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Where to Score Rare Terrace Space on the Upper West Side

By Emily Frost | August 26, 2015 10:15am

UPPER WEST SIDE — While the neighborhood may have plenty of parkland, outdoor terrace space is harder to come by on the Upper West Side, brokers say.

Step inside any prewar apartment on landmarked West End Avenue or stroll past the low-rise buildings on Amsterdam Avenue and you'll find historic charm and a quaint feel — but you won't see a lot of balconies or terraces jutting out. 

The age of many of the neighborhood's buildings, situated in two historic districts, is a major factor contributing to the lack of outdoor space, said Paul Zweben, a local resident and a residential real estate broker with Douglas Elliman.

"Most of the prewar buildings, they don’t have patios or an outdoor space. [For that], you’re predominantly looking at post-war buildings," he said.

And those are in hot demand, Zweben noted. 

Buyers or renters looking to move to the neighborhood tell him they want "space, light, a view and outdoor space."

"It takes you out of the hustle and bustle of New York City; it’s like a sanctuary," Zweben said of the quest for outdoor space, adding that he encounters a lot of apartment shoppers who are willing to forfeit indoor space in order to get a terrace or balcony.

Not including brownstones, only about 25 to 30 percent of the Upper West Side's buildings have terraces or roof deck access, Zweben estimated.

Here are some of the local buildings with either outdoor terraces or roof decks on the market to rent or buy now:

The Lyric
255 W. 94th St.
Studios start at $3,690 per month, and two-bedrooms at $7,060.

Along with all the typical luxury building amenities New Yorkers want — a playroom, a fitness center — The Lyric also has a roof deck. There's room for dining on the roof, which features views of the Hudson River.

Two Ten West 77th Street
210 W. 77th St.
$4.95 million for a three-bedroom, $21 million for the penthouse

This still-unfinished 18-story condo building is selling half-floor and full-floor apartments, with floors 14 through 17 and the penthouse featuring private outdoor terraces.

A mock-up of the penthouse:

170 Amsterdam
170 Amsterdam Ave.
$9,195 to rent a two-bedroom apartment, and $17,695 for a three-bedroom.

This new 20-story building offers rooftop access to all residents but also has private terraces attached to the building's two- and three-bedroom units. 

West River House
424 West End Ave.
Penthouse unit available for $13,995 per month

Many of the rental units in this newer building on West End Avenue have balconies, and the newly renovated penthouse has a large roof deck that looks out both on the Upper West Side and to the west at the Hudson River. 

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