Take It Or Leave It

Is this Dumbo two-bedroom worth $4,600 a month, even after a $250 discount?

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This week, our Take It or Leave It renters review a two-bedroom, two-bathroom Dumbo loft housed in a onetime shoe factory. The apartment—whose rent was recently shaved by $250 to $4,600 a month—offers a chef-friendly kitchen with stainless steel appliances and Caesarstone countertops, bathrooms with Venetian soaking tubs and in-unit laundry. Amenities in the condo building include a part-time doorman, a fitness center, a common roof deck, a cold storage room and a garage.

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 simply too charming to pass up, or will their skepticism about the recent rent reduction get in the way?

The Apartment:

Size: two bedrooms, two bathrooms                                     
Location: 133 Water Street between Adams and Washington Streets in Dumbo
Cost: $4,600/month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 25 days
Subway: F at York St.; A, C at High St.; 2, 3 at Clark St.; R, 2, 3, 4, 5 at Court St.; A, C, F at Borough Hall; R at Lawrence St.; Ferry at Fulton Ferry Landing

Pros and cons:

“This new-ish apartment has a nice kitchen, dual sinks in the master bath, and in-unit laundry. All are big pros. On the down side, there isn’t much of a view—the kitchen window seems to look out onto a brick wall—and you’d be living right under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo, and that’s a loud place to live.”—Zeb

“This is one of those Dumbo apartments that seem too good to be true. After all, what’s not to like about a Venetian soaking tub and Caesarstone countertops? Add to it a fitness center, roof deck and even a storage room for those must-have Fresh Direct deliveries--you’ll come to love Fresh Direct since there’s very little retail nearby--and you’d think this place would be a winner. But it appears to face the back of another buildings or a wall, and there have been ongoing issues--the building was built for condos, then converted to rentals, and now has transitioned back to condos again following an arduous bankruptcy protection situation in 2009. Perhaps this is the reason the rent was recently reduced?”—Lambeth

“The apartment is a new condo and it shows. Everything looks thoroughly modern, and I love the open look of the living room/dining area. Also, the square footage—over 1,100—is pretty generous. The second bedroom looks a bit on the small side, but surely that’s not too big a sacrifice to make for all the extras, like the washer/dryer. On the down side, it looks like the building is a bit of a hike from the subway. And there’s only a part-time doorman. Maybe that explains the recent $250 price reduction.”Lucy

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

“This place would be good for a pair of professional roommates or a couple who don’t mind the lack of a view.”—Zeb

“Someone who loves the loft-like feel of this apartment, doesn’t mind subletting from a condo owner and doesn’t care that a lot of units are for sale within the building.”—Lambeth

“A young couple, maybe with a child, that wants to live in uber-hip Dumbo and really appreciates new apartments over pre-war charm.”Lucy

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT “Don’t be swayed by the shiny new appliances and soaking tubs. Find a quieter place with nicer views.”—Zeb

LEAVE IT “Wouldn't you want a full-time doorman to greet you once you return home to this building down under the Manhattan bridge overpass?”Lambeth

TAKE IT “If you can afford it, and want something new and spacious. This apartment ticks off all those boxes.”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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