Take It Or Leave It

Skeptical about Gowanus? This two-bedroom apartment might convert you

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | October 1, 2015 - 9:59AM

We're suckers for outdoor space, and this $3,250 Gowanus two-bedroom's got lots of space both outdoors and indoors. It's not modern and new, and, the kitchen looks rather dated, but we think it's still probably a pretty good deal.

Of course, the neighborhood, wedged between Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, is one of those love-it-or-hate-it areas. It's got an industrial vibe and an active art scene, plus a relatively new Whole Foods. But the Gowanus Canal, a bonafide Superfund site, runs through it.

The rent for this particular apartment was slashed by $50 about a week ago, and it's now just $25 more than the neighborhood median. So should  you make your move? We asked our experts (and veteran renters), RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin and freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, to weigh in with me on this week's Take It or Leave It.​

Size: Two-bedroom, one-bath
Location:  220 11th Street (between Third and Fourth avenues)
Cost: $3,250
Flexible layout: Yes
Days on the market: 12
Subway:  F,G, R to 4 Avenue-9th Street

Pros and cons:

"The space is generous—that kitchen is bigger than my first apartment (which I shared with two other people). And that outdoor area screams backyard barbeque. The interior's got nice touches like tin ceilings and crown moldings, plus less traditional features like a washer and dryer (!). But there are downsides too, of course. First, the apartment's on the ground floor so it may be dark, and safety could be an issue. And it sort of has an old apartment feel. Some might find it charming, others kind of icky. " —Lucy

"This old Brooklyn two-bedroom has nice big rooms and a private garden with a grill. It’s in up-and-coming Gowanus, and it’s close to major trains. This place compensates for a sort of unattractive finish with lots of raw space, especially in the kitchen." —Zeb

"This is a pretty sweet space for anyone with the slightest green thumb. And, while the garden itself could use some tending, there's lots of potential with this Gowanus two-bed duplex plus garden plus washer and dryer, which are huge draws. On the downside, this place is a bit pricey for the location." —Lambeth​

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

 "Someone who loves to spend time and entertain outside. And anyone who works near the F, G or R train, which is crazy close." —Lucy

"Hoarders rejoice! You have a walk-in closet to stash your stuff in, and a back yard to decorate with your kitsch. If you’re the type to make use of Brooklyn Boulders and The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, both are less than a mile walk away." —Zeb

"A lover of all things old school NYC—what's not to love about the clawfoot tub, pedestal sink and tin ceilings?" —Lambeth

The verdict(s):

TAKE IT "But meet the landlord first."—Lucy

TAKE IT "But only if you will definitely use the heck out of that garden come spring. If it looks like you’ll only use it sometimes, move on." —Zeb

TAKE IT "Settle in, enjoy the quick walk to the F, R and G (or the newish Whole Foods) and watch as this neighborhood gets better and better all the time." —Lambeth

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