July 3, 2013 at 1:06 PM ET
A penthouse sitting atop a 42-story building in New York is one of many, a dime a dozen in a city where homes don't often come with garages or backyards.
A penthouse in a Los Angeles high-rise, however, is a rarity — but a trend that developers are banking on for the City of Angels.
Once upon a time, Los Angeles was a city with loads of land. The wealthy could move in and buy swathes of real estate, creating estates on an acre or more.
Today Los Angeles is enormous, with a population more than 3.8 million, and growing. Traffic while always bad, is increasingly so, and the idea of a private, gated villa on a hill is no longer attractive.
Enter a new market for New York-style residences, starting with The Century, a brand new, 42-story luxury building.
"Certainly the market has changed," explained Mary Ann Osborn, vice president of sales at The Related Companies, which developed New York's Time Warner Center and is now behind The Century. "A lot of people were not living in high-rises, but it's been an educational process."
The process has had success. The building is already 65 percent sold, with buyers including Candy Spelling, who dumped her massive estate back in 2008. She was one of the first buyers, picking up a penthouse before the building was completed for $34.8 million. Other celeb residents have followed suit, including Paula Abdul, Elizabeth Berkley and Cheryl Cole.
The stars are among a growing L.A. population looking for amenity-heavy and worry-free living.
"They are looking for a turn-key home; they want the conveniences," Osborn said. "It's estate living vertically — you're keeping or enhancing their standard of living."
The Century sits on four acres in Century City, with lush outdoor gardens and high-ranked security. All of the condos have access to the tower's features, which include an entertainment suite with a private, 16-person seating room, as well as a gym, 75-foot lap pool and new restaurant by chef David Myers.
Although modeled after New York, the units are not New York sized.
"This is a building you would see in New York on Fifth Avenue but on acreage," Osborn said. "People are surprised at the size of the closets compared to New York."
The unit with the largest closets is the last remaining penthouse, listed at $15.5 million. Measuring 5,665 square feet, the condo has 3 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, as well as a 746-square-foot terrace. The master suite features a private home office with fireplace and "midnight kitchen."
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