Real Estate

This Kind of Luxury Is Not for Sale, but You Can Rent It

The Anagram Columbus Circle has all the opulence expected of a new luxury building: cabinets and bathroom vanities manufactured in Italy, appliances from Bosch and Wolf, a gym, a penthouse terrace that can be reserved for private events and guests, and co-working spaces.

But unlike the nearby condo towers that came before it, the Anagram has a notable difference: There’s nothing for sale.

Global Holdings Management Group, the developer, is among a string of developers eschewing condos for rentals. The company is behind some of New York’s better known condo buildings with eight-figure sales: 15 Central Park West, whose residents have included Denzel Washington and Sting, and 180 E. 88th Street, where a penthouse served as the home of Kendall Roy, played by the actor Jeremy Strong, on “Succession.”

The building is just a short walk from Central Park.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

This isn’t the first time Global Holdings has entered the rental market. In 2020, it turned a50-story residential building on 10 East 29th Street into the Anagram Nomad. That building isn’t a ground-up project like the Anagram Columbus Circle, yet it still received a refresh in common spaces, adding amenities such as a play area for children and a library.

Anagram Columbus Circle, which has 123 units, is on West 60th Street, directly across from the Mandarin Oriental hotel, and it is still under construction, though tenants began signing leases in June and some have moved in.

The switch to rentals is primarily driven by the market, where high interest rates preclude even house hunters with the funds from buying. But there is also a different attitude about ownership versus renting, said Adam Rolston, an architect with INC, the designer of the building.

“New York’s becoming a little like the transient life,” said Mr. Rolston. “You could bring your whole family here for a 10-year period without necessarily ever wanting to live here permanently. That’s New York now. There is this generation that’s coming here to build relationships, connect to the culture of their company, but this is not their forever home.”

Still, Mr. Rolston said he wanted the building to feel welcoming. The curved facade stretches around the corner of West 60th Street and Broadway, across the street from the Deutsche Bank Center. Playing with shapes — instead of the rigid lines often found in Midtown apartments and office buildings — was intentional here, he said.

Global Holdings also wanted to offer luxury renters the same amenities available at condo buildings, such as a lifestyle manager who is on hand to secure last-minute reservations or to curate events for tenants.

The Setting, a design company, staged the model units.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

The 27th-floor indoor-outdoor hybrid space could make a resident feel like they could touch Central Park, while a basement-level recreation space should keep the youngest tenants occupied with amenities like a music room, game room, and lounge. Amanda Shine, co-founder of the small business design company The Setting, designed the model units with what she described as “eco-luxury,” drawing inspiration from nature in the park.

To call the Anagram home will not be cheap. A 500-square-foot studio starts at over $5,400 a month, while a three-bedroom can run to nearly $28,000 monthly.

Condo-level amenities in a rental were enough for Tara Sullivan, who pays upward of $10,000 a month for a two-bedroom, two-bath with her husband at Anagram, to commit to a two-year lease with the building. She said she looked at more than a dozen apartments before deciding on the Anagram.

For Ms. Sullivan, an empty-nester who moved back to New York after stints in London and Orlando, buying a condo wasn’t an option.

“We signed a two-year lease, and the way we feel about it is at the end of the two years, maybe we would look into buying, but I doubt it,” Ms. Sullivan said. “The whole idea of buying something in New York City felt very overwhelming.”

These interviews have been lightly edited for clarity.

Adam Rolston, founding partner, creative and managing director, INC

“New York’s becoming a little like the transient life,” said Adam Rolston from INC.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

Rental by choice— that’s the new phrase. On the design side, there’s no distinction — it’s the same thing now, just in terms of the level of finish, level of detail and the investment in design services. That is what makes buildings beautiful.

There used to be a big difference. It often was the price point in terms of the level of finish and the kind of design. And now there is no difference. It’s the same level of finish that you would have in a condo. This new, very robust rental market is very much a response to what’s happening culturally in New York.

Tara Sullivan, tenant

Tara Sullivan pays upward of $10,000 per month for a two-bedroom, two-bath shared with her husband.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

This was the last place I saw. As soon as I saw this, I was like, “That’s it.” I knew it. Every other place I saw, there was always one little thing that made it a no. A few places were so small that I literally had to hold back laughing.

The quality of the appliances, the cabinets, and the bathrooms —it matters when you’re paying more than you’re comfortable with. You wanna feel like, “At least I have this really nice stove,” that feels like I’m getting something for my money.

My husband, who is in the real estate business, would say the reason this place made sense for us is because it’s an apartment that you’d be willing to own, because it’s so nice that it doesn’t feel like a rental. You feel some ownership in it.

Amanda Shine, model-apartment designer, the Setting

Staging the model units was done with “eco-luxury” in mind, said Amanda Shine, the designer.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

Seeing all the beautiful curvature in the building and the gorgeous materials, we wanted to play up the natural shape and organic texture. For us, the best amenity is Central Park, so we really felt like bringing the park inside and having it feel like you can touch it —it’s right outside. Whether you’re a family, a young professional or someone who’s here part-time, we wanted to open up the opportunity to feel like this is right next door for you.

The ownership group is incredibly creative; they are so fun to work with. You can look over, and you see 15 Central Park West, and you just know the caliber of finish. They made it feel fun to work on and very collaborative.

Kevin Torres, lifestyle manager

As a lifestyle manager, Kevin Torres helps tenants score last-minute restaurant reservations.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

We want to highlight the spaces to activate them in their highest glory. We not only want to offer entertainment, but we really want to offer enrichment, so this idea that you’re coming to a space and it’s amplifying your quality of life, and you’re just not being entertained.

The reality is that we are in such a great space. With our local connections and our local neighborhood friendships and partnerships, we’re able to extend not only the amenities inside the building but outside as well.

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