Buy Curious

Buy Curious: Can a fitness fanatic buy downtown digs with an on-site gym for under $500,000?

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | September 18, 2013 - 1:22PM

In this week’s Buy Curious, BOND New York’s Stacey Max counsels a single young professional and regular gym-goer on what he can realistically afford to buy in Lower Manhattan.


“I’m a 26-year-old single guy. I work in tech in the Flatiron Distrct and I’m looking for a studio to one-bedroom apartment preferably in a busy/hip downtown neighborhood like the Lower East Side, East Village, West Village or Chelsea.

My budget is $500K or under, and I’d really like some amenities like a doorman and ideally a swimming pool and a decent gym as I like to work out a lot.”


The good news is that I’m going to be able to find you a great apartment for that price in those neighborhood.   However, finding one with the amenities you want  will be a challenge.

In order to get a real professional-quality gym (as opposed to a tiny on-site workout room with a handful of treadmills), you’re going to need to look toward a newer building or expand your location parameters to consider the Financial District, which is growing dramatically as a residential neighborhood. If you do take FiDi into consideration, you might even be able to get a condo.

If you prefer a “hipper” neighborhood like the East Village or the Lower East Side, there are some good doorman apartments in Coop Village, the neighborhood just south of the Williamsburg Bridge. 

However, some people don’t want to be so far out of the busiest part of the East Side downtown, and if that’s the case, you’ll probably have to sacrifice the doorman and the elevator.

If you’re willing to contemplate a walk-up, you can definitely find a small 1-bedroom in your price range; if not, you're probably looking at a studio, unless you compromise on some of your other requirements.

Here’s a Chelsea studio that meets your requirements:

  • Chelsea studio/1-bathroom co-op, $435,000: This alcove studio in the London Terrace Towers, a pre-war co-op on 23rd St. between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, has a gorgeous indoor pool. There's also an on-site health club you can join for an additional charge.

If you're set on a real gym and are a bit flexible on neighborhood, here are some listings in newer buildings in FiDi, south of the World Trade Center, which might work:

  • Financial District studio/1-bathroom condo, $500,000:  This 530-square-foot studio at 88 Greenwich Street boasts a number of amenities, including a 24-hour doorman, a live-in super, a business center, and most importantly, a fitness center with a yoga studio.
  • Financial District studio/1-bathroom condo, $498,000: This studio at 20 West Street has two large closets, a marble bathroom, and an open kitchen. And the building offers a slew of amenities, including a state-of-the-art 12,000-square-foot fitness center with spa and massage services, a yoga studio and sauna/steam rooms.

If being in a “hip” neighborhood is your most important criteria, check out these listings:

  • Lower East Side 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom co-op, $500,000: It’s at the very top of your budget, and this 1,000-square-foot 2-bedroom fixer-upper in Coop Village has great bones and an excellent view of the bridge and the city beyond. There’s also a fitness center where you can get your workout on.
  • East Village 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom co-op, $440,000: If you sacrifice the doorman, elevator, and gym, and are willing to consider a walk-up, you can get a small 1-bedroom, like this one at 228 E. 13th Street, which is well within your price range. And since it’s only $440,000, you can still afford to join an outside gym.
  • West Chelsea studio/1-bathroom co-op, $449,000: This charming studio on West 21st Street in the hot West Chelsea area is on a quiet tree-lined street in a smaller building, and has exposed brick and a decorative fireplace—but no place to work out.

Here’s a listing that might work if you really want a full-service building:

  • Gramercy 1-bedroom/1-bathroom, $495,000: For a little more space, and a doorman, you can move east into Gramercy and get this alcove studio that’s been converted into a 1-bedroom for only $495K.

Buy Curious is a weekly column in which NYC real estate brokers help buyers develop a realistic search strategy. Want some advice on your search? Send us your wish list.  Have some more advice for these buyers? Leave it in the comments.

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