Home News Inside NYC’s Grinnell co-op where units rarely list for sale

Inside NYC’s Grinnell co-op where units rarely list for sale

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A stately co-op in Upper Manhattan, Grinnell may be the city’s best-kept secret so far.

Filled with spacious homes, a strong sense of community, and significantly lower maintenance costs than comparable buildings, this property stands in a quiet corner of Washington Heights at 800 Riverside Drive. And while it’s rarely open, home hunters and locals interested in real estate have the best chance of becoming a member of this exclusive, under-the-radar club.

The 83-unit structure, where residents typically spend decades, now has an unprecedented four apartments for sale. When they exchange hands, they will mark their first sale at Grinnell since 2020. According to StreetEasy, when only 2 units were sold. In 2019 he found only 3 units with new owners.

Grinnell has units with stunning old world features, including this wood-paneled dining room on Unit GRI’s $1.99 million listing.
Houseit
Unit GRI's kitchen has been restored with its original oak cabinetry.
Unit GRI’s kitchen has been restored with its original oak cabinets.
Houseit
Hardwood floors and rich moldings highlight the unit GRI's character.
Hardwood floors and rich moldings highlight the unit GRI’s character.
Houseit

“I can’t remember when [four homes] It was on the market at the same time,” said 71-year-old Bruce Robertson, a longtime Grinnell resident. went public on Saturday For $1.59 million, it went on sale for the first time in 45 years. Aptly called a “hidden treasure” in its marketing description, this top-floor expanse features three bedrooms, a stunning room measuring over 23 feet long, a windowed kitchen with original glass cabinets, and siding. and a formal dining room with paneling. View of the George Washington Bridge.

A day later, according to StreetEasy, the two-bedroom, one-bathroom property with details like picture molding was listed on RE/MAX Sparrow Realty for $1 million.

Among other availability: unit GRI, 8-room duplex, Now $1.99 $1 million after listing for $2.2 million in April. Features 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. Features include French doors, wood-paneled dining room, original oak floors and cabinetry, and mirrored mahogany doors. (Instead of a traditional listing, this home represented by Hauseit is an owner-assisted sales service.)

There is also unit 2A. The 1,800-square-foot 3-bedroom has bonus spaces such as French doors, crown molding, library, foyer, maid’s room, and pantry. Listed in September $1.35 million, represented by Jamella Swift of Keller Williams NYC.

Bright Unit 2A, listed for $1.35 million, has French doors.
Bright Unit 2A, listed for $1.35 million, has French doors.
Keller Williams NYC
Unit 2A also has siding and chic modeling details.
Unit 2A also has siding and chic modeling details.
Keller Williams NYC

Occupying a perfect triangular block between 157th and 158th Streets and Riverside Drive and Edward Morgan Place, Grinnell offers a home from the New York era bygone. The smallest apartment has his five rooms and measures 1,100 square feet. The largest has over 10 rooms and spans 2,700 square feet. Built in 1911 and designed by architects Schwartz & Gross, the building features a Mediterranean-style façade, a porte entry to the courtyard, hardwood floors, lead-glass transoms, and other classics such as ten-foot windows. A historic standout with interior details. ceiling. It has a gym, bicycle storage and a roof terrace.

Aside from its grandiose charm and million-dollar asking price, many New Yorkers don’t know it’s a Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) cooperative. buying a house. This is his one of the most successful cooperatives of its kind, and “has worked well to sustain Grinnell’s extensive infrastructure over the years,” said Robertson.

That said, Grinnell is an uptown early 20th century apartment suited to savvy New York royalty who, given the right income requirements, can act now to get the coveted deal. No wonder it stays in place.

Grinnell stands on a perfect triangular block on Riverside Drive in Washington Heights.
Grinnell stands on a perfect triangular block on Riverside Drive in Washington Heights.
Stefano Giovannini
The huge building offers views in all directions. The building looks north on West 158th Street.
The huge building offers views in all directions. The building looks north on West 158th Street.
Stefano Giovannini
Grinnell dates back to 1911.
Grinnell dates back to 1911.
Stefano Giovannini

“People who buy in Grinnell don’t move because it’s a great place to live,” said Robertson, who is also a member of the building’s board of directors and has sold 10 units in the building over the years.

