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Can Millennials save New York’s Midtown?

11.16.2018

In the rental market, developers have stepped up their pursuit of millennial money. In January 2016, The Moinian Group opened the 1,175-unit Sky building, which features a bronze pumpkin by the artist Yayoi Kusama on top of a reflecting pool (“that has mist that comes out of it as well”, says Jacob Entel, Moinian’s director of residential). The building was fully occupied by April 2017 and now the company has built Oskar, a building with 118 rental apartments in Hell’s Kitchen that have keyless locks and a residents’ carpool app service to target “very tech savvy millennials”, says Michael Mignosi, Moinian’s marketing director. Residents can use the building’s art collection and get access to art advisory service Tappan. “Companies need to provide the lifestyle around the object [they’re selling],” says Chelsea Nassib, Tappan’s founder. “People don’t want the commodity alone; they want the story that goes with it.” Modern buyers are craving community, she says: “It’s a direct result of our screen culture”. It seems to be paying off. Studio apartments at Oskar are being rented for $3,600 per month and the larger penthouse goes for $20,000. The building opened in June and is 80 per cent occupied. Moinian has another rental building in the pipeline for 2019 in Downtown Manhattan. “We did a big study on what are the most marketable amenities that millennials will use,” says Entel.

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