Townhouse pick of the week

A Greenpoint townhouse with historic charm—but you may want to renovate

By Alanna Schubach | September 20, 2017 - 12:00PM 

This Milton Street townhouse, built in 1899, sits within Greenpoint's small historic district. It has a fresh, clean look inside, but it has retained some remnants of the past. There's plenty of charm, for example, in its decorative fireplace, bay windows, moldings, and high ceilings.

Nevertheless, you may still want to renovate. Compass has listed the house as a two-family for $2.7 million, but it's currently configured as a three-family, with a kitchen on each floor. Should you want two or all three floors to yourself, you'll need to get rid of those extra kitchens, as it's against New York City law to have more than one per unit (unless you keep kosher. You can also get Buildings Department approval to keep a "secondary kitchen" in the basement). 

Or you could keep things as is and enjoy the rental income—a StreetEasy search reveals that one-bedrooms rent for as much as $3,600 in this neighborhood.

On the top floor, the living room's large bay windows overlook the backyard, and the decorative fireplace centers the room. The adjacent galley kitchen is sunny, if slightly narrow, with a solid amount of storage space and a washer and dryer. One of the bedrooms, at the opposite end of the floor, also features bay windows. The floor plan reveals two more bedrooms—one looks tiny—and an office on this level, but only one bathroom. 

Downstairs is another living area, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom, plus a library, office area, and the front porch. The French doors and stained glass windows are an elegant touch. There appears to be ample closet space throughout. 

On the basement level is an additional living area, a study (or bedroom), a bathroom, and a kitchen, with what looks like an antique range, but no oven. This would likely make for the easiest renovation, if you'd like to have the lower two floors to yourself while renting out the top unit and need to get rid of a kitchen. Here, you also have direct access to the backyard, which has room for al fresco dining and entertaining. 

The facade of the brick house has the curb appeal befitting a historic district (it likely can't be changed much on the outside, by the way). Another plus is that it's only a block from the Greenpoint Avenue G station, but remember, that line is likely to be overwhelmed starting in 2019, when the L train shuts down temporarily. 



Alanna Schubach

Contributing writer

Contributing editor Alanna Schubach has over a decade of experience as a New York City-based freelance journalist.

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