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Charming East Village townhouse with preppy pedigree wants $40,000/month

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The lovely East 12th Street townhouse is also on the market for $16M, for the right buyer

The "elegant and grand" townhouse at 215 East 12th Street has been on the market for a couple of months now, with an asking price of $16 million, but it looks like its owners are trying another tactic to get the place to move—namely positioning it as a rental, with an absurdly high asking price of $40,000.

As EV Grieve points out, that’s a pretty dramatic change from 2011, when the house was last on the market. At that point, it was renting for $18,500 (yes, fully half its current ask) and came furnished.

So why the price hike? It’s a good question. While the particulars haven’t changed—it’s still a gorgeous townhouse on a pretty block, with lots of original details and a huge garden—the staging has gotten less, shall we say, colorful over the years.

The owner, one of the four founders of the Kate Spade brand, changed out the decor; gone are the quirky hand-painted couches and children’s artwork of yesteryear, replaced by tasteful (if bland) furnishings, and appropriately preppy decor touches.

And let’s not forget the fact that a lot can change in a neighborhood in five years; there weren’t ultra-luxury condos on Avenue A at that point, but here we are.

But is this home $40,000 worth of lovely? You be the judge—it also comes with huge ceilings, an eat-in kitchen, a huge master suite, and a separate apartment that could be rented out for extra income. Buyers would also get the knowledge that there’s an additional 5,000 square feet of FAR, if expanding the home into a bona fide megamansion is more your speed.