Even apartments that have resulted from the combination of two units can challenge architects. When it comes to combining three units, you can’t count on a challenge that is, in most cases, insurmountable.
Such is the case of the co-op with the floor plan at the right.
At the top, the room that I had to cut off was a one-bedroom apartment. The first fully illustrated space now designated as “den/4th bedroom” was its the living room, and the incomplete one above was the original bedroom. Where you see the walk-in closet to the right of the current den was the kitchen.
Moving on down, the “staff/home office” was the alcove part of a studio apartment. The kitchen was in the room now turned into a laundry. And what now is the living room of the combined apartment functioned as the original unit’s public space.
That leaves the original two-bedroom apartment in which the present dining room was a living room at the end of the gallery; a gallery placed where it is and as spacious often is a dead giveaway that you are entering a combined apartment.
This particular combination presents a number of, shall I say, issues:
- Rooms are out of proportion with each other. An apartment of such size ought to have a much larger living room. And the kitchen, as nicely renovated as it is, is too big in relation to the other rooms;
- Notice that the old one-bedroom unit at the top essentially remains such, with awkward flow from the rest of the co-op, essentially tacked on;
- There is way to much useless hallway.
Facing north in the low 70s almost on Riverside Drive, the apartment in a pet-friendly 1924 building lacking amenities beyond bike room and playroom was expensively renovated, especially its wall treatments and its handsome kitchen with top-end appliances.
Only if the place worked better would it be worth the current asking price of $2.85 million, after three $100,000 reductions since it went on the market last July. Maintenance is $4,187 a month.
Below are some of the properties that I’ve recently visited and that are listed by various brokers:
- A two-bedroom, one-bath co-op just west of Amsterdam Avenue in the low 100s. The second bedroom had to be have been a dining room when the low-rise building with few amenities was constructed in 1940, but the 875-sf apartment is nonetheless a nice unit for its fair starting price of $650,000 with surprisingly high maintenance of $1,324 per month. There are a living room barely more than 11.5 feet wide, merely adequate bath, some newer hollow-core doors, wide galley kitchen with laminate countertops and no closet in that second bedroom.
- On Broadway in the high 90s, a beautifully renovated two- or three-bedroom, two-bath condo that has stunning views in three directions. This airy corner unit in a full-service 2006 building provides 9-foot ceilings, a washer/dryer, expansive master bedroom, high-end kitchen with four-burner Viking stove, wine cooler and granite countertops, and handsome baths. Listed at $2.395 million with monthly common charges of $1,741 and abated real estate taxes of $400, the apartment should sell for considerably less money.
- A stubbornly priced one-bedroom apartment in Lincoln Square. This basically renovated co-op — which is marketed as having a “new frig,” and other appliances along with a “coat of fresh paint” (think about the word order for a laugh) — is in a 1920 building that has an exercise room and roof deck but no doorman. It went on the mark last. . . June for. . . $495,000. Today’s offering price is $449,000 with monthly maintenance of $941 after two cuts, the last in December (!). It does, by the way, face walls.
- In the low 70s west of Columbus Avenue, a modestly renovated two-bedroom, two-bath co-op that rambles a bit, causing an open kitchen to mark the passage between living room and the good-size master bedroom. None of the exposures is open, one of the baths needs a new floor and the work done in this generally pleasant unit has a whiff of cost-saving. In a pet-friendly 1930 building with live-in super and a fitness room, this unit has been listed since early September for $799,000 with maintenance of $1,640 per month. The market is speaking volumes to the sellers, who aren’t listening.
- On Central Park West in the mid 80s, a 1,300-sf apartment with two bedrooms, two baths, central air conditioning and northern exposures that afford side views of the park. The master bedroom has impressive built-ins, the open kitchen is undeniably attractive (though not highest end), there is abundant closet space, and a washer/dryer is included. Given the exposures over a side street in a 1906 building with limited amenities and eye-opening monthly maintenance of $2,504 a month, this place is pretty expensive at its asking price of $1.679 million after a mammoth $16,000 reduction.
- A charming one-bedroom maisonette on Riverside Drive in the low 90s. This 903-sf co-op has an open kitchen hard by the entrance combining the newer (Viking stone and granite countertops) with the older (cabinets). Among the unit’s assets are its glowing parquet floors, a bath that has been modestly improved, washer/dryer, spacious dining area, very well proportioned rooms and built-ins such as bookshelves and, inside a bedroom closet, a desk behind doors of solid maple. In a 1929 doorman building, the apartment is listed at a tempting price of $720,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,243, plus a $78 assessment.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022