Take It Or Leave It

Union Square for $3,500 a month—better for NYC visitors than veterans?

By Virginia K. Smith  | November 19, 2014 - 1:59PM

Your average NYC renter may not have $3,500/month to drop on a one-bedroom, let alone $4,500 if they want to get the place furnished. But for someone who's only here for a short while, an apartment loaded with amenities right in the middle of the action might be worth a splurge.

A one-bedroom is currently on the market in the perks-packed Zeckendorf Towers building off of Union Square (not, as the listing says, near Gramercy Park), with what seems like an awfully high price tag for a fairly plain-looking apartment (with a downright dingy kitchen). However, the apartment does have an enviable balcony, and residence in the building comes with a doorman, parking garage, gym, children's playroom, pool, hot tub, package room, and roof deck. Plus, with a maximum available lease of just six months, you wouldn't be locked into the high monthly price for too long.

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.-bed, 1 bath
Location: 1 Ir ving Place (between 14th and 15th)
Cost: $3,500/month, $4,500/month furnished
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 6 Days
Subway: L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 at Union Square; L at 3rd Ave; 6 at Astor Place; N, R at 8th Street; F, M, L, 1, 2, 3 at 6th Ave; PATH at 14th Street station

Pros and Cons:

"The listing boasts a location —right off Union Square—which can be either a pro or a con, depending how you look at it. It's certainly convenient, but it's also really busy with shoppers, tourists and NYU students alike. If you want to feel like you're in the heart of it all, then great. If not, it's not so great. The apartment appears slightly cookie cutter, but I love that balcony, and the pool and hot tub in the building are definite perks. Hey, for a short-term lease it's probably a pretty good deal. It even comes furnished if you like." - Lucy

"This is a one-bedroom half a block from Union Square in a fancy building with amenities that sound amazing. But they ain't cheap, and you aren't going to enjoy the roof or the balcony much in the winter." - Zeb

"Granted, this $3,500 one-bedroom is located in one of the most established buildings downtown and the large balcony is the biggest selling point, but it’s not exactly prime time to sun yourself outdoors. Also, a six-month rental at this high of a price won’t suit most of us. FYI: Check the fine print: There may be a broker's fee as well." - Lambeth​

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

"A young professional or couple working in New York City for a short time who want to really get all they can out of the city. The transportation options are great and the area is bustling. And for just a few months, the chaos shouldn't make you too crazy." - Lucy

"This is best suited to someone relocating for work and wants to take a few months to do their own apartment search. Better yet if you can get your company to pay the expensive rent." - Zeb

"A suburban couple, preferably empty nesters, who want to try out downtown living before officially moving into the city." -Lambeth

The Verdict(s):

TAKE IT "The rent may seem high, especially for the furnished option, but for that neighborhood it's about right. Plus, the perks are cool. You won't go broke after only a couple of months ... right?" - Lucy

LEAVE IT "This isn't for your average renter. It's for short-term renters that need a soft landing and have a big budget." - Zeb

​LEAVE IT "And visit the neighborhood during Union Square Greenmarket days to soak up the atmosphere instead." - Lambeth

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.​

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