“Everybody seemed to be targeting the East Village and West Village, but they’re finding prices are better here,” said the Douglas Elliman broker for 226 East 12th Street, apartment 4H, a prewar co-op on a tree-lined street. The one-bedroom apartment is going for $495,000 and was one of the hits of the day—it has a spacious living room and a kitchen big enough to move around in, which is more than we could say for some of the cheaper units we stopped by.
This week for Your Open House we took a look at one-bedrooms in the East Village, and most people we talked to noted that they were drawn to the tree-lined streets and vast entertainment options of the downtown villages, but wanted something less pricey than the west one.
“I used to rent here a while ago and I loved the neighborhood—the entertainment, the food, the social activities,” said Ken Castelino, who buys and sells bonds for a living. He was looking at 115 East 9th Street, apartment 10G, a 725-square-foot one-bedroom asking $759,000.
The apartment’s shining feature was its ample storage space (three hall closets and one in the bedroom), but the kitchen certainly stood out as well. It looks like some sort of aluminum aquarium, with mermaid art, green tile and a silver-painted wall to match the shiny metal appliances.
“With this area, the inventory isn’t always great and so when something good comes up people recognize the deal,” said broker Noam Gottlieb.
The available apartments at 414 East 10th Street might not have been “great inventory,” but at prices near $300,000 it’s hard to complain. And tenants can get creative with the space to fit their needs.
Unit 4E had been converted from a one-bedroom to a studio by its most recent, occupant (whom the broker described as “arty”), which makes the place feel less cramped (but that could have something to do with the fact that there was no visible bed anywhere). The wood floors weren’t exactly “sparkling,” as the listing suggests, but the colorful kitchen (painted bright blue and yellow) looked fairly new and rather inviting. This apartment is listed for only $295,000.
The one-bedroom downstairs, however, was a bit more spatially challenged.
“This place is small, you might as well make it into a closet or storage room,” said one visitor of unit 2D‘s tiny bedroom. The double bed took up nearly the entire room.
The rest of the apartment, which is asking $335,000, seemed big enough (for one person, that is). And it has plenty of character.
Visitors are greeted in the long front hallway by various portraits in thick gold-painted frames and the living room furniture is covered in plastic. A black hutch at the back of the living room houses glassware and tschotkes, and the apartment is covered in lace and linen doilies. A wood decoration above the inside of the front door had an inscription with the Spanish words for “faith, hope and love.”
And don’t worry about getting snubbed by the co-op board based on your age or occupation: 414 East 10th Street seems fairly diverse. On our way up to the artist’s studio we heard another apartment blasting Ke$ha; the building houses some older occupants; and the listing for 2D emphasizes the property is also family friendly. And that neighborhood feel is exactly what attracts some New Yorkers to the East Village.
“I like the scale, it feels like a neighborhood and I think it’s more walkable,” said Ted Kane, a 40-year-old architect looking to relocate from a Hell’s Kitchen studio to a place in the East or West Village. “And I don’t need much space,” he added.
We think he’s come to the right place.