Monday, October 13, 2008
Condos On the Park
Sigh. When I noticed the One Sunset Park banner go up a few weeks ago, a piece of my heart sank. Ironically, it was because the whole business (the scaffolding that went up and down pretty quickly, the construction crews and the bin o' demo trash handling that actually looked professional) seems to be a solid, responsible, up-and-up project. That is, in comparison to the many condo projects going down (up?) on 7th and 8th Avenues. I just get sad when the amount of rentals available goes down...especially since sales don't seem to be jumping around here. Maybe in a few months, these units will be available to rent?!
I avoided posting about it because I didn't want to give the place any advertising; I didn't (and truthfully, still don't) know how the new owners were treating their current renters - I believe this is a rent stabilized building. There are some horror shows going on in Sunset regarding the pushing and shoving out of long-time residents, after all. From what I've heard, and that's unofficial since it's from the realtors and a resident in the building, things are pretty calm. The resident I spoke to said that there hasn't been any harassment, but there have been inconveniences. No elevator for six months* (that may be an annoyed resident's wide estimation), construction noise, and "deals" made with residents if they buy into the condos were a couple of things she mentioned. Pretty standard, and certainly not like some of the tactics taken by more notorious members of our landlord community.
*The agent wrote to say that it was actually six weeks while the elevator was fully upgraded.
However, last week Brownstoner highlighted the place, so the secret was out. I suppose the huge banner accomplished that as well, but just for those of us who are already in the neighborhood. That said, you KNOW my curious (okay, nosy) self had to check out the work being done. So, I went to the open house to see what there was to see.
I thought I'd get to see several units; after all, the website advertises five units available. Not being an experienced conversion to condos type, I didn't realize that available doesn't mean completed. The only unit available for "touring" is the sales office, Unit 2C. It's a two bedroom and one bathroom unit for $435k at 830 square feet. It's very modern-looking, and it's very chic. The cherry floors, the full and separate washer/dryer, and the window shelf in the bathroom were particularly appealing to me. That, and the promised additional laundry in the basement. Sometimes you don't want to wash bathrooms rugs in the same machine you wash your underwear. You know?
It's not a ton of space; the master bedroom is large and has three closets. One is a walk-in. The second bedroom is more office-sized and has zero closets. Huh? Can that still count as a bedroom in a condo? Okay, so it's good for a single or a couple. It's still double the cost of a lot of the same-sized coops around here.
The kitchen has lots of storage and a large refrigerator (both doors open to allow large platters for entertaining!). It even has counter space. However, it's basically in a hallway, and you have to walk through it to get to the bedrooms and the bathroom. Not a problem if you live alone.
There is a very cute "Zen" garden off the lobby. It looks really good with a quick glance. With closer inspection, however, it shows some issues. The fountain is slightly off-kilter. Really slightly, but the water only pours out of one side. There is not a lot of room for more than one set of people to hang out and be Zen. Any more than that, and it's less Zen and more awkward standing room only at a cocktail party. Still, it's pretty and it is outdoor space.
I don't know. With houses in Bay Ridge offering backyards and parking and basements going for 200k more than a two bedroom/one bath condo with a $450 monthly charge (including common charge and taxes), is it worth it to have a fitness room and Zen garden and someone to handle the trash and elevator maintenance? Again, I don't know. My guess is the singles and couples the majority of these units will attract may think so. However, with an eventual 54 units available, I think it's going to be a long, long time before the majority turn-over and then sell. That could be a tough living situation.
At least the workmanship is professional (in the sales unit, anyway!). Many of the quickie condos going up are embarrassingly misguided in how to avoid gaps between walls and molding, tiles and corners, stairs and supports. And in many areas farther out (Bensonhurst, for example) they are selling for a lot more than these units.
So neighbors, I suggest stopping by for a look-see. I think open houses are every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 AM - 7 PM. Check the website below. It won't take long, and it's kind of fun. You'll even be offered some Poland Spring water. Check out that window shelf in the bathroom, and tell me it's not pretty.
Website for One Sunset Park.
(It's actually ON Sunset Park in the web address. I like that better. It's more accurate, anyway.)