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The city's most spectacular terraces



New York City is famous for its summer nights, but as the warm weather begins to fade, the city’s remarkable fall foliage and shiny, tall buildings attract visitors and delight locals.

Outdoor space is limited here, so the luckiest residents are those who have terraces to view New York City’s wonders from above.

According to experts, a terrace is at least 100 square feet and should have nothing hanging over it — such as a balcony from the apartment above you.

After some research, here are the buildings we think have the best terraces to let residents truly enjoy being outdoors in the city:

Georgetown Plaza

Square footage: 15' x nearly 7'

Views: North, east and south

Sample sales price: $2,265,000

The views from the 128 terraces in this 34-story building at 60 E. 8th St. are unobstructed, allowing residents to see as far as the eastern tip of Long Island and way out to the mountains in Pennsylvania.

“It’s incredible,” said Michael Mansfield, a licensed sales agent with Citi Habitats. “You can almost see the curve of the Earth.”

As an added bonus for nature lovers, there’s a hawk that likes to frequent the 33rd floor. “[It] continually comes back because it’s just like a mountain peak; there’s one little ledge with coverage,” Mansfield said.

515 East 72

Square footage: Master bedroom: 28' x 3'9''; living room: 29' x 3'9''

Views: Uptown, downtown, East River

Sample sales price: $1.660-$4.425 million

More than 80% of the condos at 41-story 515 E. 72nd St. have terraces, and many of them on floors 32 to 40 have two: one outside the master bedroom and another off the living room.

Elaine Diratz, managing director at Corcoran Sunshine, said because there aren’t many high-rises in this part of the Upper East Side, the views are mostly unobstructed.

“This is right on a cul-de-sac overlooking the East River, so the views are beautiful,” she said. From a south-facing balcony, you can see the 59th Street Bridge and down to Battery Park City, and at night you can see all of Queens out to Long Island from the north.

Making it more beautiful, there are floor-to-ceiling windows between the terraces and the apartments, so the apartments are full of sun in the daytime and twinkling city lights at night, Diratz said.

Walker Tower

Square footage: About 200 square feet to more than 1,000 square feet

Views: Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, midtown cityscape, Hudson River

Sample sales price: $10,500,000

Since the residences at Walker Tower, 212 W. 18th St., don’t start until the eighth floor, the terraces that hang outside 50% of the apartments are all at least 100 feet in the air.

“Every apartment in the building has a fantastic view, so that means every terrace in the building has a fantastic view,” said Rebecca Edwardson, a broker with Warburg Realty who has represented buyers at Walker Tower and specializes in apartments with outdoor space. “Every apartment feels like a penthouse.”

“All the views are staggering,” she added.

Walker Tower, constructed in the Roaring ’20s, is undergoing renovation “so that all of the finishes throughout the lobby, the common areas, the exterior of the building, emulate the period that it was built in,” she said. As part of the renovation, slated for completion in November, the terraces will also be decorated with an art deco motif.

Strata at Mercedes House

Square footage: 129-684 square feet

Views: Unobstructed Hudson River views

Sample rental price: $10,300

Strata at Mercedes House, which occupies the top 11 floors at 550 W. 54th St., has 32 step-back terraces. The building was constructed so that each floor is set back from the one below it, and all the terraces have completely open spaces above them.

“It’s quite unusual architecture,” said Nancy Packes, president of Nancy Packes Signature Marketing Services, which is the exclusive on-site agent at Strata.

“Each of these homes qualifies to be a penthouse because of the size of the terrace,” she said, noting that the terraces are all at least 15 by 20 feet.

Almost all of the outdoor spaces have views of the river, Packes said, so being on a Strata terrace is “like sitting on the deck of a yacht.”

While the terraces come without any special amenities on them, “one gentleman has built a whole outdoor living room with planters and couches and chairs and a barbecue.”

241 Fifth

Square footage: 900-3,000 square feet

Views: Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Flatiron Building, New York Life Building

Sample sales price: $9,750,000

If this list has already given you a serious case of terrace envy, then 241 Fifth may put you in need of medical treatment. The two penthouses at 241 Fifth are graced with terraces so big they belong outside an exclusive city night club, boasted Doron Zwickel, a licensed broker with CORE and the building’s sales director.

“What’s amazing is, it’s one of the only buildings in my tenure on Fifth Avenue that has this kind of usable outdoor space,” he said.

The 900-square-foot, 15th-floor penthouse, currently in contract, has a direct view of the Empire State Building and includes an outdoor fireplace. The penthouse on the 20th floor is 3,030 square feet, and has a barbecue area, full kitchen, a bar, an outdoor shower and a hot tub bordered by a wooden deck.

It has unobstructed views all the way to One World Trade Center, including the Flatiron Building and the New York Life Building.

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