Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What are the "best" co-ops in Soho? (Some will actually pay you to live there.)

Third in a series on what it costs to live in Soho and what you get for the money.

There's a bigger difference between Soho co-ops and Soho condos than there is between co-ops and condos in the rest of the city.

Condos in Soho have doormen.  They have exercise rooms.  They may have pools, or wine cellers, or dog spas, or all of the above.  Many of them are newly constructed.  Some have the cachet of a famous architect's name attached to them.

If a new building was built on a parking lot, the city does not require  its residents to be artist-certified.

The co-ops are actual loft buildings which were once factories or warehouses.  They're the original residential buildings of Soho, converted by artists in the long ago '60s and '70s.  For more on this subject, see http://withconfidence.blogspot.com/2011/06/should-soho-and-nohos-artist.html

325 Lafayette Street

The buildings are usually five to seven stories tall, and the units are usually full floors, with (today) an elevator that opens into each loft.  Sizes vary, but you won't find anything smaller than 1200 square feet, and few if any that are that small.  Most are about 2000 square feet.

And none of them have the bells and whistles that the condos have.

141 Prince Street

Few sell for more than $5,000,000, although the penthouse at the top of 141 Prince Street traded for $27,500,000 in June of 2010, and again for $25,000,000 in April of 2011.  It has always been an interesting space.  More than twenty years ago, it was an actual farmhouse:  http://withconfidence.blogspot.com/2011/07/from-farmouse-to-penthouse-141-prince.html.

But extreme luxury and popularity with the rich are not the only things that qualify a building as "best."

There are several co-ops in Soho that, because of the income they derive from the retail space on the ground floor of their buildings, have little or no maintenance charges.  Owners in a few of these co-ops not only pay no maintenance but actually get income.

(Yes, of course I'm going to tell you which co-ops these are; at least some of them.  I am not mean enough to keep them a secret!)

325 Lafayette Street, which sits on a trapezoidal plot of land bordered by Lafayette, Mulberry and East Houston Streets, has no underlying mortgage and owners pay a maintenance fee of $600, or 30 cents per square foot, per month for each unit.  Units also derive income from the commercial space on the ground floor.

307 West Broadway, between Canal and Grand Streets, is another such buildling.  Maintenances here are about 50 cents per square foot, and unit owners also derive income from the commercial space.

473 Broome Street

The Gunther building, at 473 Broome Street between Greene and Wooster, has a beautiful castiron facade, some units have wraparound windows, and nobody pays any maintenance.

541 Broadway takes the prize, however.  Not only does it have a beautiful castiron facade, not only does it have a maintenance of $200 per month, but unit owners receive an income of $5,000 per month.  Each.

541 Broadway

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