“Your Place or Mine,” Netflix’s recently released rom-com flick, stars Ashton Kutcher (Peter), Reese Witherspoon (Debbie) — and a drop-dead gorgeous Brooklyn apartment.
The film is a battle of the beauties, between both Kutcher and Witherspoon, and between the leading man and his character’s amazing home at 60 Water St. in prime Dumbo — a building many local New York viewers may recognize on screen.
Written, directed and produced by Aline Brosh McKenna, of “27 Dresses” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” the movie was filmed on location in New York City and Los Angeles.
Bill Arnold, the film’s production designer, said of 60 Water, “[It] was picked after much investigation of Dumbo’s filming restrictions. Many places are off-limits to filming because of the amount of filming and tourism impacting the area. We initially wanted to shoot Peter’s apartment building exterior somewhere on Washington Street with the iconic Manhattan Bridge view. We approached several Washington Street buildings but were turned down … 60 Water was then pursued because of the street views at the lobby entrance and the views from the building looking out to the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.”
The 60 Water St. building is set across from Empire Stores, a renovated pre-Civil War-era coffee warehouse turned urban marketplace. Its striking modern glass facade is set against the historic and iconic Brooklyn cobblestone street.
The full-service, 17-story luxury rental building was designed by Leeser Architecture. Filming only in the lobby and on the rooftop, Arnold and his art department staff designed Peter’s fictional apartment and built it as a set on stage in Hollywood — something typical in film production for shots of home interiors.
“The exterior of Peter’s building was used to inform the design of his apartment interior. Our visual effects team shot digital plates from the rooftop terrace of 60 Water St. to be added in post-production as the view from the apartment,” said Arnold.
Peter’s sleek bachelor pad has the floor-to-ceiling windows and private terrace of 60 Water, but the apartment’s interior seems to be mixed with some elegant touches from One John Street a few blocks away. Arnold confirmed, “The set is based on 60 Water St. windows but the apartment is a compilation of design elements from many New York interiors.”
According to Dumbo expert and top-selling neighborhood broker for Sotheby’s International Realty, Karen Heyman, “The kitchen and the cement finishes are definitely more One John Street. And that stunning view under the bridge and across the river to Manhattan is definitely One John Street.”
Arnold explained in the production notes, “It’s a striking location right between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and we wanted to take advantage of that in our set. We determined what floor he was living on and what he saw out of his window. What kind of architecture? Is it a brick building, or is it steel?”
Heyman, who has been selling homes in Dumbo for 22 years, described the neighborhood as “very sticky.” She added, “No one wants to leave the area unless they have to. It’s a great hometown and now it finally has all the amenities it has hungered for.”
Boasting about the bounty of beautiful buildings in Brooklyn, Heyman recommended that some other possible buildings that would satisfy Peter are the Clocktower (at 1 Main St.), the Sweeney (at 30 Main St.) and the Olympia, the stepped stunner and “building of the year” at 30 Front St.
The Olympia, Dumbo’s current “It” building, designed by Hill West Architects and interiors by Workstead, is the only building in the neighborhood with a tennis court. Located on the 10th floor, residents can lob balls into the air and easily hit 60 Water St., if not the actual water in the nearby East River.
According to staff at the next door boutique pharmacy Modern Chemist, there hasn’t been an uptick in tourists or selfies on the block since the movie was released, not any more than usual.
The best part of this story is that you don’t have to buy a multi-million dollar apartment in One John to get those “Your Place or Mine” views — you can simply dine at the Mediterranean restaurant Celestine, soak up the sunset over Manhattan and pretend you are a beautiful bachelor who lets go of his spectacular Dumbo pad for love in — spoiler alert! — Los Angeles.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.