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Open House Agenda: 4 Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | October 3, 2014 7:50am | Updated on October 3, 2014 5:41pm
 Sleeping lofts maximize an apartment's square footage. Here are four with stunning renovations.
Open Houses With Sleeping Lofts
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NEW YORK CITY — With space always a premium in this city, some apartments maximize square footage with sleeping lofts, particularly in pre-war buildings that tend to have higher ceilings than new construction.

Several units with such loft spaces are on the market this week. Here are four in “hot” neighborhoods.

555 Washington Ave., Apt. 3L, Clinton Hill
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 600 square feet
Common Charges: $556 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $284 per month
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 5, 1:30-3:30 p.m., and Tuesday, Oct. 7, 5-6:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Interest in this “sun-drenched” unit is so high that the sellers increased the asking price by $10,000 just two days after listing it earlier this week. The landmarked neo-Gothic building formerly housed a seminary and prep school before being converted into condos in 1988.

“It’s an amazing space, with 14-foot ceilings, crazy arches, double-sized windows and a sloping ceiling that leads to a small circular window,” said Sam Sullivan of Douglas Elliman. “There’s nothing cookie-cutter about it. It’s unique and has fairy tale-like features.”

Since purchasing the unit three-and-a-half years ago, the sellers, who are Broadway performers, put new floors in the loft area, replaced the loft's ladder with a staircase, built out the closets and last year gut-renovated the kitchen, Sullivan said, noting that its “huge” window has full Brooklyn views. There are also built-in shelves that use old piping and reclaimed wood.

Unlike the other units featured this week — and most loft apartments — the bedroom is on the main floor, so the loft space can be used as a guest room, office or den.

Residents enter through the building’s large courtyard, which is “where the priests used to play handball and basketball.” Amenities include a doorman, bike room and laundry on each floor.

Location: The Clinton Hill building is one block from the Clinton-Washington avenues C train and is near the border of Prospect Heights, so there’s the best of both neighborhoods. The Finch, a new restaurant helmed by a former Roberta’s chef, is slated to open a few blocks away.

Why put on your open house calendar? “It’s a wonderful quirky apartment and amazing to see so many Gothic details,” Sullivan said.

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3 Hanover Square, Apt. 3F, Financial District
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 900 square feet
Maintenance: $1,269 per month
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 5, 2-3 p.m.

Lowdown: The sleeping loft of this unit in the former New York Cotton Exchange has high ceilings and the walk-in closet is huge. But “the main attraction" is the kitchen and living area, with a big open feel that's great for entertaining, said Dario Mannarino of Corcoran.

In addition to the bedroom, there’s an office space in the loft area and, even though it’s on the third floor, “the light is good.”

Previous owners renovated the unit, including the kitchen and bathroom, about six years ago. The current sellers installed CitiQuiet windows.

“It’s not noisy, but some people just don’t want to hear any noise,” Mannarino said.

The 24-hour doorman building has a “pretty flexible pet policy,” and owners are allowed to add laundry in the apartment, Mannarino noted.

Location: The neighborhood is “more residential than ever” and new services and residents continue moving into the area as One World Trade Center prepares to open. The Pier 11/Wall Street ferry stop is two blocks away. Seven subway trains are within a roughly five-block walk.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s priced very well," Mannarino said, noting that it's about $100 per square foot less than two similar units that recently sold in the building. “And there are not that many loft-style apartments in the Financial District.”

28 Old Fulton St., Apt. 3L, DUMBO
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 690 square feet
Maintenance: $650 per month
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 5, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Not only is this renovated unit located in the beautiful landmarked Eagle Warehouse & Storage Co. building — with its large red-brick arched entrance on Old Fulton Street — but the seller reduced the price this week by $36,000.

“A lot of people have said, ‘Wow, great space,’ but the sleeping loft itself is not very tall and that’s been the challenge. By lowering the price, that allows [a buyer] to use those savings toward remodeling to eliminate or lower the loft,” said Dogan Baruh of RES New York.

The seller kept the industrial feel of the building when she remodeled, adding an iron and stainless steel staircase to the loft and a similarly styled floor-to-ceiling shelf system, Baruh noted. The three mirrors visible in the living room photos are actually reclaimed window frames from the Flatiron Building in Manhattan, he added. The owner is willing to sell those with the apartment.

The kitchen cabinets are custom and lighted from above and below. The unit has a large walk-in closet near the entrance as well as a washer and dryer. The west-facing unit gets “an oblique view” of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge.

Building amenities include a part-time doorman, live-in super, exercise room and bike storage.

Location: The unit is on the border of Brooklyn Heights. Grimaldi’s, the River Café and other restaurants are steps away, as is Brooklyn Bridge Park. The East River ferry is down the street. The nearest trains are the A and C at High Street and the F at York Street.

Why put on your open house calendar? “It’s a unique building with a lot of history," Baruh said, "and when you step out, you have the Brooklyn Bridge and great restaurants right in front of you.”

459 12th St., Apt. 3A, Park Slope, Brooklyn
2 Bedrooms/1.5 Baths
Approximately 1,400 square feet
$1.075 million
Maintenance: $950 per month
Open House: Sunday, Oct. 5, 1-2:30 p.m.

Lowdown: The seller of this “unique and special apartment” renovated the kitchen and bathroom, installed glass-sliding panels on the main bedroom loft for privacy and added windows, said Debra Bondy of Corcoran.

“There is amazing light," she said. “He also put in skylights with retractable shades, and opened up the area that is the second bedroom and keeps it as an office."

The unit also has exposed brick, ample closets, built-in storage and “14-foot-and-change ceilings." There’s laundry in the full bathroom on the main level.

A second set of stairs leads to a third-floor landing — which could be a home office — and a private entrance to the common roof deck. There is no elevator.

The self-managed co-op allows pets, provides basement storage and stroller parking under the stairs. Subletting, however, is not allowed.

Location: This South Slope building is between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, with Prospect Park is a little more than a block away. The F and G trains are at Ninth Street.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s just a very cool, unique space with tons of light and an extra story,” Bondy said. “And it’s beautifully done and in great shape. All you have to do is unpack.”