Ever since architect Robert A. M. Stern incorporated a private driveway into the master plan of Manhattan’s 15 Central Park West a decade ago, driveways, motor courts, and portes-cochères have appeared in many of New York City’s most desirable new developments. But the trend has accelerated within the past two years, according to Kent Security’s Alon Alexander.
Condo driveways offer a source of residential privacy for luxury residents, particularly for the rich and famous, for whom the building has been made “paparazzi-proof”, according to Mark Ellwood of Bloomberg. They also allow developers to add additional layers of security, such as below-ground barriers. Finally, convenience and safety are key factors, especially for families with children.
There’s also a less concrete allure to motor courts: in a city where developers want to wring maximum value from every square foot, there’s an extravagance in leaving such a large space empty. It tacitly telegraphs a developer’s largesse and indulgence.