Coming Out—Or Not—For Closet Space

built ins Coming Out—Or Not—For Closet Space

Real closets are hard to come by in New York.

“I’ve never had a showing where women didn’t ask about the closets. Men ask often, too, but always the women,” said broker Bill Martin, who was showing 321 East 43rd Street, apartment 314, at an open house on Sunday.

Ample closet space, like an in-unit washer and dryer, is one of those coveted and elusive amenities most Manhattanites aren’t accustomed to. This one-bedroom apartment had plenty of storage space for one person (or two), with closets in the kitchen, hallway, bedroom, bathroom and entrance area. Storage bins are also available in the building’s basement, as an added cost on top of the $499,000 asking price for the apartment.

Apartment 821 at 333 East 43rd Street has a creative solution for the lack of large, walk-in closets in pre-war buildings: built-in storage cabinets in the living room. A small, white cabinet sits near the front door of the apartment, and similar cabinets line the windowed corner of the living room. With cushions on top, these double as seating space in front of a kitchen table.

“Most people who are looking at pre-wars understand that in that era people didn’t have walk-ins so they appreciate the new things like the built-ins,” said broker Matthew Pucker.

Indeed, people during those times probably didn’t amass quite as much stuff as modern-day New Yorkers. But it is the age of excess.

The two-bedroom apartment, priced at $865,000, also has a bathroom closet, a small closet in the second bedroom and a large closet that stretches across one wall of the master bedroom.

The last unit we looked at, 216 East 47th Street, apartment 6 A/B, would be hard for any pack rat to resist. The apartment, which is really two adjacent units combined into one massive three- or four-bedroom, has about eight closets and comes with two basement storage bins.

“People like all the closets, they comment that they like them. They’re very important,” said broker Susan Lusardi.

Being an estate property, the apartment would need some sprucing up, but at $1.7 million it’s still not a bad deal.

Despite our natural inclination to believe that listings advertising closet space would net many an interested buyer, The Observer didn’t find any house hunters while we were at at this Sunday’s showings. Perhaps the temporary revival of that 90-plus-degree heat we’ve all come to fear kept the buyers away.

pengel@observer.com