Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Boutique Living!

The picture's a little out of date. It was taken a couple of years back, when 314 12th was about to hit the market. The exterior of the building was tidied up somewhat by the time the apartments were put on the market, in February '13, but the general look's essentially the same. In 2013, 314 was listed as "Park Slope's newest boutique condominium" and units for sale included a three- bedroom apartment listed at $1,495,000, and a "one bedroom" (#1) at $769,000.  Apartment #1 is currently listed at $789,000, dropped in price from an earlier $825,000 in November '14.   The listing description seems to be frozen in time.

"Nestled on a beautiful tree-lined block, this 956 square foot flexible duplex residence with 1.5 baths and private deeded rooftop terrace space is offered for sale in Park Slopes newest boutique condominium. 314 Twelfth Street is a newly constructed, 25 foot wide townhouse containing only 6 homes located very close to 5th and 6th Avenues."

Ah, but today's buyer should always be wary of the word "flexible" - all too often euphemistic for a housing arrangement that's awkwardly laid out, or somewhat creatively billed.  Though it's listed as a one-bedroom, Apartment #1 has a first floor living space facing the street (its two "oversized" windows can be seen above) and a windowless basement (well, cellar, technically), shown on the floorplan as a rec room, and contravening building code if used as a bedroom.

What is a “bedroom”? (Source: NYC Administrative Code § 27-2004, -2076, -2058; MDL § 1-4-18)
• Definition: A bedroom is a living room used for sleeping purposes.
• Size requirements: Generally, a bedroom must have minimum dimensions of 8 feet x 8 feet x 8 feet. A bedroom
must also have a minimum floor space of 80 square feet, and must be six feet wide at its narrowest part.
However, if the apartment contains three or more bedrooms, half of the bedrooms may have minimum
dimensions of 7 feet x 7 feet x 7 feet.
• Lighting Requirements: All bedrooms must have at least one window that opens to a street, yard, or court on the
same lot.
o The window may also open to a balcony that opens on a street, yard, or court.
o The total area of the windows in the room must at least be one-tenth the floor area of the room. All

required windows must be at least twelve square feet in area.

What are “basements” and “cellars,” and when may they be occupied as apartments? (Source: NYC
Administrative Code §§ 27-2004, -2082, -2083, -2086-87)

• Definition: A basement is an enclosed space partly below curb level, but having more than one-half its height above curb level. A cellar is an enclosed space having more than one-half its height below curb level.
• Occupancy requirements: Units in basements and cellars of multi-family dwellings have complicated requirements regarding their dimensions, lighting, and ventilation, and whether they may be occupied. In addition, no room in the cellar of a one- or two-family dwelling shall be rented and no member of the family or families occupying the dwelling shall use such room for sleeping.

So really this is a $789,000 studio plus cellar space.

With developers desperate to max out every possible square inch of footage, this kind of real estate offering is all too common.

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