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Open House Agenda: Four Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | October 25, 2013 7:29am
 This week we feature apartments for sale with great light, space and rooms with views.
Corner Apartments With a View
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MURRAY HILL — Finding an affordable New York apartment with abundant natural light is a coup. Even better? Finding one that also comes with a view. Each of these apartments with open houses on Sunday is a corner unit, making them very bright. They also provide views of the city skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building or Central Park.

140 E. 40th St., Apt. 8F, Murray Hill, Manhattan
Studio/1 Bath
Approximately 400 square feet
Maintenance: $643/month
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2-3:30 p.m.

Lowdown: This studio apartment, at the northern end of Murray Hill, sits in a 1930 Art Deco building by Sylvan Bien and Harry Prince, who also designed the Carlyle Hotel and several classic Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue apartment buildings. It has southern and western exposures that include a partial view of the most iconic of Art Deco buildings, the Empire State. 

“Even though 400 square feet for some people would be on the smaller side, the large windows and open space really make it feel much larger than it is,” said Royce Cara Berler, of Citi-Habitats. “There also are two smaller windows in the bathroom and kitchen."

The unit has three large closets, Berler said, which is unusual for a studio. The kitchen has been recently updated, but the bathroom is original.

Location: The apartment is centrally located, just two blocks south of Grand Central Terminal. Plans are underway for a new park at First Avenue and East 36th Street, and the building is just outside the 73-block area in East Midtown that is part of a controversial rezoning plan, that aims to bring new skyscrapers to the area.

Why put it on your open house calendar? It’s conveniently located, the maintenance is reasonable and the price per square foot is below average for the neighborhood.

"Even though there are high-rise buildings around, there are a lot of low-rise ones between them, so you get the sky and have nice city views," Berler said.

306 Gold St., Apt. 18E, Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
800 square feet
Common Charges: $573.30/month
Real Estate Taxes: $11.06 (abated until 2025)
Metro Tech Fee: $15/month
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 27, 1-2 p.m.

Lowdown: “The windows curve, so you have sort of a panoramic southwest view of the lower Manhattan skyline and amazing sunsets year-round,” said Nicole Rodriguez, of Rose Associates, who also lives in the 40-story building. “There’s been a lot of development in this area, but luckily none has been right in front of this unit, so the views are pretty open.”

The full-service Oro was built in 2008 and has all the luxury touches now standard in such new developments.

“The apartment is in immaculate condition," Rodriquez added, "and the owners are selling only because they are planning to increase the size of their family."

Note: The floor plan in the listing is for the style of the unit, not the specific apartment. There is no terrace, but the layout is nearly the same.

Location: The Oro is located east of the Flatbush Avenue Extension, about two blocks from Fort Greene and Commodore Barry Park. It’s also near Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Vinegar Hill. The area has changed significantly in recent years, with several residential developments, new grocery stores and new hotels opening.

Plus, the nearby Fulton Street Mall is going upscale. Since 2011, a Shake Shack, H&M and Armani Exchange have opened; Nordstrom Rack, Century 21 and Swarovski are coming soon.

The entrance to the Manhattan Bridge is steps away and 11 subway lines are no more than a 10-minute walk away.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s really convenient and more affordable than a lot of places in the city,” Rodriguez said. "Downtown Brooklyn is finally getting its own identity and everyone loves it. It’s the fastest changing neighborhood I’ve ever seen.”

215 E. 96th St., Apt. 41G, Upper East Side, Manhattan
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
751 square feet
Maintenance: $1,473/month
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 27, 1-3 p.m.

Lowdown: Located on the second floor from the top of One Carnegie Hill, this one-bedroom apartment provides nearly 270-degree views.

“The pictures don’t do it justice, because they didn’t focus on Central Park,” said Sungwon Hwang, of Corcoran Group. “From the corner room, you can also see the George Washington Bridge and Yankee Stadium. The living room has wide-open views of the East River, which curves north.”

The unit originally had a dining area in the corner that the current owners converted into a nursery. (It can easily be converted back to an open space, Hwang said.)

Upgrades to the unit include new hardwood floors, custom closets and an audio surround-sound system with built-in speakers throughout, including the bathroom.

“From the rooftop, you can see four fireworks displays on July 4, and there’s a really nice picnic area with barbecue grills,” said Hwang, who used to live in the building. “There’s also a 24-hour health club, which is unusual.”

Location: “The area has changed a lot,” Hwang said. “At first, people might have reservations about being on the edge of the Upper East Side, but once there, they realize there’s a lot happening, new bars and restaurants, between 90th and 95th streets.”

Mount Sinai Hospital is nearby, as is the Museum of the City of New York. There’s easy access to the FDR Drive, and the crosstown bus is in front of the building. The 6 train is a block west, and because the building is near Third Avenue, there’s no noise from the Second Avenue subway construction at the east end of the block.

Why put it on your open house calendar? As a condop, it’s legally a co-op but has the bylaws of a condo.

“Taxes are part of the maintenance, there is no board interview or strict formal co-op review process, and only a simple purchase application is required to get an approval,” Hwang said.

75 Livingston St., Apt. 15D, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
2 Bedrooms/1.5 Baths
Approximately 1,450 square feet
$1.325 million
Maintenance: $2,070/month
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2-3:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Take in views of New York Harbor — from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Governors Island to the Statue of Liberty and Financial District skyline — perched above Brooklyn Heights in this spacious two-bedroom co-op. The unit is in the 1927-built “Wedding Cake” building.

“This apartment is a big loft-like space, which is unusual in Brooklyn Heights, and it has a great cook’s kitchen, big enough for three or four cooks,” said Marty Ellman, of Douglas Elliman. “The owners put it in eight years ago, and in addition to the Sub-Zero refrigerator, there are two extra ones under the counter.”

The current owners also renovated the half bath — which has a washer and dryer — created additional closet space and outfitted the foyer with bookshelves. Although the office space/second bedroom doesn’t have a window, it gets plenty of light through the large doorway," Ellman said.

Location: The building is at the corner of Court Street and across from Borough Hall, which has a greenmarket three days a week. Eight subway lines are steps away. Within a three-block radius are a United Artists cineplex, Trader Joe’s at Atlantic Avenue, Fulton Mall and the New York Transit Museum.

“A new YMCA is opening a block away, and Sephora is going in around the corner at Joralemon,” Ellman said. “A lease was just signed for a Chocolate Works on Montague, and there’s an urgent care center opening on Court near Remsen.”

Why put it on your open house calendar? Though the maintenance is a little on the high side, the apartment is in a full-service building. And it’s hard to beat the convenient location and spectacular views.

"The space is fabulous for entertaining, and you can enjoy the views from the open kitchen," Ellman said.