Manhattan Real Estate Market Oddities

Although I have lived on the island of Manhattan since 1989, I’m still sometimes baffled at some of the idiosyncrasies of our local real estate market.  The lack of a multiple listing service, the housing stock consisting of 75% cooperative housing, and of course the behavior of prices that seems to be completely unique to Manhattan.  Case in point, Josh Barbanel’s piece in this past Sunday’s New York Times, A Repository for the Rich reveals the $801,000 purchase price for a basement storage space in the world renowned Dakota at 1 West 72nd Street.

The storage room is situated on a basement corridor and has a locked door, four bare walls, electricity and a half-bath, but is uninhabitable and costs more than the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan last year.

But at the Dakota, basement storage spaces for those old papers, sleds, college textbooks, strollers and out-of-favor artwork are hard to find. When the word was circulating that a storage locker would be sold to the highest bidder among the building’s residents, there were bids from at least eight co-op owners, including a representative of Yoko Ono, who maintains a home in the building, according to a person briefed on the sale.

The winning bidder was John M. Angelo, a hedge fund manager and the chief executive of Angelo, Gordon & Company, and a member of the board of Sotheby’s. He has assembled several co-op units into a sprawling apartment on the second floor of the Dakota.

Certainly this seems like an exorbitant amount of money to pay for a windowless room for storage, but when compared to the purchase prices of homes in the Dakota and the overall lack of storage in the neighborhood, $801,000 makes perfectly good sense to me for the luxury of traveling only to your basement to fetch a family heirloom, antique, or piece of art to brighten up your 5000 square foot home.  After all, it’s what single family homeowners do all the time.

This entry was posted in Fun. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *