Developers Still Dodging Unlucky 13


Smirk, they might, but New York City's developers are not taking any chances with triskaidekaphobic buyers.

That would be people who fear the number 13, whose concerns have very nearly banished the number from the Big Apple's architectural building scene, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The article outlines abundant evidence that fear of the number 13 is alive and well in the market.

'It Goes from 12 to 14'

Exhibit A: An analysis of 1,500 condo declarations by CityRealty, a real-estate listings website, that found that less than 5 percent of mid- and high-rise residential condo buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn have a floor designated 13.

Not only that, but the rest label the 13th floor as the 14th.

"Most new buildings don't have a 13th. It goes from 12 to 14," Lisa Lippman, associate real-estate broker at Brown Harris Stevens, told the newspaper.

The Journal also cites recent high-end condo projects by Extell Devevlopment Co., which omitted a floor 13 from two developments.

(Otis Elevators, by the way, reports the same phenomenon. By its estimate, 85 percent of buildings with elevators did not have a floor 13.)

But Why?

The developer has the final say over whether a project will have a 13th floor, the Journal reports. If a 13th floor will be omitted from a project, "developers work off two sets of plans—technical plans that show a 13th floor and marketing plans that don't."

Aldyn and Rushmore

Like most condos in New York City, neither the luxurious Aldyn nor Rushmore developments by Extell Development Co. has a 13th floor.

There's even a marketing advantage to skipping the 13th floor, the experts say:

"It also makes the building seem a little bit taller, which is important in New York," Kevin Maloney, principal at Property Markets Group, a New York City-based real-estate acquisition and development firm, told the newspaper. "You get an extra floor."

Maloney doesn't say what he thinks of the superstition. To him, it's just another buying factor.

"If there's even a 1 percent risk that someone won't like it, then why would you do it?" he said. "It's a simple change to the numbers."

Developers, brokers and agents alike are unlikely to see any buyers of the triskaidekaphobic persuasion today—or in December, when the other Friday the 13th occurs in the potentially unlucky year of 2013.






Tagged categories: Construction; Facility Managers; Good Technical Practice; Marketing; Specifiers

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