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Open House Agenda: Three Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | January 31, 2014 7:19am
 Three walk-up apartments with open houses Feb. 2.
Walk-Up Apartments to See This Weekend
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MANHATAN — After focusing on full-service abodes last week, we’re now featuring no-frills walk-ups. While these apartments sometimes — but not always — attract a smaller pool of potential buyers, their maintenance fees are almost always lower than similar units in elevator buildings, brokers say.

323 E. 21st St., Apt. 4M, Gramercy Park, Manhattan
1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom
Approximately 600 square feet
Maintenance: $1,042 per month
Open House: Sunday, Feb. 2, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Though on the fourth floor of a five-story building with no laundry or other amenities, this one-bedroom attracted more than 100 inquiries in one week, said Seth S. Levin of Douglas Elliman.

"I was getting hounded,” he said.

The reason for the unusually high interest? "It’s under $400,000 for a true one-bedroom in one of the better downtown neighborhoods in Manhattan.”

The current owner bought it for her daughter in 2002 and updated the kitchen and bathroom. It has been rented out the past couple years, but the tenant moves out Saturday, which is why the first showing is Sunday, Levin said.

“The apartment has a very Old World European feel to it, with the wall of exposed brick and the decorative fireplace,” Levin said, adding that it's in one of two buildings that were constructed in 1910, and that make up the Colonial Mews.

Apartment M is in the smaller building in the back, so it’s quiet and overlooks a courtyard.

Location: It’s a short walk to Gramercy Park, Union Square and the East Village. Pushcart Coffee opened nearby on Second Avenue a little over a year ago. Gourmet grocery chain Gracefully plans to open at First Avenue and 23rd Street this year. Its Stuyvesant outlet is just a few blocks south at 18th Street.

The 6 train is at 23rd Street and Park Avenue South; there are seven subway lines at Union Square. The M15 bus operates on First and Second avenues.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “With the exposed brick, light and quiet, it’s a sanctuary in the city,” Levin said. “But the price point is the driving force here. There aren’t really amenities, which is why we priced it where it is. But we’ll see. We’ve had so much interest, the price might get pushed up.”

111 Eighth Ave., Apt. 6, Park Slope, Brooklyn
1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom
Approximately 823 square feet
Maintenance: $775 per month
Open House: Sunday, Feb. 2, 2:30-4 p.m.

Lowdown: Even though the previous owner had fully renovated this northeast-facing, third-floor Park Slope apartment, the current seller redid it to her liking after purchasing it in 2010, said Jessica Buchman of Corcoran Group.

“What she did is exquisite. It’s one of the prettiest one-bedrooms I’ve ever listed,” she said. “When I walked in the first time, I felt like it was Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. This is the quintessential New York, pre-war, co-op. It’s sexy and smart, but the renovation was also tasteful and thoughtful. The finishes are beautiful without being over-the-top.”

The layout, with the kitchen and bathroom across from each other in the center because of how the plumbing was installed, is a bit unusual. There are built-in niches in the living room and kitchen, along with seven custom closets, including one — in true SATC fashion — designed for shoes. The herringbone wood flooring in the oversized living room and bedroom is original.

Buchman doesn’t see much of a difference in interest between her listings in elevator buildings versus walk-ups, because people looking in the area she specializes in —  Brownstone Brooklyn — understand that most of the housing stock is going to be in four-story walk-up buildings.

“The beauty of the walk-up is you have a more intimate building with fewer neighbors and more of a voice,” Buchman explained. “If you live among three neighbors and want to change the carpet in the hall, it’s easier than trying to do that in a 70-unit building. Also there is less slamming of doors, less pitter-patter overhead, and with no doorman, porter or live-in super, carrying costs and maintenance is typically low.”

Location: Prospect Park — with its new LeFrak ice skating center — is one block away. There’s a year-round Saturday greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza.

Nearby subway lines include the 2 and 3 at Grand Army Plaza, and the B and Q Seventh Avenue station at Flatbush. The F and G trains are 11 blocks north at Ninth Street.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It is a perfect one-bedroom in concerns to style, proportion, renovation, location and price,” Buchman said. “And if you need outdoor space, just put on your flip-flops and walk one block to the park.”

102 Third Place, Apt. 8, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
2 Bedrooms/2 Baths
Approximately 880 square feet
Maintenance: $709 per month
Open House: Sunday, Feb. 2, 1-3 p.m.

Lowdown: This fourth-floor, gut-renovated Carroll Gardens apartment gets plenty of natural light and has views that span from the rooftops of local brownstones to the downtown Manhattan skyline, including the new World Trade Center building.

The sellers, who work in art and design and technology engineering, “brought in [an] architect to design [the renovation] to keep it clean, elegant and to optimize the space with built-ins,” said John Bataille of Corcoran Group. “If you look at the L-shaped bench along the wall in the photos, the seat lifts up and there is storage space in there.”

Prior to the first open house on Thursday, Bataille said he already had people who couldn’t get in there fast enough. The apartment is one of four in the brownstone building, with one unit per floor. Each landing has it’s own space for hanging coats and cubbies for shoes, Bataille said, “so you don’t have to bring muddy boots in, or strollers.”

The building’s common outdoor space includes a roof terrace that is unfinished, Bataille said, and a garden in front, “that is maintained by a couple on the second floor who are horticulturalists. They keep it really nice, and it blossoms with flowers in spring and summer.”

Location: The apartment, off Court Street, is three blocks from Carroll Park and two from the F and G trains at Smith Street. A dog run at Dimattina Playground should be completed by the end of this year. There are numerous schools, supermarkets, boutiques, and gourmet shops, Bataille said, adding, “Down Court Street are Frankie’s and Buttermilk Channel — it’s a great enclave that feels like you’re outside the city while being inside.”

Dover, a restaurant from the team behind critically acclaimed Battersby, opened on on Court near First Place in December, while Bar San Miguel, specializing in tequila and Mexican fare, opened on Smith in January.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “With the open space and natural light, it’s warm and inviting,” Bataille said. “The space is very magical and relaxing. It feels like you’re sitting on a cloud.”