Studio, Financial District
Tue Apr 26 2011
Photograph: Jani Zubkovs
Aaron Stine, 27, corporate attorney
Broker's fee: None (paid by building)
Broker: Zachary Uzupis, Christie Property Group (215-208-0140, christiepropertygroup.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Moved in: January 2011
The search: "I had heard good things about Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope, but the reason I didn't end up signing a lease out there was that I didn't want to sign an 18-month lease. And I wanted to live in the Financial District because of the short commute. I knew I could find something down here. I had a price range, but it was pretty flexible. I mean, I wasn't going to live in the West Village, but I figured down here I could find something in my price range. And down here, it feels like there are deals: one or two months free."
The broker: "I had looked up the top brokers in New York and [TONY's] article came up, so I called Zach and had a good experience. He showed me plenty of places, he was very direct about what I could get in my price range. And he had some experience with the buildings, so he could tell me the advantages and disadvantages of each. He was able to get me an extra $25 off a month, and the building offered to pay the broker's fee; I think that's mostly the case down here. I would've had to pay in Brooklyn or Battery Park."
The amenities: I've been in buildings that have nice amenities in the past and I don't use them. [Laughs] So there was a slim chance I was going to use them here. But they give you free breakfast in the mornings—I've never had it—and there's a gym, a lounge with wireless and an outdoor area, and they have cold storage so I can get FreshDirect.
The apartment: I like that it has a loft feeling, high ceilings. It's a very open space; some others I was looking at were kind of closed off. Another good thing: I could pay with credit card, so I can rack up the rewards points. If you saw it you wouldn't think it was a studio; it's about 685 square feet, so it's quite big. It's like a small one-bedroom with open space. The one down side is that with a one-bedroom you'd have more closet space. But I make do. I guess it made me get rid of stuff I didn't need."
The neighborhood: "I love Stone Street; it's got about six different bars and eateries on it, I go there almost every weekend. I like the Seaport when it's nice out. I like the fact that it has a lot of subway access and it's a quick walk to Fulton Street. I think if you take a longer-term look at it, once the Freedom Tower opens up it'll make the neighborhood upbeat and maybe bring more nightlife. I think in the summer, it'll be a different atmosphere."