If you can look beyond the clutter in the listing photos, living behind the dormers in the garret of a pretty lovely late Victorian two-family home could make an appealing contemporary New York version of La Bohème. This one, at 253 Stratford Road, is located in the Flatbush micro-nabe of Beverly Square West, begun in the late 1890s by T.B. Ackerson, an enterprising real estate investor who created three such neighborhood-scale standalone home developments, as reported here by Brownstoner columnist Suzanne Spellen (aka Montrose Morris).
In truth, this is a fairly generous one-bedroom by our admittedly low modern standards, coming in at 900 square feet, according to the listing. The pictures indicate enough room in the kitchen for a chopping block island to be inserted, and the living room has enough space to carve out a home office (built-in desk and shelves included). Nonetheless, we’d estimate based on the listing photos the total square footage is probably much closer to 550 to 600, at best, and the ceiling height leaves something to be desired.
The kitchen has pretty standard rental-unit features: brown Home Depot-style cabinets and old but not too old stove and refrigerator. The Art Deco-era bathroom sports a vintage vanity and tile; its pastel-green sink and tub show considerable wear but are otherwise proper.
The eclecticism of the neighborhood — get a look at 271 Stratford — and the quiet suburban feel, mixed with walkable shopping amenities and farm-to-table fare might make up for whatever space constrictions and the weekly laundromat schlep. The theory behind the original development is you’d be in a fairly relaxed environment within one hour on public transportation from downtown Manhattan, which probably is still the case, on average.
It’s being shown by Karen Sayles of Douglas Elliman for $1,950 a month. Worth it?
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