Less than 5% of New York high-rises have a 13th floor

Developers say they don't want to preclude anyone, including those who think a floor No. 13 might be a bad omen.

By Leah at MSN Real Estate Sep 9, 2013 8:41AM
© Mike Clarke/Getty ImagesApartment construction has taken off in cities across the country, and New York is one of the markets with the most activity. The city's new high-rise buildings, both condos and apartments, have some pretty swank amenities: theaters, luxury pools, fitness centers, concierge services. 
 
But one thing you won't find in most newly built apartment and condominium complexes is a 13th floor. That's right, America is still superstitious, and those superstitions seep into their real-estate choices. 
 
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The number 13 may not scare that many of us, but developers don't want to chance deterring even a few potential buyers. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, less than 5% of mid- and high-rise condo buildings in New York have a 13th floor.  
"If there's even a 1% risk that someone won't like it, then why would you do it? It's a simple change to the numbers," says Kevin Maloney, principal at Property Markets Group, a New York City-based real-estate acquisition and development firm. "It also makes a building seem a little bit taller, which is important in New York. You get an extra floor."
The missing 13th floor is a common occurrence in hotels and office buildings, as well, and some streets even skip 13 in house numbers, jumping right from 11 to 15 on the odd-numbered side of the street.
Other numbers are also considered unlucky. Four, for instance, is unlucky in Chinese culture. Some developers are now also skipping the fourth floor, including the 15-story Vista in Long Island City, Queens, which is scheduled to open in October. 
 

But some developers scoff at the idea of skipping 13. One Ten Third, a 21-story condo building in Manhattan's East Village, was built six years ago and includes a floor 13. The developer, Toll Brothers, plans two new buildings that will also each have a 13th floor.  

"I think it's a silly thing to be afraid of," says David Von Spreckelsen, division president of Toll Brothers City Living in New York.
Are you superstitious? Would you buy or rent an apartment on the 13th floor?
 
 
 
Tags: rentals
 
77Comments
Sep 21, 2013 4:58PM
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Pretending to fear/oppose things is a hugely profitable industry.
Sep 21, 2013 4:52PM
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my building where I work has no 13th flr, just 12-14, built around circa 1930 something, meanwhile the 14th flr IS the 13th floor just because it doesn't have a 3 in it doesn't change that fact...but superpositions die-hard....why not, people watch stupidity like the long island medium  or john edwards and believe in that nonsense so why should this be any different....for the record Harry Houdini proved there was no such thing as mediums, or psychics 'bout 80yrs ago, not that he needed to, it's obvious, but he told his wife a password, and upon his death she was to ask a psychic for it...guess what! NOT ONE ever got the password, what a shock right!
Sep 21, 2013 4:17PM
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Y'know - it's bad luck to be superstitious.
Sep 21, 2013 3:34PM
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I'm not superstitious and would have no problem renting on the 13th floor or walking under a ladder, breaking a mirror and I would not freak out if a black cat crossed my path.
Sep 21, 2013 3:06PM
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the X split on Friday the 13th with a full moon.  It turned out to be the luckiest day of my life.  Whack Whack!!
Sep 21, 2013 2:53PM
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Whether they use 13 or go from 12 to 14, it's still the thirteenth floor.
Sep 21, 2013 1:42PM
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That's because all the buildings in NYC are so old, they were built back when people were swayed by superstition. 
Sep 21, 2013 11:11AM
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Well if you are superstitious then buying in the 14 floor which is actually the 13 floor would be just as bad.
Sep 21, 2013 10:35AM
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13 doesn't mean anything to me - good or bad - but why don't the developers just use the alphabet instead of numbering floors - or are there certain letters considered unlucky?
Sep 21, 2013 9:02AM
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But if they told residents that black cats were prohibited they'd be called racists.
Sep 21, 2013 5:50AM
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I was on the 13th floor of an apartment 7 years ago.... it was a party like most, people drinking, eating side dishes everyone had brought with them, chatn about nothing really.... their were about 70 maybe 80 people there... then all of a sudden at midnight the clock struck 13 not 12 chimes ... then I noticed the smell of gas... all of a sudden i began to chock and soon everyone on the 13th floor of that building was dead.... now we walk the corridors dead... no bright light to follow to... just darkness....
DAMN i hate clocks :)
 
Sep 21, 2013 4:56AM
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I find it hard to believe that people in the 21st century are STILL superstitious about 13.  Personally, I'd live and/or work on a 13th floor just as soon as any other floor.  It's just a number. 
Sep 21, 2013 3:39AM
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I know how to get around the 14th floor taboo:  Take the numbers on floors 11 through 15 and change them all. 

11 becomes 16

12 becomes 14

13 becomes 11

14 becomes 15

15 becomes 12

As you can see, I have eliminated floor 13 and no one is the wiser because everyone is confused.....especially first responders, firemen, the police...so on second thought this is a really good idea gone wrong. 

 

Now watch while I make this $10 bill disappear and come back as a cup of really strong espresso (add another $5 and make it a triple....I really need it this morning)

Sep 21, 2013 2:02AM
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The solution is to have two eighth floors - 8 and 8 Supreme. The Chinese consider 8 a lucky number, and if 8 Supreme has red carpet and walls with gold trim, they will pay more. Since we have shipped more than $2 Trillion of our national wealth to them buy buying their cheap goods and firing most of our middle class manufacturing workers, we have to get the money back somehow . . .
Sep 15, 2013 7:39PM
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I can't believe that in this day and age people continue to be so superstitious!!!! Maybe there is no 13th floor showing on the elevator, but guess what? The floor assigned number 14th is the 13th floor no matter what!!!  The fact that you don't see the number does not mean it does not exist!!  Don't be foolish to the things of the world, seek the kingdom of God!!!! Read what the bible says about superstition. 
Sep 15, 2013 5:38PM
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I'd be in trouble if I was superstitious of the number 13. I was born on the 13th.
Sep 15, 2013 5:22PM
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And this will somehow stop a plane full of fuel from crashing into it ? Morons.
Sep 15, 2013 3:53PM
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The floor is still there! It's just now arbitrarily called the 14th floor! Do you guys realize the #13 is actually a sacred number? Was just hypnotized out of the mainstream consciousness, since it is such a powerful and misunderstood concept. Think about it....the 12 Apostles....guess Who was number 13? Jesus. 13 is the missing key----that extra element that causes the whole thing to move forward, nothing to be afraid of, but something, if embraced, can bring much magic into your life
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