Out and About: You call that a dining room?

Call me a Luddite, but I think of a room with four walls when “dining room” shows up in a listing or on a floor plan.

With just two walls that mark the ends of an alcove, I’d call it a dining “space.”  Technically, however, I’m wrong, according to the New York City Administrative Code.

The Code specifies that a dining space may be no bigger than 55 square feet; that limitation suggests that anything else may be called a dining room.  (No dining “space” is permitted in an apartment with fewer than three rooms, the Code states.)

As is evident in the floorplan above, Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: Rents rise again, celebs on the move, U.S. prices up, Omaha one ‘livable’ city

Biggest and best Manhattan residential properties exceed prior peaks

Council raises fines on owners who illegally turn residential units into hotel suites

Owners of glam Brooklyn condo accuse developers, other companies of lapses in $200 million lawsuit

Manhattan rents again at all-time high, so apartment hunters accept compromises

Actor contracts to purchase three-bedroom Central Park West co-op that had rejected Mariah

After actress’ and partner’s move to the Village, she sells co-op in the city for $1.59 million

Can rock star feel the profit today in sale of his West Hollywood condos?

Johnny Continue reading

Out and About: Hard sell goes in just four months

Nice views from two-bedroom Upper West Side apartment.

An attractive apartment in a good location that has all the right features and a reasonable price normally sells with relative ease.

The two-bedroom, two-bath condo on a corner of Amsterdam in the low 90s had everything going for it — everything but the ability to see beyond the white panels that shrouded the windows for months during construction.

While property on the market often demands a buyer’s vision, this one called for an unbridled imagination. Continue reading

Out and About: Sow’s ear into silky sale

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down.

There probably isn’t a single apartment or townhouse without its drawbacks.

In the case of a beguiling co-op in the high 80s between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, the biggest — and perhaps only — drawback is the walls just outside the kitchen’s and one of the bathroom’s windows.

The designer who has put the place on the market for $699,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,147 has lovingly stripped and burnished the woodwork, selected warm and complementary paint colors, and had new hardwood flooring installed.  To my mind, his taste is beyond reproach.

But I was Continue reading

Out and About: Against the odds, different owners approve purchase of 3 adjoining units

In a building that I have often visited, this listing is not one that I happened to see.

But it caught my interest when a friend who lives in the somewhat dowdy Upper West Side building on Riverside Drive in the very low 90s expressed wonder at the asking price close to $9 million.

Although large apartments are much in demand, it is a lot of money, especially in light of the more than $1 million in renovations that likely must be undertaken to combine and, where necessary, upgrade the three co-ops (floorplan above) on the market as a single penthouse.

According to my friend, the couple in one of the units Continue reading

Out and About: Sale history could set record

Hours add up. . . to years. (Flickr photo by Ömer Ünlü)

It is pretty likely that some apartments and townhouses have been on the market for even a longer time, but a 2,030-sf apartment that has vainly sought a buyer at least since 2005 certainly deserves notice.

Vacant and desperate for renovation, the classic six-room condo is on a low floor of a desirable full-service building on Central Park West in the low 60s.  There are direct park views from living room and logical master bedroom (where the sound of screeching bus brakes does not make for easy listening), formal dining room,  maid’s room, galley kitchen, two bedrooms and two and a half baths.  A structural column in the middle of a vast foyer makes that space pretty much unusable.

Here is the strange price history to date Continue reading

Out and About: 2 decorating styles worlds apart

(Flickr photo by Hennie Schaper)

The difference décor can make in an apartment is not always as graphic as in two co-ops that I visited on West End Avenue in the high 80s.

Although the one-bedroom units are in the same line separated merely by a number of floors, they present themselves as whole worlds apart.

The one that happens to be on the higher floor gripped me with its appeal.  The one on the lower floor repelled me, yet it wanted virtually nothing.

Sleek, spare and also inviting, the higher apartment was not decorated exactly to my taste.  But Continue reading