Downtown living, from the large to the small
By Marissa Maier
Where Work Meets Play
155 Duane St., a six-floor townhouse in the heart of Tribeca, is unique for a few reasons, said Citi Habitats senior associate Keith Knight—and no, it isn’t just the $35,000-per-month rental fee. The historic building, completed in 1830, boasts an original indoor hoist from the 1800s—a remnant of the building’s former life as a commercial space—a conservatory and rooftop garden and an impressive art collection showcasing the work of local artists. For the first time, potential residents can now rent the entire townhouse, which includes two floors of office space. The building has been owner occupied since the 1990s, when it underwent a renovation.
“This is perfect for a film producer or someone with their own business,” said Knight of the office space, which includes a storefront office with a separate entrance and seven workstations. The worker bee doesn’t have to stray far from home to find gym amenities, as the second floor boasts a NordicTrack, weights, a custom hanging bar, a massage and exercise table. In the building are four sleeping areas, four baths and three showers; the master bedroom shower features a steamer, while the roof shower has a skylight.
Throughout the home, one will find exposed brick walls original to the building and pine beams. The house has also been featured on local tours.
The Small Wonder
When considering a property, the first concern for prospective buyers or real estate agents—at least stereotypically—is “location, location, location.” But for a 190-square-foot abode on nestled in an historic building in the West Village, the real question is “storage, storage, storage.”
“I call this the miracle on West 12th Street,” said real agent Jason Saft with Citi Habitats, who is representing the property, of the smartly configured, uniquely designed studio apartment. “I am a big fan of this listing. I live in an apartment about 50 square feet bigger, so I was excited to see how someone lives in this space.
“You can tell this home was someone’s baby,” Saft said. “Every single detail was so well thought out, it has great functionality.”
Living in a small pad, added Saft, means you must maximize space and eliminate clutter in any way possible. In this case, the owner created layers of hidden storage units, often using design elements like vintage mirrored medical cabinets to add both panache and shelving units. The owner also installed recessed lighting and a built-in alarm clock into the wall by the bed. While small, the apartment still includes a working wood-burning fireplace and a black tiled bathroom that harkens back to old New York City subway terminals. The building itself comes with roof deck and laundry room.
Saft also points out that at an asking price of $345,000, the apartment might actually be cheaper than renting in the trendy West Village neighborhood. He added that the building allows for gift purchases, pied-à-terres and guarantors. Depending on the down payment and the type of mortgage selected, a purchaser could pay in the ballpark of $1,300 per month for this studio, which Saft considers a bargain.
“Most places in the area rent for around $1,750-$2,200,” he noted. “But I don’t think you would find a place designed to this extent.”
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