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The Nathaniel's Pricey Rentals Embody the 'New' East Village

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Whether The Nathaniel, a new ground-up luxury rental building at the corner of East 12th Street and Third Avenue, is totally aware of or painfully oblivious to what it means to the East Village, it doesn't change the fact that its summer leasings launch set a scene for future neighborhood development. Gone—or at least going—is the East Village of yore, or even the East Village of just a few years ago. Buildings like The Nathaniel, where one-bedrooms rent for $5,760 and a three-bedroom apartment even took a stab at $11,250, aren't rampant across the traditionally gritty neighborhood—yet.

Amusingly, The Nathaniel is named after Nathaniel Taggart, who is the grandfather of the protagonist of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel "Atlas Shrugged." Nathaniel was an entrepreneuring businessman who, after being an aimless and penniless world traveler, created a railroad empire out of nothing but his inherent privilege. One thing's clear when you step foot inside the building: The Nathaniel is supposed to represent not where its tenants have been, but where they're going.

By comparison, the median rental price for an apartment in the neighborhood is $3,300, according to StreetEasy statistics. That's just a hair more expensive than The Nathaniel's least expensive offering, a $3,273 studio. The Karl Fischer and Colum McCartan-designed building rises nine stories on the site of a former parking lot, and contains 85 apartments. It is gigantic compared to its smaller tenement neighbors; that is, of course, barring the umpteen surrounding New York University and New School dorms. Just one in a few of its offerings class in the neighborhood, The Nathaniel just might be the only with a rooftop cosmetic pool. Let's hope the birds don't take to it.
· Listings: 138 East 12th Street [Elliman]
· All The Nathaniel coverage [Curbed]
· Curbed Inside archives [Curbed]