28 Sep Latest NYC Amenity: Buildings That Keep You Healthy
New York City can be a dirty place. Garbage litters the streets, exhaust clouds the air and microbes breed on subway poles. But to reassure millionaires looking to buy here, developers have found a solution — WELL, an international board that measures, certifies and monitors new construction for its impact on human health.
That is to say, much like LEED, which certifies that buildings meet certain environmental standards, WELL certifies that a building will promote physical, and even mental well-being for its residents.
One of the latest buildings to tap into the program, which launched last November, is 21W20, a 15-story luxury residential building on West 20th Street, a quiet block between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Gramercy. The project, which will be completed toward year’s end, is developer Gale International’s first in Manhattan. The firm is best known for developing the $35 billion-planned city in South Korea, known as Songdo International Business District.
The 21W20 project will feature purified air and water, indoor and outdoor living space, a garden, lighting that follows the body’s natural rhythms, virtually silent infrastructure and “mindfulness space,” Danny Kim, senior vice president of development and construction at Gale International, told LLNYC on a tour of the under-construction site.
Currently, two of the full-floor penthouse units are on the market asking $10 and $13.9 million respectively.
“We think this is an obvious next step in the wellness revolution, that health be scientifically infused into our living spaces,” Paul Scialla, the founder of the International WELL Building Institute and Delos, a New York-based wellness real estate and technology firm, told LLNYC.
So far, about 75 buildings across seven countries have been certified by WELL. And in NYC, roughly 10 buildings are currently vying for certification, according to Scialla.
Last year, Delos opened the first luxury condominium to feature Scialla’s wellness principles at 66 East 11th Street. The project features vitamin C-infused showers, purified air and water, posture-supportive flooring, a kitchen herbarium, and dawn simulation from a proprietary lighting system.
Only two of the five units remain on the market, asking $10.5 and $30.5 million. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio was so impressed with the one-of-a-kind “medically preemptive” design that he became a financial backer of the project, purchasing a unit as an investment.
“Our largest purchase is our home,” Scialla said. “When we think about the most meaningful way to infuse health and wellness into our lives, it makes sense to focus on real estate.”
via Luxury Listing NYC