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Row Houses of East 69th; Chelsea Couple Looking to Buy

Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...


1) History Lessons: wherein we explore our city's past, from Bronx to Battery.
In this weekend's Streetscapes, Christopher Gray explores the south side of East 69th Street, from Second to First Avenues. This block saw an explosion of row house development way back in the 1870s, with developer James E. Ray eventually building thirty homes on the one street. Ray contracted several different architects, despite little variation in character, and when renting began in the 1880s, ads in The New York Times indicated that one of the houses would be available for a mere $65/month. Changes to the block occurred slowly, but by the early 1980s, there had been enough Modernist flourishes (or afflictions, depending on how you look at things) to warrant a look into securing landmark designation. That plan was unsuccessful, and since then, numerous townhouses have undergone changes, with the two-story at No. 358 currently on the market and set to be greatly enlarged, with an added pool, elevator, and wine cellar. Apparently, it's the first of many. ["Upper East Side Rowhouse Growth Spurt"; photo via Eugene Gannon/Curbed Photo Pool]

2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunters: a Chelsea couple hoping to buy in the neighborhood
Price
Dream: $1.3 million
Reality: $1.66 million
Neighborhood
Dream: Chelsea
Reality: Chelsea
Amenities
Dream: 2BR/2BA, large living area, outdoor space, contemporary design
Reality: 3BR, spacious, outdoor space
Summary
This weekend's Hunters started out in Chelsea, hoping to find a two-bedroom in the neighborhood for $1.3 million. When that seemed unlikely, they broadened their search, looking in Midtown and the Village, and even venturing out to (gasp!) Brooklyn. Eventually, they found a solid option in Chelsea, just a block away from their rental. It was spacious, with an extra bedroom, access to a roof deck, and a "spacious sense to it." The place was listed for $1.695 million, and the Hunters were able to negotiate down to $1.66 million, miraculously without being outbid. [The Hunt/"A Chelsea Apartment: The Reward of Staying the Course"]