For the Wealthy, the New Draw Is the 'McBasement'

If you can't go up or out, go down
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2022 10:00 AM CDT
For the Wealthy, the New Draw Is the 'McBasement'
A giant sauna? Why not?   (Getty Images / qwerty01)

If the word "basement" conjures up memories of a dark and musty rec room where you spent your youth, the Wall Street Journal is ready to usher you into 2022. Basements are in, but they aren't like any basement you know. As EB Solomont writes, they're the ones wealthy Londoners have embraced for some time—curtailed by building codes related to how tall they could go, builders went deep. The same basement market is emerging in the US among a certain set: those property owners who are coming up against restrictions on just how big they can build their mansion aboveground. The "McBasement," as Solomont calls it, can be a thing of wonder, replete with everything from 3-D golf simulators and climbing walls to tennis courts and spas.

Solomont profiles one basement renovation in Aspen, Colo., that ended up adding 4,000 square feet to accommodate guest suites, a 12-person hot tub, and a massive steam room. In Nantucket, Mass., one 5,000-square-foot home will end up having a 10,000-square-foot basement when construction is complete. Opulent staircases and skylights take away the signature basement gloom—though neighbors forced to live through adjacent McBasement renovations aren't always so bright on the subject. Aspen now restricts them to a single level after one resident sued over the noise and dust kicked up during a neighbor's two-level renovation. Beverly Hills limits how many cubic yards of earth can be removed; it's equivalent to hundreds of truckloads. (Check out the full piece to see photos of some of the posh McBasements.)

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