70 Charlton Hudson Square

Lobby of 70 Charlton, a full-service condop in Hudson Square.

New York City real estate is full of confusing terminology and nuances. For example, there are important differences between a condo, co-op and condop. Renters should be aware of something called a no-fee listing. Then there are rent-stabilized apartments, which should not be confused with rent-controlled apartments.  For this post, we tackle the meaning of a full-service building. What does that actually mean?

Full-Service Buildings Provide More Than Doormen

Full-service buildings in NYC go beyond just having a doorman. A full-service building is usually staffed to the hilt with a full-time doorman, concierge, and maintenance personnel — all often on-call 24 hours a day. Typically associated with more high-end residences, these buildings may also include a superintendent and porter and other staff to keep the building running smoothly around the clock.

Full-service buildings offer services and amenities with a staff ready to help residents with a myriad of tasks. Need to ship something or require assistance with a repair in your apartment? The concierge has you covered. While they may come at an extra charge, some even offer dog-walking and dry-cleaning services. These conveniences are so enticing that Forbes suspects these shiny, amenity-laden full-service condo buildings are giving co-ops a run for their money.

full-service building Downtown Brooklyn

The swanky, full-service 309 Gold St. in Downtown Brooklyn has a rooftop pool.

Whether you’re looking to buy or rent, scoping out a full-service building means you’re in for a range of amenities. These perks can vary wildly, from communal outdoor space and lounges to pools and on-site co-working spaces.

The Drawbacks of Living in a Full-Service Building

What’s not to like about a full-service building? Similar to the challenges of living in a doorman building, some folks may find these residences are not a lifestyle fit. The two main drawbacks are:

  • Privacy: Perhaps you don’t want anyone else to know about your takeout habits or addiction to fancy snacking fare from Goldbelly.
  • Costs: The convenience offered by full-service buildings comes at a premium. Plus, come holiday time, there are plenty more people to tip than just the doorman. Depending on how heavily staffed your building is, you could be shelling out quite a large bit of cash.
Photo of 555TEN in Hudson Yards

Extell’s 555TEN building in Hudson Yards has plenty of community space throughout, including this spacious lounge with a fireplace.

Are They For You?

While full-service buildings do come at a higher cost, some feel it is worth the splurge for convenience and safety. If you’ve got the cash, testing a full-service building may be a worthy experiment.

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