Take It Or Leave It

Take It or Leave It: Would you pay $3,500/month to live in this waterfront DUMBO loft?

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | October 30, 2013 - 8:59AM

This week, our team of Take It or Leave It renters—who have 43 years of renting experience among them—weighs the advantages and disadvantages of a waterfront loft in a landmarked building in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. Our panelists are RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter.

The Apartment:

Size: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom loft
Location: 25 Jay St. between John St. and Plymouth St. in DUMBO, Brooklyn
Cost: $3,500/month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 49
Subway: F at York St.; A, C at High St.; 2, 3 at Clark St.; R, 2, 3, 4, 5 at Borough Hall; A, C, F at Jay St.-Borough Hall; R at Lawrence St.; Ferry at Fulton Ferry Landing

Pros and Cons:

Zeb: “This renovated loft gets awesome light and has beautiful hardwood floors. But the only closed room in the space is the bathroom. Translation--no privacy. Plus, the East River views sound nice, but where are the pics?” 

Lambeth: “If you’ve always dreamed of living in a truly industrial loft, this could be the place for you. Love the history—the building dates to 1892 and once served as a coffee manufacturing plant—and the fact that the coffee tradition remains thanks to the Brooklyn Roasting Company located downstairs (which means that it might smell like coffee all the time, which is either a positive or a negative depending on how you feel about the best part of waking up). Unfortunately, the exterior of the building looks somewhat shoddy.”

Lucy: “Pros are 13-foot ceilings, more than 1,000-square-feet of space and the hip, loft-like feel of the apartment (and the neighborhood too). The main con—at least for me—would be that sleeping loft. Seems claustrophobic.”

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

Zeb: “Anyone looking for the Brooklyn loft experience. But they’ll be paying a premium for all that open space.”

Lambeth:  “A couple that loves to spend endless hours sipping coffee together.”

Lucy: “A not-so-starving artist or someone who’s cool with an unconventional layout. Also, anyone who likes to entertain. I know I want to go to a party there.”

The Verdict(s):

TAKE IT “…if you prioritize space and light over privacy and budget.”—Zeb  

LEAVE IT “The space looks too problematic.” —Lambeth

TAKE IT “If you can afford it and don’t mind the dearth of walls, this is a lot of space in a pretty cool building.” —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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