One week into New York’s stay-at-home order, Nicole Rosofsky couldn’t sleep. As her thoughts churned with coronavirus-fueled anxiety, the Upper East Sider focused on the one thing she could control: her exercise routine.
“I’m a fitness fanatic, and was wondering how I would be able to function without a regular gym,” says Rosofsky, who is the strategic partnerships director at a marketing agency. “I had heard about Peloton, but I hadn’t committed before, partially because I lived in a small apartment. But then I thought, screw it, I’m buying one.”
The 32-year-old began rearranging furniture in her studio, creating a small alley between her bed and the wall. By 4 a.m., the “Peloton nook” was ready for a bike — and she’s been riding high every day since.
Forget about shared building amenities. In pandemic times, as renters and buyers hunt for homes, they’re looking for a place to stash their Peloton — to work out, alone, within the germ-free confines of their own walls. The pricy piece of equipment, which retails for $2,245 and comes with a $39/month roster of video classes, has a relatively compact 2-by-4 footprint.
So in New York City apartments, where every square inch is precious, brokers are finding ways to make space for the trendy wheels.
A one-bedroom co-op on the Upper West Side, listed for $565,000, has a “Peloton area” marked on the floor plan. In the past, that niche might have been dubbed a foyer, or nothing at all.
“I’m a cyclist myself,” says broker Karen Burman, of Douglas Elliman. “And when I saw the owners had a Peloton, I thought, that’s the dream, to have a Peloton and a functional space to place it.”
So Burman called out the corner in the 622 West End Ave. unit online and in a video tour — which features her pedaling energetically in place.
Listings around the city also show Pelotons on landings, in maid’s rooms, and what may, in a previous era, have been marketed as diminutive work-from-home areas or playrooms.
Take a two-bedroom duplex at 3585 Greystone Ave in Riverdale, on the market for $680,000 with Halstead’s Sandjya Tidke team. The Bronx condo’s 3-D virtual tour reveals a Peloton tucked into a crook at the top of the stairs.
While lockdown has accelerated the trend toward in-unit exercise, real estate agents say buyers and renters have long sought to fit fitness into their prospective homes regardless of square footage.
“A workout space has become a must for a lot of clients,” says Scott Harris, a broker at Brown Harris Stevens, who represents several on-the-market Upper West Side properties that boast Peloton-centric rooms. Demand doesn’t just come from stereotypical health nuts. “I have a lot of buyers who are empty nesters, who got used to having a gym in the basement, and don’t want to lose that if they move to Manhattan,” Harris adds.
Warburg agents Susan and Michael Abrams find that Pelotons pique interest in their listings, too. The pair are repping a two-bedroom at 70 E. 10th St. in the East Village, on the market for $2.29 million, that has a windowless area with sliding doors. Though it’s labeled an office on the floor plan, listing photos show a Peloton set-up.
“I was really leaning into the idea of the space being used as a home office, but inquiries really show how excited people are at the option of using that space for the Peloton,” says Susan Abrams.
Social-distancing restrictions due to the coronavirus may boost the appeal of prewar apartments due to potential disdain for the shared communal spaces that come with modern condos in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Even Peloton’s popular instructors have made some strategic furniture-positioning choices now that they have begun filming rides from their own homes.
Jess King, who shares a Williamsburg two-bedroom with her girlfriend, singer-songwriter Sophia Urista, moved her bike from a second bedroom to beside their living room’s wall of windows. King’s dog Zeus sometimes curls up next to the bike; riders can see her books, plants and East River views. Everyone is sweating out the coronavirus storm together, from the safety of their homes.
“I’m on my bike, looking at my kitchen, and there’s 7,000 people riding along with me,” King says. “There’s a ton of energy and connection. It feels like it’s just a way to honor this time we have together.”