It is fair to say that buyers entering a round room unfailingly fall in love with the place.
Rooms evocative of Repunzel in her tower possess far more allure than, say, Sub-Zero refrigerators, palatial master bedroom suites, wood-burning fireplaces and views to die for.
Forget about cookie cuttters when the very novelty of a round room can excite envy, generate conversation and embrace all who enter there. They seem to define difference that only excessive amounts of money can buy.
Conversely, rooms with sharply angled corners may look interesting only on paper.
That’s because odd-shaped rooms that aren’t round tend to call attention to defective layouts. They seem squeezed into a residence, sometimes suggesting charm while raising questions simultaneously, often subconsciously, about compromises that an architect had to make.
What I’ve noticed about round rooms is that they rarely are found in new buildings; they tend to be features of very old buildings encrusted with carved ornamentation.
A round room that I saw in an intriguing apartment in the low 70s off Broadway got me going on the subject. That it had a bath of singular angularity was a bonus, but I couldn’t photograph it well enough to demonstrate the odd shape.
In any case, the 2,800-sf condo is the combination of three units, and the layout evokes that past. Designed around a light well, the apartment has one long hall. off of which are a half bath and laundry; a fourth bedroom accessed via a room used as a library; a semicircular bath off that bedroom; a top-end open kitchen that also is semicircular (hemispherical?); a large dining area opposite the kitchen; and an unforgettable “great room” that is 20 feet in diameter.
There are three soundless windows overlooking Broadway in the low 70s from about halfway up the distinguished 1904 building, central air conditioning and a sprawling master bedroom suite with a big dressing area lined with clothes leading to a triangular walk-in closet.
It is a memorable apartment. So, too, is the price: $5.45 million with common charges of $3,530 and real estate taxes of $1,639 a month. And that proved to be no deterrence to one buyer; the place already is under contract.
Below are some of the other properties that other brokers have listed and that I visited prior to my travels overseas:
- On West End Avenue in the mid 90s, a one-bedroom co-op with only courtyard views from the living room. However, the bedroom of this 600-sf apartment has largely open exposures west. Closet space is minimal, the condition is good, and the galley kitchen is tiny and dated, containing appliances that are approximately half-size. In a pet-friendly 1935 low-rise with few amenities, the unit is offered at an appropriately reduced $379,000 with monthly maintenance of $916.
- An expansive one-bedroom apartment on a Central Park block in the mid 60s. With a balcony (unfortunately) accessed through the bedroom, this apartment in a full-service 1969 high-rise with numerous amenities has a modest interior kitchen, decent bath, generous closet space and ceilings of standard height. Its asking price of $930,000 with maintenance per month of $1,080 is within range of comparable sales in the building, so it found a buyer in three weeks.
- In the high 80s just east of Amsterdam Avenue, a well-priced three-bedroom co-op with perfectly acceptable maid’s room. There are three baths that pleasantly combine old and new features, modern galley kitchen with GE Profile appliances and merely decent cabinets, mostly open exposures west from three rooms, a good-size dining area between the foyer and everything else, fresh paint, nicely refinished floors and welcoming entry. In a pet-friendly 1983 doorman building, this corner apartment should sell not far below its asking price of $1.75 million with monthly maintenance of $2,995. In this sellers’ market, thus unit, too, was gone within three weeks.
- A beautifully renovated two-bedroom apartment flooded with sun from the south on a lower floor of in Morningside Heights east of Broadway. With modern, albeit narrow, galley kitchen, gleamingly refinished floors and rooms of pre-war proportions, this co-op in a permissive 1909 building that has a doorman, roof deck and gym is well priced at $799,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,288. And yes, it went to contract in a mere month.
Tomorrow: Luxury condo at auction
To take your own bite out of the Big Apple, you have the option here to search all available properties privately.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022