Ceiling heights are movin’ on up in NYC

56 Leonard
56 Leonard

Design styles fall in and out of fashion. And just as skirt hems tend to rise, so do ceiling heights.

“Today, 11-foot ceilings are the new eight-foot ceilings,” said Izak Senbahar, the president of the Alexico Group, a developer behind the TriBeCa condo tower 56 Leonard.

One of the luxuries of building a new development is being able to incorporate features that cannot be made by simple renovations in existing buildings. Taking this into account, developers are starting to construct their tony new developments to include ceilings that are higher than the current norm — some from a whopping 11 feet to a sky-high 19 feet.

While creating these expansive spaces is far more costly–  both in construction costs and also in lessening the number of floors — it also distinguishes the building from the competition.

The New York Times reports Arthur Zeckendorf, a principal of Zeckendorf Development, estimated that placing 11-foot ceilings in the 33 units at 520 Park Avenue was adding an extra 10 percent to his building costs, and adding 10 percent more time to the construction schedule for the 54-story structure.

But there is a pay-off. buyers will often opt to pay more for spaces with higher ceiling heights because they offer more comprehensive views and better display areas for art collections, not to mention eliminating any feeling of claustrophobia.

Ashwin Y. Verma, a founder of Siras Development — which is building Soori High Line where 80 percent of the 31 condo units will have 13-to-18-foot ceilings — says new construction will incorporate higher ceiling heights from now on.

“As a developer, the New York market is one of the few places where you can change the story on architecture like this and still get rewarded,” he explains.