``Once synonymous with status, penthouses seem to have lost their cache. Everyone from bold-faced billionaires to wealthy Joe Shmoes are falling out of love with Manhattan's trophy properties in the sky. As aspirational towers get taller and taller, the new sweet spot is the middle of the line.

"A lot of my clients find new penthouses to be too high," said Herbert Chou of Christie's International Real Estate. "The perspective is actually a little better in the 28th-to-40th-floor range, depending on the neighborhood. From a penthouse, you are looking down. You are so far up that you are detached from your surroundings."


Power couple Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez similarly shunned the "penthouse collection" of upper-floor units at 432 Park Avenue, choosing the 36th floor of the 96-story tower in 2018. (They recently sold it for $17.5 million.)

"I got super-nauseated when I toured the penthouse of 432 Park," said one visitor to the 95th floor of the luxury tower that opened in 2015. "Buildings that high sway. I was freaked out by the swaying."

Coming across the Williamsburg Bridge at morning rush hour reveals another disadvantage: You can't even see the tops of many of these new Central Park towers, so clouded are they by the elements. The park is under at least 80 percent cloud cover for 122 days a year, or roughly four months, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

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