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Too Nice a Day to Stay in the Office? Then Don’t.

July 19 / 2016 

With foosball tables, TV lounges and golf simulators, amenity-rich office buildings can often seem more like a place to live than work.

Now, in a move that could further erase the distinction between home and office, landlords in New York City are constructing stylish terraces where tenants can stretch their legs and catch a few rays.

Heaping on the extras can, of course, justify higher prices, though not all tenants will pay extra for these perks. But landlords say that such splashy amenities can help generate buzz in a city adding new offices at a rapid clip.

“Everybody needs a little twist, and terraces add a lot of appeal,” said Palmer Sealy III, who handles office leasing for TF Cornerstone, a landlord that added planters, seating and tropical-wood decking to a formerly windswept roof at 387 Park Avenue South.

If these terraces resemble their residential peers, whether squeezed into existing roofs that once held heating equipment or included in designs of new-construction towers, it may be no accident.

Luxury apartment buildings partly inspired them, said Ryan Jackson, a principal of Stellar Management, whose portfolio includes residential and commercial properties, and which is now developing One Soho Square, an office complex at the Avenue of the Americas and Spring Street offering 10 terraces.

Two prewar buildings joined with a glass addition, One Soho Square benefits from the fact that one building steps back from the street as it rises, offering recesses that were tailor-made for terraces, Mr. Jackson said.

The complex, which is to open this year, seems eager to install usable outdoor space on about every large flat surface. The 9,500-square-foot roof on the Spring Street side will have trees, picnic tables and couches, along with views of the Hudson River, and will be shared by all the complex’s tenants.

Most of the terraces at One Soho Square, however, will be private, and access to them will require a rent premium of about 10 percent, Mr. Jackson said. Asking rents at the building, which the developers bought for $200 million in 2012, are $80 to $125 a square foot, he said.

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