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In the second installment of Take It or Leave It, our team of experienced renters gives us their take on an 850-square-foot one-bedroom in Nolita with a rather impressive outdoor space.* Our panelists—who have 43 years of rental experience between them—include RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter.
Size: 1 bedroom, 1 full bathroom
Location: 52 Spring St. in Nolita
Cost & concessions: $4,000/month
Flexible Layout: No
Subway: 6 at Spring St.; N, R at Prince St.; J, Z at Bowery; B, D, F, M at Broadway-Lafayette St.; B, D at Grand St.; J, N, Q, R, Z, 6 at Canal St.; F at 2nd Ave.
Pros and Cons:
Zeb: “A backyard where you can have a party? Check! A big 850-square-foot one-bedroom? Check! Walking distance to amazing restaurants, bars, and boutiques right down the block? Check! But since the place is street level, you’re going to be starved for sunlight and you give up any view. And the price tag isn’t very friendly.”
Lambeth: “The garden is pretty divine. With room for an outdoor table for six, it’s definitely larger than most [outdoor spaces in NYC]. Offering something of a ‘hip basement’ feel, the apartment gets props for spaciousness, originality (love the chalkboard wall!) and surprisingly good light for a ground-floor apartment. Still, the building shares a storefront with Anthony’s Liquor Store, which is good should you need to stir up a late-night martini, but may not be as quaint as the ad suggests.”
Lucy: “The outdoor space is incredible! Who wouldn’t want that? On the cons side, $4,000 is obviously a lot for a one-bedroom (even though it’s in a hot area and it’s pretty big). Also, the fact that it’s been on the market for over 50 days during the peak summer season raises some red flags. I took a look on Google Street View and it looks like this is a majorly no frills building. That might explain the hesitation.”
Who would this apartment be perfect for?
Zeb: “This is a great spot for an affluent single person who’s going to take advantage of the nightlife that’s right at hand, and who’ll bring home company to entertain. The space is equally good for a social couple, maybe Europeans relocating for a year to NYC. The yard is a big plus for pet owners and those with green thumbs.”
Lambeth: “A writer couple jonesing for a place that offers peace and quiet, as well as enough space for the parties they’ll throw for their editors who work in the nearby Hudson Square publishing ’hood.”
Lucy: “Anyone who loves entertaining outside (though obviously this perk would have been better used a little earlier in the season). And/or someone who wants to be in a trendy neighborhood but doesn’t mind a building that’s not trendy.”
TAKE IT “I researched one-bedrooms in the area and they average around $3,400. As much as it pains me to say it, with the garden patio, this place is not out of line with the market. If you’ve got $4,000 to spend on a one-bedroom apartment, you could do a lot worse.”—Zeb
TAKE IT “…if you’re looking for a place that offers a blend of quiet solitude and a quick walk to all that’s cool.”—Lambeth
TAKE IT “…if you can afford it. Look at that outdoor space!”—Lucy
*Turns out we were right on the money -- the apartment was just recently rented. If said renter is reading this, feel free to invite us over for an al fresco glass of wine anytime.
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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.