Take It Or Leave It

Take It or Leave It: Does a communal garden justify this SoHo studio’s $2,700/month price tag?

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If you’re as starved for outdoor space as most New Yorkers are, the idea of living in a building with a peach- and apricot-tree-lined communal garden may sound divine. But will moving into this $2,700/month SoHo studio—which also has a decorative fireplace AND a walk-in closet—mean you'll be starved for indoor space? Our trio of renters—including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter—weigh in for this week’s Take It or Leave It.

The Apartment:

Size: studio, 1 bathroom                                                       
Location: 143 Sullivan St. between Prince and W. Houston Sts. in SoHo
Cost & concessions: $2,700/month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 19 days
Subway: C, E at Spring St.; 1 at Houston St.; N, R at Prince St.; B, D, F, M at Broadway-Lafayette St.; 6 at Bleecker St.; A, C, E, B, D, F, M at W. 4th St.

Pros and Cons:

Zeb: “This SoHo building sounds really nice—with bike storage and a shared yard. But $2,700/month is a lot to spend for a squished studio that will be a challenge to move around in.” 

Lambeth: “This SoHo studio is a cozy--read: small--spot to call home, but when the weather’s nice at least you’ll get to escape to the common garden you’ll share with your neighbors. And while you’ll never want for storage space in this second-floor abode, all those built-ins only make this teensy place feel even more claustrophobic.”

Lucy: “I love some of the details in the apartment—the exposed brick, the black-and-white tiling in the kitchen and the built-in shelving which provides essential storage for a small studio. Also, the listing says there’s a communal garden--with peach and apricot trees!-and that the co-op application is easy. Oh, and the neighborhood could not be more desirable. On the downside, the place is small--hope you don’t love to cook, check out that 'kitchen’--and since it’s a co-op, there may be a limit to how long you can rent it. That's likely 2 years—though you might grow out of it by then anyway."

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

Zeb: “A wealthy singleton who doesn’t need a lot of space and is willing to overspend in order to live in a great location.”

Lambeth: “An NYU student with parents willing to pay or split the rent.”

Lucy: “A young, single person who loves to go out to eat, and doesn’t plan to spend too much time at home entertaining.”

The Verdicts:

LEAVE IT “…unless you absolutely must live in this area. It’s just too expensive.”—Zeb

LEAVE IT “Spending $2,700/month for a one-room apartment is a lot—even in SoHo.”Lambeth

TAKE IT “If you’re looking to be in a great neighborhood and appreciate style over space, I say go for it.” Lucy

Ready to rent? Check out our How to Rent Guide...and if the apartment you like requires a guarantor that you don’t have, see if the landlord accepts Insurent, a guarantor solution from one of BrickUnderground’s sponsors.


Take It Or Leave It is a weekly column in which a panel of long-time renters weighs in on the pros and cons of an apartment that’s currently on the market.

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