“A View From the (Almost) Top”

Capitalizing on top-tier home-buyers’ thirst for privacy, exclusivity and vertiginous height, developers are now selling multiple penthouse-like units in new buildings, set stories below the actual penthouse.”

—”A View From the (Almost) Top”; The Wall Street Journal.

Ok, so it’s not a market niche I specialize in.

And, I can’t speak to whether the trend has spread from housing markets like Boston and Houston to the Twin Cities.

But, I get the idea: developers who want to leverage the cachet ” and premium prices ” traditionally associated with the tip-top (and singular) penthouse unit are now building multiple “sub-penthouses” just below it (in some new towers, apparently more than a dozen such units).

Brand Extension vs. Dilution

Marketing experts will recognize the phenomenon as a variant of brand extension, which is defined as “using an established brand name or trademark on new products, so as to increase sales.”

The risk, of course, is that developers will take the concept too far, and eventually slap the term “sub-penthouse” on anything more than one floor above the lobby.

It recalls my experience as a Stanford freshman, once upon a time, encountering a Beverly Hills High School class president, then another, and then another.

The third (fifth?) one I met finally solved the mystery: they explained that Beverly Hills elected a different class president each month.

My guess is that college admissions offices figured that out soon after I did, effectively ending the practice ” or at least negating any advantage it conferred.

See also, “(Manhattan) Real Estate Term of the Day: “View-Break”“; andSliver Buildings” Take Their Place in NY Skyline.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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