When the pandemic shut New York City down in March, Christopher Grant and Madison Shapiro left their apartments in Chelsea and Hoboken and moved in with Christopher’s parents in Amagansett, New York, on the East End of Long Island. But the couple wanted their own space and were eager to get back to the city, where they could take advantage of Manhattan's stalled rental market. Their timing paid off and they landed an apartment in a full-service building in Tribeca with three months free and no broker fee. The two were represented by Jessica Silver, an agent with CORE. Here’s their story.
Christopher: At the beginning of the year my brother and I lived together in a five-story walkup in Chelsea. Our lease was up at the end of June. Then, in mid-March we went out to my parents' place in Long Island and the shutdown went on and on, so we just drove back to the city, packed up and left. March, April, and May in the city were obviously very quiet and everyone left. But then things were starting to pick up again and obviously we love New York and there was a little bit of desire and hunger to get our own space and get back to New York.
We are still working remotely. In the summer, my brother ended up getting a place in the city and we continued to stay with my parents but with Maddy starting a new job in the city it made sense for us to look for a new place.
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We knew we wanted to be in a full-service elevator building especially because I used to live in a five-story walk up. The difference between the gross rent and the net effective rent was initially hard to navigate—because the gross rent could be one amount but upon renewal that could skyrocket pretty significantly and we didn’t want to just rent for 12 months and go through the hassle of moving again.
Madison: We only looked at one building—Tribeca Tower—it was kind of on a whim. We saw six apartments and the layout is the same on every floor for each line. We were deciding between two layouts. We have a half solarium and the other one had a full solarium but it had another bath. We didn’t need a one bed with a one and a half bath; it didn’t make sense for the price and the apartment we went for was on a higher floor.
Christopher: The net effective is $4,500 and the gross will be $5,600. It’s on the 49th floor: One bed, one bath, a pretty nice kitchen, great views of One World Trade and the Statue of Liberty. I’ve always liked Tribeca. I was in Chelsea before—I liked it but I didn’t love it and I love West Village but I feel too many of the buildings were prewar shoe-box apartments and I knew Tribeca had more new developments. It's a quieter neighborhood, really close to Greenwich Street and the West Side Highway. The building has a gym, pool, elevator, doorman and it's a dog-friendly building in the event that we get a dog.
We signed a one-year lease with three free months so the lease will be up in 15 months time. We asked if we could pay the net effective rent but they said no. It doesn’t make a huge difference at the end of the day, so we are paying the first month and then we won’t pay for December, January, and February and then the next time we’ll pay rent will be in March next year.
Madison: We do feel we took advantage of the market, which is really great. We got three months free and didn’t pay the broker fee. When demand picks up who knows if these apartments would even be available. We have really great views and are excited to be back to the city so it worked out really well.
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