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Open House Agenda: 3 Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | April 10, 2015 7:36am | Updated on April 10, 2015 5:50pm
 Choosing an apartment that faces a park not only means green space is at your doorstep, but it mitigates the risk of a new development rising across the street and blocking your view and light.
Apartments Along Parks
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NEW YORK — Apartments facing parks enjoy two key benefits: A nearby green space can make up for lack of a yard, private terrace or roof deck. It also alleviates the concern about a new development going up across the street and potentially blocking the view and light.

These three Manhattan and Brooklyn park-facing apartments have open houses this weekend.

566 44th St., Apt. 1D, Sunset Park
2 Bedrooms/1 Bath
Approximately 700 square feet
Maintenance: $325 per month
Open House: Sunday, April 12, 3-4 p.m.

Lowdown: This self-managed co-op and the two at Nos. 570 and 574 were constructed in 1914 by Eisenla and Carlson — architects who also designed several of the limestone houses in Park Slope near Prospect Park. The three have adjoining backyards, where members host barbecues and social gatherings, said Peter Bracichowicz of Corcoran Group.

The sellers have owned this two-bedroom for about 30 years and, after renting it for the past four years — the maximum number in a row owners can sublet — decided to sell, Bracichowicz said.

The five rooms allow for a flexible layout. A renovation about 10 years ago updated the kitchen and bath but maintained several of the unit's original details, such as the claw-foot tub, which “are in immaculate condition.”

The city recently installed speed bumps on the one-way street, so even though it’s on the first floor, the apartment is quiet and doesn’t get much traffic noise, Bracichowicz noted, adding that there’s also a fence about 6 feet from the façade, so there’s a cushion between the building and the sidewalk.

With low real estate taxes and no underlying mortgage, the co-op’s common charges are incredibly low.

Location: Pre-war row houses line this block along Sunset Park between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Down 43rd Street toward the waterfront is the entrance to Bush Terminal Piers Park, which opened in November and has soccer and baseball fields as well as a nature preserve. The apartment is also close to Industry City, a revitalized complex of warehouses that has become a draw for artists, film companies, distilleries and other creative businesses.

The R train is at 45th Street and Fourth Avenue.

Why put it on your open house calendar? The flexible floor plan and location appeal, but the $325 a month maintenance is really eye-popping.

“A lot of people ask if it’s a mistype,” Bracichowicz said. “I just sold a one-bedroom [nearby] in a similar co-op and the maintenance was $705, so this is less than half for five rooms.”

418 Central Park West, Apt. 8, Upper West Side
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 838 square feet
Common Charges: $643 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $482 per month
Open House: Sunday, April 12, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: This “mint condition” apartment in the Braender building has a “huge kitchen” for a one-bedroom and “great storage,” said Abigail Perlman of Douglas Elliman, adding that it’s in one of the few pre-war condos in Manhattan Valley.

“It’s open and airy with 10-foot-5-inch ceilings and big bay windows looking onto the park," she said. "The views are going to be gorgeous once the park is in full bloom.”

A washer and dryer are allowed, and there’s a space in the bedroom with access to a water pipe where a closet for stackable units could be installed, Perlman noted.

The current $87.65 assessment is for improving the lobby, elevators and hallways. There isn’t an end date, but “assessments in this building don’t go on for too long,” said Perlman, who has family that live in the building. Additional storage is available for a fee of about $50 per month.

Some of the building’s griffins were taken down and placed in the courtyard, Perlman said. A 2006 New York Times’ Streetscapes column includes details about the Braender's history.

Location: The pet-friendly building is across the street from an entrance to Central Park that has a nearby dog run. It’s also along a “quieter portion of Central Park West,” Perlman noted. Columbus Square, a new development with shops and services, including a Whole Foods, is on 97th Street and Columbus Avenue.

The B and C trains are one block north at 103rd Street.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s a beautiful pre-war condo, which is rare on the Upper West Side," Perlman said, "and it’s an opportunity to live on Central Park."

2 Bayard St., Apt. 2A, Williamsburg
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 930 square feet
$1.145 million
Common Charges: $638 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $20 per month (abated until 2022)
Open House: Sunday, April 12, 2-4 p.m.

Lowdown: This condo across from the southwest corner of McCarren Park was one of the first of the new developments to go up in this section of Williamsburg a little more than 10 years ago. The seller purchased from the sponsor.

He looked at units on every floor and chose the second because its ceilings are higher than units on the other floors, said Howard Spiegelman of Compass.

“It’s nothing drastic, but the second floor is the tallest, and that means the mezzanine has the highest height as well,” at 5-feet, 9-inches. Where there’s now a curtain, a new owner could add a wall and have two separate rooms, each with a window.

The seller updated the apartment, swinging out the kitchen so it’s along the wall in the living and dining area. It’s hard to tell in photos, but the wall texture is slate tiles that protrude out, “like the game Jenga,” Spiegelman said.

In addition, the seller removed a coat closet near the entrance in order to enlarge the bathroom and replaced the tub with a glass shower stall. To make up for the lost storage space, he created a “huge” walk-in closet in the bedroom. There’s also additional storage above the washer and dryer closet in the living area.

The building offers storage units, a bike room and a roof deck.

Location: McCarren Park is sandwiched between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, with shops, restaurants and bars within walking distance. Williamsburg continues to develop: An MP Taverna restaurant from celebrity chef Michael Psilakis and new glass office tower “tech hub” planned for North 12th Street and Kent Avenue were both recently announced.

It’s less than half a mile to the Bedford Avenue L train station.

Why put it on your open house calendar? The ivy-covered terrace overlooks the park, and because of the mezzanine and ability to add two additional rooms upstairs, “it’s a unit you can grow into,” Spiegelman said.