Robertson has lived in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment for 22 years with his wife, who is also a real estate broker. They found the apartment on a whim after looking up condo prices on the Upper East Side and soon learned that the building was special. He loves south-facing windows, bright light, solid construction, high ceilings, hardwood floors, and quiet.

“Overall, it’s hard to sum up how special Grinnell is and how it came to be. ‘, said Robertson. “We do not always agree on the scale and magnitude of the problems facing 102-year-old historic buildings. We are proud of our beautiful structure that looks and feels like living in a castle in an idyllic area with wonderful neighbors.”

Robertson has sold nearly a dozen units over the years at Grinnell.
Robertson has sold nearly a dozen units over the years at Grinnell.
Stefano Giovannini
Robertson has also been a resident of the building for 22 years.
Robertson has also been a resident of the building for 22 years.
Stefano Giovannini
A virtual production image of the unit 8H represented by Robertson.
A virtual production image of the unit 8H represented by Robertson.
Tina Gallo Photography

Other longtime residents agree it’s a building with a lovely spirit.

An adjunct lecturer at nearby City College of New York, 74-year-old Bruce Kanze moved to Grinnell in December 1977 and lived in Apartment 3B. He moved into his eighth floor in March 1982 with his wife and his three children in an eight-room, two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

“There is a sense of belonging to the community and we love our neighbors,” Kanze said. He recalled fond memories of climbing the mulberry tree in front of the building, picking berries with his daughters, setting up his summer lemonade stand, and having a crab festival with the neighbors. rice field. “We bought bushels, covered the table with paper bags, and looked to see who had the highest pile of crab shells,” he added.

But another reason people stay longer at Grinnell is its HDFC title. He is one of 1,100 HDFC cooperatives in the city, with residents as shareholders and co-ownership of the building. This status dates back to his 1982, when residents successfully purchased Grinnell from the city after a campaign that included the slogan “Building for the people, not for profit.” Aside from the swanky interiors and like-minded community, part of the terms of ownership includes a flip tax, which also keeps residents. The funds from there will go towards the building’s capital reserve.

Unit 8H on the top floor also has excellent light exposure along with stunning hardwood floors and molding.
Unit 8H on the top floor also has excellent light exposure along with stunning hardwood floors and molding.
Stefano Giovannini
Kitchen inside unit 8H.
Kitchen inside unit 8H.
Tina Gallo Photography
A wooden dining room in 8H.
A wooden dining room in 8H.
Stefano Giovannini
8H offers a northwest view of the George Washington Bridge.
8H offers a northwest view of the George Washington Bridge.
Stefano Giovannini

In addition to the income limit, the property tax relief makes it less expensive to maintain than other co-operatives of similar size and stature. By contrast, his 2,000-square-foot, four-room apartment at 116 Pinehurst Avenue would cost him $1.58 million with $3,400 a month upkeep. Similarly, a 3-bedroom co-op on the 100-year-old Riviera across West 157th Street from Grinnell would cost $1.79 million at $2,174 monthly upkeep. For example, Robertson’s $1.59 million list costs $1,448 a month to maintain. StreetEasy shows that the monthly fee for both units GRI and 2A is $1,450.

Architect Wayne Benjamin, 64, who bought a 1,300-square-foot, two-bedroom co-op in Grinnell for just $85,000 (about $228,000 today) in 1987, isn’t going anywhere. He cooks in his full-sized kitchen, listens to vinyl music on his record player, and enjoys jazz on his old-fashioned FM radio with speakers. He also enjoys cross-ventilation, which is rare in New York City, as every room in his apartment has exposure. So you can open the dining room window facing the courtyard and the French doors and windows in the living room across the hallway. Street, enjoy the breeze all year round.

But in the end we are people.

“It comes down to what’s important in the end,” Benjamin said of Grinnell holding him back. and working together, it creates a sense of community that allows us to make our buildings and neighborhoods vibrant and great places to live.”

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