We just dug out from the pile of email that has come in since we posted Valerie Dominguez's response to the cries of injustice that sprung from a simple listing of a Long Island City apartment. Hard to believe that it was just three weeks ago that we were debating whether NYC realtors should merge Queens with the Hamptons. As much as we hate to fan this fire (seriously, it's still Queens, people), we cannot ignore the will of the masses. After the jump, the latest on the single most talked about apartment in the history of the five boroughs.
The History: $35,259
Citylights was built in 1997 and financed in such a way that the co-op carries a substantial portion of the building's mortgage in addition to the unit owners. That's a large part of the reason the maintenance fees are so high: they help pay off that debt. According to the website QueenWest.com, which features a comprehensive FAQ about the building, "The initial prices ranged from a very low $8,200 to the high end of $87,500. The average price of an apartment in Citylights was $35,259 or just $43.27 per square foot."
The Asking Price: Do the Math
One enterprising reader, who reports that two bedrooms in the building have been selling for about $300k, ran the numbers on the Corcoran listing and calculates that a buyer who pays the $699k plus the monthly maintenance of $2600 could afford a $1.2MM apartment with a monthly maintenance of $1200. "At this price," he writes, "you can get a nice place in Manhattan."
Living in the LIC: Staggering View, No Amenities
Of course, then you wouldn't get to experience the joys of Long Island City. An actual Citylights resident reports, "It's actually a really nice place to live. The apartments are roomy, the people are nice, there's a laundry AND free gym in the (doorman) building. I don't buy into the whole 'LIC is the new hot neighborhood!' thing, but I will say that there's been a bunch of really nice restaurants and shops that have moved into the hood in the past year. And when the 7 train is actually working, it's very convenient... I work downtown and it takes me about 20 minutes in the morning. That being said, the 7 train is hilariously down most of the time."
A building visitor holds a less sanguine view: "I've been to one of the high-floor two bedrooms in that building, and the views are truly staggering, but the apartments are nothing to write home about (kind of a Queens decorating vibe