Here are 5 NYC brownstone rentals if you want more privacy

By Austin Havens-Bowen  |
July 9, 2020 - 12:00PM

This three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath triplex in an East Harlem brownstone has an in-unit washer/dryer, modern kitchen, and backyard.


If you’re looking for a NYC rental now your priorities may be guided by the coronavirus pandemic. You may interested in space for working at home and more privacy and fewer shared spaces for better social distancing—so you may be interested in renting in a brownstone.

Brownstones that are configured as multi-family buildings usually only have two to four apartments, so you are in contact with fewer neighbors (and their germs) than you would be in a large rental building. Most brownstone rentals are full floors, so you won’t be as aware of people living on either side. Some brownstone apartments are configured as duplexes, separating the bedrooms from your living areas for more privacy.

You can find details like hardwood floors, built-in shelves, high ceilings, and fireplaces. And, these apartments are usually more spacious than apartments in big rental buildings, although the configurations may be odd. Watch out for bedrooms that are too small or lack windows (air shafts don’t count). Ground-floor apartments in brownstones also usually have access to private outdoor space, which is a bonus.

You can find rentals in brownstones in Brooklyn and Uptown Manhattan neighborhoods like Harlem and the Upper West Side. To help you with your search, Brick Underground has rounded up five that are available in Hamilton Heights, Bushwick, Park Slope, East Harlem, and Fort Greene. 

548 West 140th St., #3, Hamilton Heights

This one bedroom, one bath is asking $2,300. The no-fee rental comes furnished or unfurnished and has a private entrance, hardwood walnut floors, large windows, views of the backyard from the bedroom, quartz countertops, and new appliances. You get one month free on a twelve-month lease. The 137th Street/City College 1 station is a four-minute walk away. Nearby eateries include Oso and The Grange. 

1522 Putnam Ave., #1A, Bushwick

This two bedroom, one bath is asking $2,400. The first-floor apartment has large windows, hardwood floors, high ceilings, lots of closet and storage space, and original details like built-in cabinets, stained-glass windows, and moldings. The Myrtle/Wyckoff Avenues M/L station is a five-minute walk away. Nearby eateries include The Factory and Alex’s Luncheonette. 

481 12th St., #2C, Park Slope

This two bedroom, one and a half bath is asking $3,800. The no-fee duplex has exposed brick walls, large bay windows, hardwood floors, high ceilings, and a fireplace. Both bedrooms and a full bath are on the first floor and the half bath, kitchen, and living room are upstairs. The 7th Avenue F/G station is a six-minute walk away. Prospect Park is down the block and nearby eateries include Ottava and Ladybird Bakery.

153 East 115th St., #1, East Harlem

This three bedroom, one and a half bath is asking $3,980. The triplex features high ceilings, hardwood floors, LED lighting, stainless steel appliances, in-unit washer/dryer, exposed brick walls, a powder room, and finished basement. Rent includes heat. The 116th Street 6 station is down the block. Central Park is about a 10-minute walk away and nearby eateries include A’dar Cafe & Lounge and La Chula Harlem.

4 South Portland Ave., #5, Fort Greene

This two bedroom, one bath is asking $5,500. The top-floor apartment has high ceilings, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, five large closets, an in-unit washer/dryer, and a private rooftop terrace. The Fulton Street G station is a four-minute walk away. Fort Greene Park is across the street and nearby eateries include Cafe Paulette and Walter’s.



Austin Havens-Bowen

Staff Writer

Staff writer Austin Havens-Bowen covers the rental market and answers renters' questions in a column called Realty Bites. He previously reported on local news for the Queens Ledger and The Hunts Point Express in the Bronx. He graduated from Hunter College with a BA in media studies. He rents a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria with his boyfriend and their two cats.

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