Is the prestige of penthouse apartments decreasing?
A penthouse in not merely a houselike structure on the top of a building
United States of America : Many home hunters looking for a penthouse featuring luxury amenities are raising an important issue developers and real estate agents should carefully take into account: the actual definition of “penthouse apartment” seems to be changing and some flats are being called penthouses to inflate their prestige in the market.
A penthouse is a meticulously-designed luxuriously-appointed apartment located on the upper floors of a building that offers unique features, such as high-end appliances and top-of-the-line amenities; therefore, the word penthouse cannot be used as a generic term to refer to houselike structures built on the top of a building. Penthouse hunters seek for apartments that are truly set apart from the rest of the building, as they want to feel like they’re on top of the world. Penthouse owners, indeed, say they feel they can conquer anything and anyone. Therefore, it is easy to understand why home buyers looking for a penthouse apartment are disappointed when the property they have agreed to buy does not live up to their expectations. A property must deserve the title of “penthouse” but not only from a technical point of view. It must be glamorous and chic.
The Russian oligarch Andrei Vavilov – the former Russian finance minister – sued the Plaza Hotel, El-Ad Properties and Stribling and Associates for breach of contract, fraud, deceptive trade practises and negligence after having bought for 53.5 million dollars two luxury penthouse apartments. Mr Vavilon had been shown only computer models and videos, as the property had not been built yet. The lawsuit filed against the developer claims the company made “impermissible design changes” that made the apartment smaller, with smaller windows, lower ceilings and ugly drainage grates. According to the suit, the completed apartments – that had been advertised as magnificent, one-of-a-kind apartments – do not comply with the promised quality and overall appearance as they look like “attic-space” having low-ceilings and obstructed views. But there is another unexpected event in this story: Mr Vavilov has demanded the return of his $10.7 million deposit that the developer refuses to refund. Furthermore, the Russian tycoon has been counter-sued for lying to get out of the contract. Vavilov’s lawyer reacted by saying that the libel lawsuit is legally insufficient and that it has been used to keep unhappy buyers quiet.
The Plaza Hotel overlooks Central Park and has been owned by moguls such as Donald Trump and Conrad Hilton. Its renovation required a $400 million investment and now features hotel rooms and condominiums.
The idea to build a penthouse apartment was born in the United States in the 1920s – known as the Roaring Twenties – when the economy of North America was growing rapidly and the building industry was booming. One of the first penthouse apartments was created in New York City.
Penthouse apartments are conveniently-located in the heart of busy cities in safe and secured buildings. Furthermore, they offer unique advantages: penthouse dwellers do not hear traffic noise from below and can feel far away from crowded urban life. Penthouses can be arranged on two or more levels and have also both indoor and outdoor spaces such as a terrace or a patio. They provide gorgeous sweeping views of the city and of the skyline.
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