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Open House Agenda: 4 Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | July 25, 2014 8:41am | Updated on July 25, 2014 4:24pm
 Own a piece of New York City history with one of these apartments in pre-war, landmarked buildings.
Open Houses in Landmarked Buildings
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MANHATTAN — While apartments in new buildings have plenty of allure, some buyers prefer to own a piece of living history. Want to find out whether a building is landmarked and who used to live there? Check out this recent Apartmentality column.

Here are four pre-war units in landmarked buildings with open houses this weekend.

409 Edgecombe Ave., Apt. 9D, Hamilton Heights, Manhattan
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 756 square feet
Maintenance: $881 per month
Open Houses: Saturday, July 26, 3:30 to 5 p.m.; Sunday, July 27, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: This building located in the Sugar Hill section of Hamilton Heights was built in 1917 but gained prominence in the 1930s as the “address of choice for New York City’s black elite,” according to a New York Times Streetscapes column.

“One lady who’s been there 65 or 70 years remembers when Thurgood Marshall lived in the building,” said John McGuinness, of Harlem Properties. Today, the building houses a lot of “creative types.”

Unit 9D is a quiet, large one-bedroom that also includes a dining room. The seller renovated the apartment after purchasing it 10 years ago. It’s in “mint condition,” with plumbing and electrical updated, and “all original woodwork restored,” including French doors and parquet flooring, McGuinness said.

The building sits atop of Coogan’s Bluff, a cliff, and overlooks Jackie Robinson Park, the Harlem River, Yankee Stadium and beyond.

Though the apartment has been on the market for a year, McGuinness expects it to move soon. The unit — which has income restriction requirements — formerly required an all-cash transaction, but about two months ago Bank United approved up to 80 percent financing for the building, he explained.

Location: The area is “very residential and quiet, and there’s a strong sense of community,” McGuinness said. It’s a short walk to Broadway for services and shopping. The B and D trains are one block away at 155th Street. The C is two blocks farther west.

Why put it on your open house calendar? Aside from great views, large rooms with pre-war detailing, and ability to convert it into a two-bedroom, “this apartment is probably the most beautiful I’ve ever seen,” McGuinness said.


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24 Fifth Ave., Apt. 1519, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Studio/1 Bath
Approximately 425 square feet
Maintenance: $1,186 per month
Open House: Sunday, July 27, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Emery Roth, a prominent architect of several Beaux Arts and Art Deco buildings in the city, designed 24 Fifth Ave., which opened in 1926 as the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Not only is the building a landmark, but so is its marble lobby, which was restored about two years ago, said Julia Hoagland, of Brown Harris Stevens.

The unit is in “excellent condition," Hoagland said, adding that it’s near the top floor and faces the back, so it’s “quiet and gets great light.”

Though a studio, it has large rooms and a “massive walk-in closet,” noted Hoagland, who sold the unit to the owner nine years ago. The seller installed new appliances and replaced fixtures.

There’s a new gym as part of the lobby renovations. In addition to full-time staff, the management company is located on-site. Subletting is allowed after three years.

Location: It’s in the heart of Greenwich Village on Fifth Avenue at Ninth Street, sandwiched between Washington Square Park and Union Square Park. The neighborhood is “peppered with Citi Bike stations,” and has seven subway lines at West Fourth Street, along with PATH train access nearby.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It is virtually impossible to get a studio on the ‘Gold Coast of Greenwich Village’ in a full-service building for this price,” Hoagland said.

225 Fifth Ave., Apt. 3R, Flatiron, Manhattan
1 Bedroom/1.5 Baths
1,049 square feet
$1.895 million
Common Charges: $787.24 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $865.50 per month
Open House: Sunday, July 27, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: The renaissance revival-style Grand Madison, located in the Madison Square North Historic District, opened in 1906 as the Brunswick Building, but soon became known as the New York Gift Building. Designed by Francis H. Kimball and Harry E. Donnell, it housed a hotel and warehouse for the gift industry.

The building converted to condos in 2007 and featured a full renovation with top-level appliances and finishes, so the seller did not need to do any additional work, said Vicario Brensley, of MNS Real Estate. The unit faces a “nice, European-style courtyard,” is “super quiet” and gets direct light “between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.”

Key features include the powder room off the dining area and 10-foot ceilings, which make for a “lofty feel.”

In addition to a recently renovated lobby, the building has a dry cleaner on-site and a small fitness room.

Location: The unit is just north of Madison Square Park between 26th and 27th streets, and close to many shops and restaurants, including the newly opened Italian chain Obicá. The N, R and 6 trains are at 28th Street.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s centrally located and Madison Square Park is a huge draw,” Brensley said. “It’s also one-of-a-kind regarding buildings in the area with its services and finishes.”

272 Water St., Apt. PH, South Street Seaport, Manhattan
1 Bedroom/2 Baths
1,575 square feet
$3.449 million
Common Charges: $1,414 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $1,455 per month
Open House: Sunday, July 27, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Built in the late 1800s, this former wine warehouse is located on a cobblestone street in the historic area of the South Street Seaport. Though this unit is part of the sixth and seventh floors that were added to the top of the landmark building in the early 2000s, “when you walk in, you feel it is a classic, historic loft space,” said Susie Park, of BLU Realty Group.

The building converted to condos in 2012 and this is the last sponsor unit available, she added. The developers gut renovated the “beautiful” space and “everything is brand new."

The penthouse has an open, floor-through layout with “views from every window,” Park said. In addition, “the main selling point” is 1,600 square feet of outdoor space — which includes a terrace off the living room and a private roof deck with 360-degree Downtown views and access from either an in-unit staircase or from the common stairway in the hall.

It’s adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge, and for buyers worried about noise, there is none, Park noted.

The lobby is part of the original infrastructure and features pillars and exposed brick. There’s a video intercom and virtual doorman.

Location: Sandy brought a lot of change to the Seaport, with many older businesses leaving, but several new ones opening up, Park said, adding that the new services coming in are making the area increasingly residential. The old mall at Pier 17 is about to be demolished to make way for a new upscale retail center. Eleven subway lines are less than half a mile away. The ferry is at Pier 11.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s hard to find an outdoor space and unobstructed views like this. It’s flooded with light,” Park said. “It’s also nice to be in the Seaport, which offers traditional, historic charms.”