New Condo Development on West End Avenue is Building-In Covid Protection, Even for the Dumbbells


A rendering of the new building (the one just to the left of the church).

New luxury condos on West End and 78th Street are being designed with Covid-19 in mind — down to the lobby entrances and the weights in the workout room.

A Times story uses the new building, being developed by Alchemy Properties, as an example of how Covid is changing building construction. The 58-unit building, located next to the former site of the Collegiate School, is expected to start selling units this fall, so Covid is very much on the minds of buyers.

“In the building’s gym, Alchemy has opted for equipment with copper handles instead of steel ones, including barbells, dumbbells, weight machines and kettlebells, which are made by Black Iron Strength, a Washington State company,” the story notes. “Studies have found that the coronavirus can’t survive as long on copper as on steel, though copper equipment can cost at least six times more than steel. But Alchemy seems to believe in its antimicrobial properties. All doors in the condo’s 11,000-square-foot amenity area, which features a half-basketball court, a squash court and a recording studio, have copper handles.”

It’s also installing hospital-grade MERV 13 filters, and ionization systems in ducts that can apparently kill viruses. Lobby doors will be unlocked with key fobs, so you don;’t have to touch them and shared spaces will have automated toilets and motion-trigger faucets.

Of course, if one jerk gets into the elevator or the gym with you without a mask and starts coughing, all the copper in the world won’t do much.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 20 comments | permalink

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    1. nemo paradise says:

      Funny headline, but the story’s funnier still. Copper handles?

      • Ed says:

        So when the Covid apocalypse happens only the people with copper handles will be left in NYC. Sounds like a scene from The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston. So do they hit Trader Joe’s first for the frozen food or Fairway/Zabar’s for the Nova? Decisions, decisions!

    2. Ed says:

      “Coronavirus can’t survive as long on copper as on steel”. Yeah, well that’s real reassuring. At 6 times the cost of all that copper protection, do all these surfaces tell you when they were touched last? Perhaps giving residents free gloves would be safer and a heck of a lot cheaper. Look, I’m all for protection when it comes to this stuff, but I think some things are just not practical and alternates should be employed. I’m just sayin’

      • JustSayin says:

        Also, wasn’t the concern over surface level touching debunked months ago?

        • Danielle Remp says:

          Surfaces have been demoted, but not debunked as a possible means of transmitting covid:

          “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Sep 2, 2020”

          https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions

        • Paul on W 67 says:

          On NPR, Michael Osterholm, director of CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy) says not to worry about catching COVID from surfaces.

          “And one of the challenges has been is this idea that surfaces play a major role in transmission. We’ve looked very carefully at the data dating back for decades and research about these kinds of respiratory transmitted infections. And clearly, the surfaces play a very, very little role at all in transmission of this. I think we’ve gone way overboard relative to the disinfection and so forth, and we’ve made people feel very nervous about just opening a package, that type of thing. And I think that’s been unfortunate. I mean, this is really all about air. Breathing someone else’s air where the virus is present. It’s much, much, much less about environmental contamination. I would not tell people not to wash your hands, because I deal with a lot of the diseases where hand-washing is very, very important. But I would also say no one needs to be frightened of their physical environment with this virus. It’s the air they’re breathing. And so if that gives people relief, I hope that’s helpful. …”

      • josh says:

        Copper has been shown to kill the virus that causes Covid-19 in minutes. So yeah, as long as you wait a few minutes since the last person used the bar, you are all good. If you want to think about it in terms of cost, using copper grips will sanitize the equipment after each use. Would it cost more to pay for the more expensive equipment or to pay for attendants to disinfect each piece of equipment after each use?

    3. Nelson says:

      I think it’s great that they’re taking proactive measures in advance. That’s why they’re called “Amenities!” Hopefully, sanitized equipment and healthier hygiene habits ( as well as respecting the health of others) will become second nature…especially in the “health” industry. Bravo to them.

    4. Tad says:

      Just wonder if people’s hands will stain green when their sweat oxidizes the copper handles….

    5. Wijmlet says:

      Is this a joke?

    6. Rachel H. says:

      To all those copper naysayers: copper has actually been proven to be less of a conductor for MERSA, SARS and E Coli, which is why the best hospitals—namely, Memorial Sloane Kettering—retrofitted as much of their steel surfaces with copper a couple of years ago, despite the expense.

      Would that ALL NYC public spaces be required by law to do the same!

      Maybe that’s where our tax $ should go.

    7. Cathy says:

      Will it have a pool ?

    8. your_neighbor says:

      A whole new level of corona crazy

    9. Corinne says:

      This can’t be serious! What happened to common sense? These residents might as well live in a bubble free of germs. Wow!!!

    10. Pedestrian says:

      Is this an April 1 story that was just allowed out of quarantine? They build buildings to blot out the suns and then they say they also built it to include Covid Protection. May be these developers should have been in control of the Covid response! NOT.

    11. Dom says:

      Looks like all you tin-foil hatters are gonna have to change over to copper.