a conference room, a lounge with a catering kitchen, a gym with yoga and spin rooms, a screening room, a children's playroom, a golf simulator, and a private dining room.


↑ A multi-colored facade hides the 234 rental apartments at 250N10 in Williamsburg—yes, named for its address, 250 North 10th Street. Leasing launched in February one year ago, with full occupancy reached in October. There are currently two studios on the rental market for $2,850. Beyond the standard gym, bike storage, lounge with pool and free Wi-Fi, and landscaped courtyard and roof deck situation, there's a cafe with a coffee bar plus lots of specially commissioned street art, including a mural by Mr. Brainwash.


↑ Enormous Hell's Kitchen rental Mercedes House, made distinct by its stair-step exterior, first debuted in 2011. An entire fun zone worth of amenities opened up at the end of 2012, and it's pretty bonkers. For $3,442/month, a one-bedroom is the most affordable option in the Enrique Norten-designed mega-complex. Here's the laundry list of amenities: gym, on-site indoor parking, both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, two outdoor decks with green space for sunbathing, bocce and yoga, indoor basketball, BBQ grills, a boxing ring, a golf simulator, a screening room, a volleyball court, and spa facilities.


↑ Alongside Hudson River Park on the Upper West Side lies a row of fancy towers. In the middle of that line-up is a condo-rental hybrid, the Aldyn, where a 699-square-foot one-bedroom is going for $3,995. (Spoiler alert: it faces east, away from the river.) The "Aldyn Athletic Club and Spa" sprawls at 40,000 square foot Aldyn Athletic Club and Spa, which includes a 38-foot rock climbing wall, a basketball court, a bowling alley, a squash court, a golf simulator, rooms for spinning, yoga, Pilates, kinesis and personal training, a lounge, a game room, and a 75-foot-long pool. Beyond that, there are the relatively ho-hum offerings of on-site parking, kids' playroom, a room for entertaining with a catering kitchen, private storage bins, bike storage, a lobby lounge, and a shuttle service.


↑ The only available apartment for rent in another Long Island City rental building, The Pearson, is a studio for $2,305. Since the photos aren't of this unit in particular, we can only go off of the fact that it's listed as having 2.5 rooms, meaning it's probably an alcove situation. (More real photos of the building, over here.) The building itself, which opened up in the middle of 2014 and touts the wind turbines on its roof, also has outdoor basketball and bocce courts, two landscaped terraces and a rooftop that come equipped with grills, a yoga studio, ground-level bicycle parking, and some indoor parking. The gym has a yoga studio with an outdoor stretching area. Even the laundry room has a landscaped terrace, for goodness sake.

Poll results

· 15 NYC Apartment Buildings With Awesome Outdoor Spaces [Curbed]
· Micro Week coverage [Curbed]

MiMA

450 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 Visit Website

Mercedes House

555 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019 Visit Website

New York By Gehry

8 Spruce Street, New York, NY 10038 Visit Website