So, I was intrigued with Cabrini Boulevard in Hudson Heights. An ad in the Times showed an open house at 340 Cabrini Boulevard the following Sunday, so I decided to take a look.
Here’s what the listing said:
Simply priceless. Imagine drinking your morning coffee while watching the seasons change across the Hudson River along the Palisades. Imagine sipping a glass of wine from a private terrace and watching the sunset every night. Now imagine that it all belongs to you and that the terrace and views come with 3 bedrooms; a beautifully appointed kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances; amazing closet space and 2 marble baths with a Jacuzzi in the master suite. This amazing home boasts one of the most spectacular views in Hudson Heights and in fact all of Manhattan! If you feel like expanding your universe, the roof deck is perfect for entertaining. Live steps from great restaurants and shopping, Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters. This mint condition condominium is ready to move in today!!!
340 Cabrini Boulevard, #603. Note the view of
the Hudson outside the living room window.
Floorplan at 340 Cabrini Boulevard
The following week, I came back with my girlfriend. We had another look at the same apartment, and one with the identical layout two floors below. It was not as attractively decorated as the first one, and had a very lived-in look. However, it was listed for $50,000 less. As the agent put it, “Go upstairs and steal their decorating ideas; then, come down here and buy this one for less money.”
Exterior at 125 Cabrini Boulevard
The common areas, however, are much more dowdy looking than 340 Cabrini. We were amused to find that you had to go up two small stairs to get to the elevator. What’s the point of having an elevator, if you have to climb stairs to get to it? The broker conceded that the building had had “management problems” in the past, which she said have now been rectified. The building is on the odd-numbered side of the street, and thus does not have the spectacular panoramic views of the earlier apartment.
Floorplan at 125 Cabrini Boulevard
We found out that the co-op itself owns the unit, and has been trying to sell it for a while. They did a partial renovation, but it’s still very plain on the inside, and the bathrooms aren’t very attractive. The washer-dryer hookup is a definite plus: something seldom encountered in apartment buildings from this period. (It’s a converted shower stall.)
360 Cabrini Boulevard
We weren’t enthralled at 125 Cabrini, so we headed back up to 360 Cabrini, the last building on the side of the street facing the river, before you get to Fort Tryon Park.
There was a brief snafu, and initially we found ourselves at the wrong open house. We saw a 1 BR that looked like a flophouse. It was so icky that we could barely stand to look at it. We couldn’t imagine why someone who wanted to sell their apartment would leave it in such a filthy, cluttered condition. Wouldn’t the broker read the riot act to that owner?
We finally found the apartment we had really meant to see. The building has separate elevator banks serving the street side and the river side. The “lobby” on the river side is the fifth floor, because of the different elevation in back. The agent who showed us around was like Barbra Streisand without the singing voice. A real-estate version of Fanny Brice.
Here’s the listing:
Incredible Views Of The Hudson River! Come home to this lovely, just renovated Pre-war classic 6 room in a fabulous Art Deco building. This apartment features a large foyer, step down living room three bedrooms, two windowed bathrooms, all rooms have views of trees & the river. Apartment also includes a spacious windowed eat-in kitchen, generous closets, 9 foot ceilings, inlaid hardwood floors and tons of pre-war charm. Cabrini Blvd is located in Hudson Heights, a charming neighborhood with the beauty of the Cloisters and the convenience of the A train.
River view from 360 Cabrini Boulevard
Floorplan at 360 Cabrini Boulevard
Had I done the renovation myself, there are some things I would have done differently. The bathrooms have pedestal sinks. I hate pedestal sinks, as they leave you with no room to store the kinds of things that belong in a bathroom, are too big for the medecine cabiniet, but that you don’t want in plain sight. The owner also demolished the wall separating the dining nook from the living room. I would have left that wall intact.
Still, it is one of the better 3 BR layouts I’ve seen, is essentially brand new, has unobstructed river views, is 5 minutes’ walk from the 190th Street “A” station, and was listed at $995,000. I wasn’t going to find a better deal than that.
My girlfriend and I went for a long walk in Fort Tryon Park, then went downtown for coffee in Chelsea. After beating around the bush, I said abruptly, “I’m making an offer.” Just two weeks previously, I had no plans to buy anything for at least another year. Now, I was putting myself on the hook for almost $1 million.
To be continued…