Take It Or Leave It

Does a pool and rooftop garden justify $2,300/month for a small Brooklyn studio?

By Virginia K. Smith  | August 6, 2014 - 9:59AM

We'd all like our building to be a little greener and more environmentally friendly, and we'd all really love day-to-day access to a pool. Add Sunday bagel breakfasts, a fitness center, yoga classes, a sauna, 24-hour concierge service, a rooftop garden, and a tricked-out apartment to the mix, and we could potentially be talked into this $2,300 a month studio in "green" downtown Brooklyn condo building the Toren. (To sweeten the deal, the owner's offering to pay half of the broker's fee on this one.)

But will you spend enough time in the rest of the building to make up for your tiny (and pricey) apartment, and does downtown Brooklyn really hold that much appeal? Our veteran renters—including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter—weigh in for this week’s Take It or Leave It.

Size: 1-bath studio​                         
Location: 150 Myrtle Avenue (between Gold Street and Fleet ​Place)
Cost: $2,300/month​
Flexible Layout: No​
Days on the market: 3 days​
Subway:  R at Lawrence St.; 2, 3 at Hoyt St.; B,Q, R at Dekalb; A, C, F at Jay St-Borough Hall; A, C, G at Hoyt & Schermerhorn; 2, 3, 4, 5 at Nevins; R, 2, 3, 4, 5 at Borough Hall​

Pros and Cons:

"This is one of those typical brand new luxury rental buildings where the amenities are awesome—indoor pool, sauna and Sunday bagel breakfast!—and the finishes are top notch, complete with totally luxe appliances. That said, the apartment is not big—less than 500 square feet—and it's still a studio, so you'll have to contend with living in one room. For $2,300 a month. The fact that 50 percent of the broker's fee is paid is a perk, but a lot of these kinds of buildings in less-than-ideal neighborhoods have no broker fees at all, so keep that in mind." - Lucy

"This 494-square-foot studio doesn't skimp on the bells and whistles. Brazilian Ipe walnut floors! A deep soaking tub! A gourmet kitchen—it's really more of a wall in the living room but still! Unfortunately, $2,300 is a steep price to pay for a small space with a view of low-income housing in this nether neighborhood—it's neither Dumbo nor is it truly Fort Greene. It's no wonder the building offers catered Sunday bagel breakfasts—there aren't that many places to eat near here and the supermarket downstairs is deemed pricey by tenants, according to Yelp." - Lambeth

"This is an extra fancy studio apartment in a new shiny new high-rise, so it's near tons of subways. Usually the price is the con in this situation, but the price seems fair." - Zeb

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

"A bachelor or bachelorette who wants all the perks of a state-of-the-art luxury building and doesn't mind being something of a pioneer in a still up-and-coming neighborhood where the area's amenities are coming, but not totally there yet." - Lucy

"A homebody who will take advantage of the building's perks, like the fitness center, indoor pool, library and roof garden." - Lambeth

​"A young professional or an older pro on a budget. Someone who will take advantage of the amenities, the location, and enjoy the view." - Zeb

The verdict(s):

LEAVE IT  "You can probably get a similar deal with no broker fee in a slightly more desirable area. Though I'll admit, I was seriously weighing saying Take It. It just depends on your priorities in a home." - Lucy 

LEAVE IT "Sure, the owner has offered to pay half the broker fee but know this: most of the new buildings in this neighborhood are no-fee. I say keep looking." - Lambeth 

TAKE IT " Do your homework first, and if people like living in the building, go for it!"  - Zeb

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.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.