Top 10 New Construction Rental Buildings in Manhattan

Published on May 6, 2011

Manhattan saw a huge boom in new construction rental buildings in the past five years or so, with so many striking contemporary towers going up--all flush with today's most sought-after luxury amenities to go with their of-the-minute design--that sometimes it's hard to know where to begin looking. Here then, is the Urban Edge Top 10 list of Manhattan New Construction Rental Buildings (as compiled in May of 2011), based on the architectural innovation and design, on the quality of services and amenities offered to residents, and on our years-of-experience knowledge of the buildings' management philosophy and practices. Basically: you can't go wrong with any of these new construction buildings.
  1. Emerald Green

    When Emerald Green first opened its rental office in 2009, even long-time real estate watchers were surprised by how quickly these rentals got snatched up. Part of the excitement was due to the pricing, certainly--given its slightly unsexy address on 38th Street near Eighth Avenue, the monthly rents are a bargain for this level of luxury--but Emerald Green has a deeper appeal as well, as one of Manhattan's very few completely LEED-certified rental buildings. That means that Emerald Green's construction and on-going maintenance conform not just to New York City code, but also to the much tougher standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Plus, of course, Emerald Green is simply a beautiful building, with excellent apartment layouts, first-rate amenities, and a terrific sense of style.

  2. Silver Towers

    Everything about the soaring Silver Towers is big, and fresh, and exciting. These two Manhattan luxury rental buildings, completed in 2009 and located on 42nd Street right near the Hudson River Park, are nearly 60 stories tall, they stand within a 1.2-million-square-foot complex which includes a quarter-acre park, and, in addition to all of the amenities and services you'd expect in such a place, features a 75-foot indoor pool, the largest found in any New York City residential building.

  3. New York by Gehry

    Speaking of big, fresh and exciting, New York by Gehry, is right now, at 870 feet and 76 stories high. the tallest residential building not only in New York City, but in the entire Western Hemisphere. Designed by mega-star architect Frank Gehry, receiving raves by the city's toughest, most prestigious architecture critics, loaded with world-class amenities, and conveniently located downtown on Spruce Street, near the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York by Gehry opened its doors early in 2011, and has been renting out its more than 900 units at a brisk pace ever since.

  4. The Continental

    It's only been open for move-ins since February of 2011, but the soaring Continental, centrally located on Sixth Avenue and 32nd Street, has already attracted an enormous amount of buzz. Even among today's high-tech crop of luxury rental building, the 53-story Continental stands out for its up-to-the-minute design, services, and amenities, a long list which includes such nice touches as an infinity-edge lap pool with heated hydrotherapy spa; an on-site garage AND ground-floor bicycle storage; the Asko washer dryers, the open-air layouts with 10-foot ceilings, and the just simply very cool concealed, self-closing drawers in the fully-loaded kitchen.

  5. OHM

    The beautiful new OHM building, 34 stories of luxury rental apartments on the West Chelsea corner of 30th Street and 11th Avenue, received a fair amount of press when it first opened in early 2010 for staging concerts, in partnership with The Knitting Factory, in its lovely atrium-like lobby. But there's a great deal more to love about the OHM than management's good taste in music. The design, by architect Stephen B. Jacobs, has the feel of a boutique hotel, and in addition to the expected luxury amenities and services, also offers its residents such unique features as an gamer's-dream-come-true retro-arcade room, an OHM shuttle bus for those days when you don't feel like using your on-ste parking or ground-floor bicycle storage, and a sprawling, landscaped sky deck looking right out over the river.

  6. The Beatrice

    The luxury rental apartments of The Beatrice don't even start until the 26th floor (below them? the Eventi Hotel... and both Bar Basque and Food Parc, in case you get hungry), so every resident here is guaranteed a spectacular view--especially with those wall-to-wall windows and up-to12-foot-tall ceilings--right up to the extraordinary penthouses on the 53rd floor. Centrally located on Sixth Avenue and 29th Street (an increasingly fun neighborhood in and of itself), The Beatrice offers all of the amenities and services you'd expect, plus such unique extras as the take-your-breathe-away cloud lounge and terrace on the 54th floor. First opened in mid-2010, The Beatrice is filling up even faster than management expected, so take a look soon.

  7. MiMA

    MiMA is a massive, 63-story mixed-use (luxury rentals, condos, and extremely cool hotel with robots, etc.) tower from the related Companies of Time Warner Center fame (interior designers include the Rockwell Group), and gets its name from its location, the MIddle of MAnhattan, on 42nd Street and 10th Avenue. But as one early visitor to this stunning, just-opened-in-2011 building put it, the MiMA might more accurately stand for the Magical Island of Many Amenities, including a buzzed-about Dog City (a professionally staffed pet spa--wash, dry, groom--with indoor and outdoor play spaces) as well as an Equinox gym with a full-sized basketball and volleyball court. AND it's all (anticipated to be) LEED-Silver certified.

  8. Townsend

    Standing a comparably modest 29-stories high in Midtown West, on 37th Street and Tenth Avenue, Townsend joined the parade of new luxury rental buildings in the fall of 2010, and it's a beauty, from the glass and limestone facade to the smartly-designed open kitchens within each of the 164 apartments. In addition to its very competitive pricing, The Townsend has a wealth of tempting amenties and services, including a landscaped, furnished terrace and sun deck overlooking the Hudson River and recessed surround-sound speakers and built-in iPod dock in each home.

  9. Columbus Square

    Columbus Square is an enormous five-building complex (or, "rental community") which began rolling out its luxury apartments in the fall of 2010 on Manhattan's Upper West Side, on Columbus Avenue and 97th Street. And even though some were skeptical about Columbus Square's uptown location, these luxury rental apartments have been filling up in a hurry. The amenities and services here at Columbus Square are pretty amazing, including a "structured media center" in each home, high speed wireless internet available everywhere within the complex, and a huge on-site retail center, including a spanking-new Whole Foods supermarket.

  10. The Corner

    In addition to being in a terrific location for park lovers, with easy access to both Central Park and Riverside Park, the luxury rental building The Corner, just opened in 2010 on 72nd Street and Broadway, also provides its residents with a full array of today's most sought-after services and amenities. Though only 19 stories tall, the Corner's huge windows offer impressive views of the Upper West Side, every apartment features a washer and dryer, a children's playroom (that, frankly, sounds a bit more like screening room for kids) and a 10,000-square-foot rooftop terrace with, among other things, a fireplace wall and movie projection screen.

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