View From The Balcony, or Are Balconies Still A Perk On Manhattan Rental Apartments?

By all accounts, the sad and scary death of a Murray Hill renter last month after he fell from a not-up-to-code balcony was both a fluke accident and the product of some serious oversight on the part of the building manager. It's not the sort of thing anyone likes to think about, this sort of thing, and for obvious reasons. But if you go through the rental apartment listings at Luxury Rentals Manhattan, you're going to notice that balconies are something we talk about a lot. We do this because, as Manhattan apartment perks go, balconies are pretty cool and pretty in-demand. A perch above it all, a bit of private space, an opportunity to grab some fresh air -- these are things that NYC dwellers want in a Manhattan rental apartment, and they are things that NYC dwellers will continue to want in a Manhattan rental apartment. We're not in the prediction business here at the Luxury Rentals Manhattan blog, but that seems like a fairly easy prediction to make. That said/fearlessly predicted, as New York Magazine's S. Jhoanna Robledo reports, more and more people are getting antsy about what was once a pretty sweet Manhattan apartment perk.

"Balconies have traditionally held an odd position in the real-estate business," Robledo writes. "Many buyers want one, and will pay extra for it, yet often that expensive little space goes unused, accumulating soot and old bicycles. Walk down Second Avenue, where many postwar buildings are studded with little concrete shelves, and you’ll see that barely any are occupied."

As the city increases its oversight in the wake of the tragic Murray Hill accident, it's likely that balconies will once again become considered a safe -- if, as Robledo correctly notes, habitually underutilized -- apartment perk. But for the time being, as the city firms up its standards and people perusing Manhattan apartment listings start wondering just how much of a perk those balconies really are, this particular perk will have a notably more complex existence. The good news: 24-hour doorman service is as safe as it has ever been.