Behind the Gates of a Private World for Only the Wealthiest New Yorkers

It’s a great time to be rich in New York City.

Everyday life is increasingly out of reach for most New Yorkers, but a new class of private, members-only and concierge services is emerging as a kind of gated community within the town

Ultra-exclusive clubs, laundry specialists, on-demand helicopter rides and services that allow users to bid hundreds of dollars for a restaurant reservation are changing how people have more disposable income to eat dinner, exercise, see the doctor, take care of their children, go for a walk. their dogs and walk around — all without having to mingle with the hoi polloi.

It all adds up to a city where the adage about New Yorkers of all backgrounds living and working side by side might have an asterisk.

The rich have long sought to avoid the hassles of city life. But now something is emerging. You don’t have to be a billionaire – just one of the city’s many run-of-the-mill riches – to buy your way into an easier but narrower version of New York. Even the mayor’s favorite residence is a members-only club.

Here are some ways that the city’s rich have created a city that is largely within their own reach.

Demand for full-time domestic help has increased since 2020, said April Berube, who runs the Wellington Agency, which helps place housekeepers, house managers and other staff with wealthy families in New York. area – and their second and third homes. or their yachts.

Ms. Berube said that the number of requests for almost all types of services has increased significantly even compared to three or four years ago. The going rate for a housekeeper is about $45 an hour, up from $30 prepandemic, he said, and now it’s widely expected that families offer health insurance and other benefits to staff.

Keeping track of large staff and multiple homes can, of course, be challenging. Some families hire an estate manager or chief of staff to run logistics and scheduling, and an experienced hand can make $350,000 a year, Ms. Berube said.

“The pandemic has changed a lot,” said Anita Rogers, the founder of British American Household Staffing, a domestic staffing agency with a large presence in New York City, which has nearly doubled the size of her company in the past few years. years. “We are very busy.”

Instead of being a babysitter who works 40 hours a week at work, Ms. Rogers says she now sees frequent requests for a team of two or three rotating nannies. They may spend four to seven days living with a family before passing the baton to the next nanny and rotating for several days. They typically make about $120,000 a year, he said.

Wealthier New Yorkers are interested in full-time private chefs, according to leaders of private chef companies and local staffing agencies. The positions can command salaries of around $150,000 – and only cover lunch and dinner.

Breakfast is usually handled by a housekeeper while the chef is at the market, said Ms. Rogers. Chefs on the hunt for specialty items can use premium delivery services like Regalis Foods, where a $720 live Norwegian red king crab is just a click away.

Families are also increasingly interested in more niche roles, he said, such as a laundress – a trained tailor responsible for all things related to clothes. An expert laundress can take 30 minutes to fully iron a button-down shirt, he said, and usually makes about $50 or $60 an hour.

While staff can help manage pets, some New Yorkers prefer to send their dogs on daily hikes, often in the woods at high altitudes where pets can run free. A private hike can cost $250 per day through the Shape Up Your Pup service, including a “report card” summarizing the adventure. Occasional group hikes go for $145 a day.

Health — or at least spending more time and money on feeling mentally and physically healthy — has become one of the most sought-after luxury goods in town.

Sollis Health, which bills itself as the first and only concierge emergency care provider, is opening two locations in Manhattan this year, and one in the Hamptons in 2021.

Memberships, which start at $3,500 per year and go up to $6,000 for those over 45, include same-day appointments, on-site lab testing and round-the-clock virtual care. House calls cost extra. Sollis is an “out-of-network provider,” according to its website, and is not enrolled in Medicare.

In-house services are also offered by NutriDrip, which offers IV vitamin drips aimed at rejuvenating tired and stressed New Yorkers. A so-called NutriCleanse drip costs $355 for non-members and claims to fight “harmful toxins from urban exposure,” through a combination of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, taurine and other elements. . It costs another $100 to book home service in Manhattan, or $125 in Brooklyn or Queens. Members paying $95 a month or $995 a year have access to discounted rates.

Remedy Place, which calls itself “the world’s first social wellness club,” broke ground in Los Angeles’ West Hollywood neighborhood before opening its first New York location last year.

A membership to the 7,000-square-foot club can run up to $2,750 a month and includes unlimited access to a “hyperbaric oxygen chamber, lymphatic compression suit, ice bath breathwork classes, cryotherapy” and a red light bed

Mental health tuneups can also be found at Well, where memberships cost $395 to $495 a month and include an evaluation by an in-house practitioner to assess 13 “aspects of health. ” Treatments include mindfulness and movement classes with an infrared sauna and cold plunge sessions, an on-site lounge with free bone broth and a “crystal-charged meditation dome.” (Non-members can book services at Remedy Place and the Well.)

Remedy Place, the Well and one of Sollis Health’s newest locations are all located within a few blocks of Manhattan’s Flatiron Building, and together create a kind of luxury micro-neighborhood for wellness. .

While the city’s centuries-old social clubs have a reputation for being stuffy and old-fashioned, a new generation of private clubs has opened in the past few years.

Zero Bond in NoHo, Mayor Eric Adams’ chosen venue and the venue of his party’s victory on election night in 2021, charges $3,850 a year, plus a $1,000 initiation fee, for “general the” membership for 28- to 45-year-olds.

New York’s Aman, known as the city’s most expensive hotel, opened in 2022 with an in-house members’ club, requiring a $200,000 initiation fee and $15,000 in annual fees. The interiors are a “sumptuous cocoon of exquisite textures,” according to Town and Country, likening the vibe to a mix of Bali and Tokyo.

The members-only Core Club recently moved from its headquarters on East 55th Street to Fifth Avenue, with initiation fees ranging from $15,000 to $100,000 for a wine library, speakeasy lounge, salon, barbershop, juice bar and gym, among other amenities, according to the Robb Report. A spokeswoman would not confirm any details about the space.

And Casa Tua, which has locations in Miami, Aspen and Paris, will open a restaurant with a private, members-only space in Surrey, an Upper East Side hotel, early next year.

Casa Cipriani, which opened in 2021 across 110,000 square feet and five floors of the Battery Maritime Building, is “a social club in the modern sense where style, decoration, privacy and respect are still appreciated values, ” said a spokesperson, in response to a question about menu prices and membership waiting lists.

The space includes two restaurants, a 15,000-square-foot health and wellness center, and a 9,000 square foot “great hall” that can accommodate 800 people for parties. The lacquered mahogany interiors recall “an elegant ocean liner” from the 1930s, according to a fact sheet prepared for reporters.

It’s also just one block away from the Pier 6 heliport.

Zip Aviation, a private helicopter service, flies groups of up to six from the port to local airports, including Teterboro in New Jersey, the region’s hub for private jets, for $2,050 apiece. you way. Zip also flies to the Hamptons, with the most expensive trip to the eastern part of the East End – Montauk – for $5,000 one way, plus “airport related fees.”

For those willing to shun private clubs to eat and drink in public, it can be impossible to get a reservation at some of the city’s most sought-after restaurants.

Those with disposable income can bid for reservations on websites such as Appointment Trader and Cita Marketplace.

A recent offering from Cita includes a prime time Tuesday night two-top in Carbone for $450. Restaurant owners open a club-only club in Manhattan with a $20,000 initiation fee and $10,000 in annual fees, with a private dining room for “founding members” ” at the club, which will pay a $50,000 initiation fee, according to Bloomberg, and a chef concierge who can cook any dish a member wants with 48 hours’ notice.

Cita also has a table for four available at the Polo Bar on Wednesday evenings at 5pm for $650.

Reservation prices do not include the cost of the actual meal.

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