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Just Looking For a "Hotel Room" Somewhere Downtown

If reading The Hunt stokes your deepest hopes that someday everything in life could work out, then you, too, are obsessed with the New York Times Sunday Real Estate section. Join us as we venture into the depths of this weekend's installment.

Warren and Jennifer Dakin bought a place on the Upper East Side over ten years ago, eventually having a family too big for the 1,000 square foot apartment. Though they moved to the suburbs, Warren spent time in the apartment during the week since he worked in Manhattan. Realizing the place is too big, they decided to find something more like a "hotel room" somewhere more lively, preferably downtown. A place in 303 East 33rd Street was nice, but the location was a bummer. The same went for 1 Rector Park in Battery Park City. All was not lost however, as a small studio with a nice "exposure" in 75 Wall Street saved the day.

He hoped for a cozy condominium in move-in condition for up to $550,000. “All I need is a hotel room” Ms. Farber ventured south to Murray Hill, where she showed Mr. Dakin 303 East 33rd Street, the environmentally friendly building from Toll Brothers.

The Dakins loved the airy building, where studios are priced in the $600,000s, but Mrs. Dakin did not like the immediate neighborhood, dominated by Kips Bay Towers across the street.

Next up was 1 Rector Park, even farther south, in Battery Park City. Newly converted from a rental, the building offered studios starting in the high $400,000s. But the location seemed too residential and inconvenient.

The Dakins put their Upper East Side place on the market. One weekend, while Ms. Farber held an open house, they stayed at the Smyth Hotel in TriBeCa. They had a wonderful time exploring downtown. It only made sense to look for a place in the area, where there were plenty of converted office towers.

Then they saw 75 Wall Street, a recent conversion. A high-floor studio there, at 452 square feet, was relatively small, but Mr. Dakin liked it instantly. “The space wasn’t the driving issue,” he said.

The Dakins bought the studio for around $545,000. Monthly fees are around $500.
Their old apartment sold for the asking price of $845,000 to a couple with a baby, Ms. Farber said. Maintenance there is a little more than $1,600.


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