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The Five Most Expensive Walk-Up Rentals in NYC Right Now

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Trading stairs for an elevator is one of the first non-essential amenities New Yorkers consider a must-have. Still, there are people out there who will pay a lot of money and still hoof it up multiple flights to get to their apartment. The New York Times has an article today about the surging demand among buyers for walk-up apartment buildings. The rationale for demand is that most walk-up buildings are rent regulated and therefore have a floor on how much cash flow they will generate, but there is significant upside if the building is renovated and converted to market rates. The example in the article is 156 Sullivan Street, a 22-unit building whose owners increased the rental rolls from $300,000 to $1 million after a renovation. Is there a price point at which you consider an elevator a must-have amenity, and at what building floor does that kick in? Let us know in the comments.

1) 2BR/2BA at 52 East 81st Street
Floor: 3rd floor
Rent: $12,000/month
Skinny: This apartment is just off Central Park near the Met Museum, so ideally you're going to be walking a lot anyway. A few extra stairs coming home shouldn't kill you. [link]

2) 2BR/2BA at 540 West 29th Street
Floor: Third floor
Rent: $10,000/month
Skinny: You're really paying for the space here, which includes 2,500 square feet of interior and 500 square feet of rooftop terrace. The building's also in the middle of a construction zone, so just getting inside will make the stairs seem like a relief. [link]

3) 2BR/1BA at 146 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side
Floor: 6th floor
Rent: $6750/month
Skinny: Count off each flight of stairs you climb to your apartment in $1,350 increments. Subdivide this amount per step if you're feeling ambitious. This will make those stairs seem either shorter or the most painful in the world. [link]

4) 2BR/2BA at 274 West 12th Street
Floor: Fifth floor
Rent: $6,500/month
Skinny: This short-term rental apartment doesn't just come fully furnished; the owner is offering everything, including bed linens, towels, cable and electric. Even the kitchen stairs, er sink. [link]

5) 3BR/1BA at 65 Bank Street in the West Village
Floor: 6th floor*
Rent: $6,495/month
Skinny: This West Village building has very modern looking interiors that belie its older walk-up exterior appearance. The listing doesn't specify, but the building has six floors, so it's possible this apartment is on the top one. [link]
· Rising Rents Create a Demand for Manhattan Walk-Up Buildings [NYT]