By Carla Zanoni
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Many Washington Heights residents say they were drawn to the neighborhood by large spaces and pre-war building details for relatively inexpensive rents.
It wasn't the SoHo-style, upscale luxury of the rental stock — until now.
A new building in the neighborhood is hoping to draw a downtown crowd with the lure of luxury amenities the developer says are rarely seen north of 155th Street.
Hudson 192, the newly constructed eight-story, 85-unit new "luxury rental" building that promises to "bring downtown quality uptown" was originally intended to be a condo, but changed over when the recession hit in the hope that attracting renters might be easier than buyers.
Represented by Simone Song Properties, the building located at 700 West 192nd Street and Broadway offers rents from $1,395 to $1,650 for a studio; $1,700 to $2,400 for a one bedroom; and $2,400 to $2,600 for a two bedroom.
Some neighborhood residents balked at the prices at the new rental, which is located in an area of Washington Heights that has seen a commercial revival over the past several years with new restaurants and bars popping up along the avenue.
"People who live here can't afford that kind of rent, they barely make that much each month," longtime Washington Heights resident Oscar del Valle, 58, said as he passed the new building this week.
That point is not lost on Susan Wolf, a real estate agent for the building, a former Community Board 12 member and longtime Washington Heights resident.
"I understand the desire for affordability," she said. "This building probably isn't for those people, but there are a lot of people who live in the neighborhood who would like to live in a SoHo-style building uptown for a third of the price."
Wolf also added that one of the perks of the luxury rental is that the units are rent stabilized.
According to Wolf, each unit was designed "to afford every apartment unobstructed light," and has access to a 24-hour fitness center, a manned garage and a laundry room.
A handful of the apartments have large wrap-around terraces.
The units boast floor-to-ceiling windows, wide-plank red oak floors and individually controlled heating in each apartment — almost unheard of in older uptown apartments. Mounted air-conditioning units are in each room.
Kitchens have a large open layout with stainless steel appliances and sinks, granite countertops, recycled green glass "subway" tile backsplashes, porcelain floors, dark cherry Shaker-style cabinets with German hinges and soft-self-close drawers and doors. Bathrooms are also large and porcelain tiled.
"Compared with all the other buildings in this neighborhood, this is by far the nicest one in terms of the amenities," Wolf said, adding the firm has already begun receiving droves of calls — including those priced out of downtown homes.
"They're renting a one-bedroom near Columbus Circle for $3,000 a month," she said.
"We love our neighborhood, it's better than Columbus Circle. The air is cleaner, fresher. We have the best of all possible worlds."