Out and About: Can you tell book by cover?

Three-bedroom Upper West Side duplex is but one highlight of the co-op

Three-bedroom duplex has kitchen that is but one highlight of the co-op.

There’s nothing like an ugly duckling wearing pearls.

Woe to the seller of a gorgeous apartment in a building that offends its neighbors and hurts the eyes.

Such it is with a sparkling and stylish top-floor duplex on a Central Park block in the very low 90s.

Virtually nothing about the co-op could be better.  For one thing, there is a 400-sf roof deck overlooking the block’s lovely interior and not hemmed in by taller buildings.

Other qualities include lavish floors of Brazilian teak, numerous harmonious built-ins, a wonderful open kitchen with two sinks and top-end appliances, baths of uncommon beauty, terrific use of space, washer/dryer, through-wall air conditioning, excellent closet space, master suite on its own floor and an invitingly warm ambiance.

Can you guess which building contains the duplex?

Can you guess which building contains the duplex?

But. . .

The three-bedroom apartment is a long, slow ride up an elevator so small that it evokes cheap European hotels.

In addition, the façade of the 1910 townhouse tries hard to look attractive but fails miserably.  It sticks out like that proverbial thumb amid a block of brownstones.

All of that is well and bad, and it is going to cost the seller of the unit, however lovingly and expensively renovated, plenty of money.

With an offering price of $2.35 million with monthly maintenance of $2,298, the apartment may take some time to find the right buyer.  A lot of time. 

Below are some of the other apartments that I have visited and that various other brokers have listed:

  • A gorgeous one-bedroom condo with superb views east and west on a corner of Columbus Avenue in the very high 70s.  with 9.5-foot ceilings, mahogany floors, beautifully renovated open kitchen, Bose surround sound system, big customized, thoughtfully designed built-ins and washer/dryer, this 861-sf apartment in a pet-friendly 1984 doorman building was listed originally for $1.5 million with maintenance per month of $1,834.  Yet a $15,000 reduction in January isn’t nearly big enough. 
  •  Near the northwest corner of Central Park, an inviting one-bedroom co-op.  This 750-sf apartment provides bright light from the partially obstructed exposures to the north, a big foyer suitable for a desk, 70s kitchen, updated bath, well-proportioned rooms, floors in excellent condition and adequate closet space.  In a pleasant 1910 low-rise with part-time doorman and permissive pet and pied-à-terre policies, the unit is priced appropriately at $549,000 with monthly maintenance of $549,000.
  • A one-bedroom apartment with balcony in a pre-war building of no distinction in the mid 80s between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues.  There are characteristically low ceilings, adequate closet space, forgettable bath and small pass-through kitchen with an unacceptable amount of laminated surfaces.  Although the co-op has the virtue of facing south from a lower floor in a pet-friendly 1930 low-rise with only a laundry room as an amenity, it is opposite a school.  This place is offered for a not unreasonable $499,000 with maintenance of $971 per month. 
  • In a full-service 1967 building that forbids sublets and washer/dryers on Central Park West in the high 60s, a two-bedroom co-op.  With a 112-sf dining area, galley kitchen that approaches high end, two nice baths, layout marred by some pretty much unusual space at the foyer end of apartment, considerable closet space and terrific park views, albeit from a lower floor, this airy corner apartment is priced aggressively at $2.375 million with maintenance of $2,260 monthly. 

Tomorrow: Seller Stress

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Web site

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