Take It Or Leave It

Is a Gramercy Park studio with a roofdeck and an offbeat lobby worth $2,700 a month?

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Calling all Anglophiles. The lobby at this Gramercy Park co-op building, fittingly named the Penny Lane, mimics a London street, with wrought iron gates and quaint brick facades. Inside, an apartment on the market features a sleeping loft big enough to fit a king-sized bed, a private Juliet balcony, 12-foot ceilings, a renovated stainless steel kitchen with granite countertops, and three large closets.

Do our panelists—including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter—think it’s charming or just plain odd? Read on to find out in this week’s Take It or Leave It.

The Apartment:

Size:  Studio with lofted sleeping area, 1 bathroom                                         
Location: 215 East 24th Street between Second and Third Avenues in Gramercy Park
Cost & concessions: $2,700/month+no broker’s fee
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 14 days
Subway: 6 at 23rd St.; N, R at 23rd St.; L at 3rd Ave.; L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 at 14th St.-Union Square

Pros and Cons:

“Pros for this Gramercy Park apartment include the fact that it’s in a well-maintained building with a common roof deck, a doorman and parking. Major cons are the lofted sleeping area, meaning you won’t be sleeping in a real bedroom, the fact that you’d need to be approved by the board before moving in [because the building is a co-op], and the price.”—Zeb

“I’d take this place for the planted roof deck alone—and for the cute fact that it’s in a co-op building named after a Beatles song. It’s definitely quirky, but it looks well-maintained overall. On the downside, I’d worry that there aren’t any photos of the bathroom and the apartment itself offers very little privacy. You can’t count the Juliet balcony since it’s just good for air flow—not a place to have a solo cup of coffee. Also, it’s a stretch to call this a one-bedroom since the bed’s in a loft right over the kitchen. Finally, with board approval a must, there’s the potential for a long interview process before you’d be able to move in.”—Lambeth

“The neighborhood is the major draw here. Gramercy is posh, convenient and has great restaurants. Other pluses are the fact that there’s no broker’s fee and that each floor in this building has two laundry facilities, so you’re less likely to have to wait forever for a machine during peak times. On the con side, the apartment is basically a studio with a lofted sleeping area. That’s fine for a single person but may not be ideal for two. Also, the London-themed lobby is kind of strange, and might not be to everyone’s liking, though some may find it charming. Also, you'll need board approval, since the building’s a co-op. That can be a major pain.”Lucy

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

“Someone who wants the perks of living in a luxury-style building in Gramercy, and who doesn’t mind a bit of a climb to get to their bed every night.”—Zeb

“One person or a couple that gets along really well.”—Lambeth

“A single person who really wants to be in Gramercy--or London--and gets a kick out of the kitschy charm in the lobby.”Lucy

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT “You can find a real one-bedroom or a classic studio in the same neighborhood for a similar price.”—Zeb

LEAVE IT “While it’d be fun to call a former ice cream factory home, that’s not enough of a reason to pay this much for a glorified studio.”Lambeth

LEAVE IT “I wasn’t sure about this one, to be honest, but I think the board approval requirement and the fact that it’s a small space are enough to work against this apartment.”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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