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Open House Agenda: Four Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | April 11, 2014 7:34am
 This week we suggest large, well-designed studio apartments that could pass for one-bedrooms.
Four Studio Apartments to See This Weekend
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NEW YORK CITY — Though some buyers cringe at the thought of squeezing into a studio, others view them as good starter units or ideal places in which to downsize or use as a pied-à-terre.

Not all studios are bland or microscopic, and many are larger than true one-bedrooms.

Here are four studios — three of which have separate sleeping areas — with appealing design details.

320 W. 76th St., Apt. 8E, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Studio/1 Bath
Approximately 582 square feet
Maintenance: $1,350 per month
Open House: Sunday, April 13, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lowdown: The prior owner of this large, “far from cookie-cutter” studio was an architect who “totally redid the space,” said Julia Boland, of The Boland Team at Halstead Property. “Everything in the [open] kitchen, even the refrigerator, is below counter level, so the eye stays open.”

The seller, who bought it in 2006, was initially taken aback by not having a full-sized fridge, but she “came to love it and appreciate it,” Boland said.

The wall added to the left of the studio's entrance creates a “proper” foyer and tucks the sleeping area out of sight, giving the space “a bit more graciousness,” Boland added. The sunken living area “creates rooms, even though it’s all open. The architect figured out how to maximize the usability of this space.”

The main windows face north, but there’s a small window in the corner that faces west, with a view of the Hudson River. The doorman building is “very well-run.”

Location: It’s steps to Riverside Park on a quiet residential block, yet only two blocks from Broadway. “Fairway, Citarella, gyms, yoga — everything is here,” Boland said.

New Mediterranean restaurant Tessa at Amsterdam Avenue near West 76th Street opened in early April. The 1, 2 and 3 trains are at West 72nd Street, and buses run along Riverside Drive and Broadway, with a crosstown option on West 79th Street.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s a fantastic design with no wasted space and a prime Upper West Side location,” Boland said. “It’s also on a high floor with no tall buildings across, so it gets northern light all day, and it has the western window for sunsets.”

85 Eighth Ave., Apt. 4V, Chelsea, Manhattan
Studio/1 Bath
Approximately 500 square feet
Maintenance: $1,258 per month
Open House: Sunday, April 13, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: The elevated sleeping area separated by wood-framed sliding glass doors and the custom vanity in the bathroom are what make this large studio stand out. Because the designated bedroom space also has a window, the unit qualifies as a junior one-bedroom, said Ruth Sobie, of Halstead Property.

Recent renovations completed by the seller feature Italian cabinetry in the kitchen, granite countertops, bamboo flooring and “high-end” finishes in the bathroom, including Hansgrohe faucets.

“Everything is beautiful and top-of-the line,” Sobie said. “The floorplan artist, who is also an architect, even commented on how lovely everything is.”

There’s also a California Closets-designed walk-in closet off the bathroom area and a small Juliet balcony. The unit faces west, away from Eighth Avenue and toward the common garden and courtyard in back, so it’s bright and quiet, Sobie added.

The 1973-built Thomas Eddy cooperative offers a doorman, laundry facilities on each floor and storage. The unit’s first open house is Sunday.

Location: Chelsea Market, the High Line, Hudson River Park and plenty of shops, restaurants and galleries are within walking district as the building is located on the border of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. The new Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum will be two blocks away when it opens in 2015. Nearby public transit includes the A, C, E, L, 1, 2 and 3 trains and the 14th Street crosstown bus.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s open and airy, offers good value, is in a great location, and the co-op permits pied-à-terres and co-purchasing,” Sobie said. “And you can move right in. You don’t have to do anything to it.”

82 Horatio St., Apt. 4A, West Village, Manhattan
Studio/1 Bath
Approximately 450 to 500 square feet
Maintenance: $880 per month
Open House: Sunday, April 13, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lowdown: Just a few blocks south of the Chelsea studio, this fourth-floor walk-up is the quintessential pre-war West Village apartment, but with smart updated, modern touches.

“The apartment was renovated by the previous owners [approximately seven years ago], but it’s still in beautiful condition,” said Matthew Mackay, of Corcoran Group. “They cleverly built a custom Murphy bed hidden behind bookshelves that slide back, which makes it very easy and appealing.”

Additional design details include refinished wood flooring, a decorative fireplace, a painted tin ceiling and Italian tiles in the bathroom. Both the kitchen and bath have windows. Three large northeast-facing windows in the 16-foot-wide main room overlook renovated townhouses across the street.

“Most of the A lines in this building are set up as junior one-bedrooms, so the buyer could put up a wall and make it a small one-bedroom,” Mackay added.

Four addresses along Horatio Street comprise the “well-maintained” co-op, and a common garden space spans the length of them, which is “rare for this kind of building,” Mackay said.

Location: Horatio Street is one of the most desired blocks in the West Village, and it’s near to the Meatpacking District as well. Both Hudson River Park and the High Line are within two blocks. Long-time neighborhood favorite Myers of Keswick, a British grocery store, is at Hudson Street. The A, C, E and L trains are a short walk away at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s one of the best locations downtown and a really charming space,” Mackay said, adding that even the real estate photographer said they could “live here in a second” and asked about pricing. Mackay has also received “interesting” calls from people in the neighborhood, including one from a celebrity living in a nearby townhouse who asked if she could purchase it for her nanny. “That was a first.”

326 Melrose St., Apt. 1A, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Studio/1.5 Baths
804 square feet
Common Charges: $288 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $4 per month, abated for 22 more years
Open House: Sunday, April 13, noon to 2 pm.

Lowdown: This unit is a little deceiving. It’s one of those New York apartments that is really a one-bedroom duplex but cannot technically be advertised as such because New York zoning regulations state that more than 50 percent of the lower level needs to be above grade in order to be listed as a bedroom and not a basement, said owner Jordan P. Levitt, who also is a broker with Douglas Elliman.

The bedroom stays cool in summer and warm in winter, he said, and there’s a half bath and small outdoor space on the lower level. As for the main floor facing the street, the architect installed planter boxes in front and one-way mirrored glass, so “you can have the blinds open and no one can see in, even if they put their face against the glass.” At night, though, you would need to lower the blinds for privacy.

Levitt bought the space in late 2010, when the development, once known as Lumbini Garden, was completed. This is the first resale. Levitt had planned to stay longer but recently got married. The eight-unit building is 100 percent owner-occupied and was the “architect’s pet project,” said Levitt, who claimed it likely has the highest level of fixtures in Bushwick. There’s a common furnished roof deck with city views.

Location: Levitt said it’s been “mind-blowing” how many restaurants, shops and galleries have opened in Bushwick the last four years. “It’s been a hotbed for experimental art and great young restaurateurs — the neighborhood really cherishes that kind of entrepreneurship.”

Some of the restaurants he calls attention to as being “experimental” yet “incredible and really fantastic” include Dear Bushwick (around the corner) and Northeast Kingdom (about four blocks away). For the latest in local music, there’s Suburbia, across the street.

“Even more important, things people don’t expect is an Associated supermarket that has been gut renovated and offers a craft beer selection, which is pretty incredible,” Levitt added, noting there also are several choices of natural-food markets. It's a 10-minute walk to the Morgan L station.

Why put it on your open house agenda calendar? “This may be your best opportunity to buy more square footage at a reasonable price in the neighborhood,” Levitt said, who primarily works in commercial acquisitions. “I can’t tell you how many tours I’ve done in the last three years where the first place investors ask to see is East Williamsburg/Bushwick.”