There are many things one might expect to find on the rooftop of a downtown Manhattan apartment building: a bunch of tar, air conditioning compressors humming away, a sofa someone dragged up there and left to decay in the elements, a water tower, maybe a deck, maybe even some plants. What most would not expect to find is a private heated swimming pool with a sweeping skyline view over fluttering seagrasses planted along a sinuously curved perimeter.
In truth, while still rare, there are more private rooftop pools than most might imagine. To wit, a duplex penthouse in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, now priced at $10 million after it first came to market in 2020 at $12.5 million. One of only about two dozen condos in a Cary Tamarkin-designed building meant to evoke artist studio buildings of the early 20th century, the two-floor aerie offers three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms across almost 3,000 square feet that’s been decoratively gussied up by Frances D’Haene, who also handled the kitting out of the roof terrace.
Looking up from the street, the eye is drawn past the flat façade, with its huge windows, where they find some unexpected red-brick squiggles against the blue sky. Once inside the penthouse, the long linearity of the gas fireplace is offset by the massive, steel-framed picture window in the 20-foot-high living room, while the sleek open-plan kitchen juxtaposes white laminate cabinetry and snow-white Corian counters with Baltic Birch cabinets along the back wall. The kitchen and the adjoining dining space are ringed by a slender swoop of a balcony, one of the red-brick ribbons visible from the street.
There’s a wet bar between the living room and an en-suite bedroom that is easily used as a den, home office or yoga studio. Upstairs, a gallery looks over the living room below and the city beyond. There’s another en-suite guest room along with the primary suite, which offers extensive closets along with a minimalist poured-concrete bathroom with a dazzling view. Another slim and curvaceous balcony is just outside. Other notable amenities include a full-size washer/dryer, 10-inch white oak plank flooring, central heat and cooling, and a home automation system that controls audio/visual equipment, climate systems, and window coverings.
As swanky as all that is, it’s what awaits at the top of a staircase that climbs into a glass bulkhead that really makes the most impact. The not quite 2,000-square-foot roof terrace offers an outdoor kitchen and built-in grill for summertime entertaining, a unique wooden dining pavilion and — you got it! — a heated swimming pool for paddling away summer nights in the glow of the Empire State Building. Another of the roof deck’s surprising elements is a pool bathroom hidden in a space below the stainless-steel planter behind the pool.
Taxes and common charges tally up to about $13,000 per month, and that does not include the cost of the pool cleaning service! The penthouse and its pool are available through Douglas Elliman Realty power broker (and “Million Dollar Listing” star) Fredrik Eklund. For those unwilling or not ready to commit to purchase, the penthouse is also available to rent at $35,000 per month.