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

The Grinnell, a stately co-op in higher Manhattan, would possibly simply be the town’s best-kept secret — for now.

Replete with spacious houses, a robust sense of group and upkeep charges that are significantly lower than in comparable buildings, the property stands in a sleepy nook of Washington Heights, at 800 Riverside Drive. It additionally rarely has openings — however home hunters and in any other case property-curious locals now have their finest probability in years to change into members of this unique, and under-the-radar, membership.

In this 83-unit construction, where residents sometimes spend many years, there are now an unprecedented 4 flats for sale. When they commerce palms, they’re going to mark the primary gross sales on the Grinnell since 2020, in keeping with StreetStraightforward, when solely two units have been offered. In 2019, simply three units discovered new house owners.

The Grinnell is house to units with dazzling older-world options — equivalent to this wood-paneled eating room inside a $1.99 million itemizing for unit GRI.
Hauseit
Unit GRI's kitchen features restored original oak cabinetry.
Unit GRI’s kitchen options restored authentic oak cabinetry.
Hauseit
Hardwood floors and moldings galore round out the features of unit GRI.
Hardwood flooring and moldings galore spherical out the options of unit GRI.
Hauseit

“I do not keep in mind when [four homes] have been in the marketplace on the identical time,” mentioned Bruce Robertson, 71, a long-time Grinnell resident. Robertson, additionally a Compass dealer, represents the six-room unit 8H, which listed on Saturday for $1.59 million — its first time up for sale in 45 years. Aptly known as a “hidden treasure” in its advertising and marketing description, this top-floor unfold has three bedrooms, a 23-plus-foot-long nice room, a windowed kitchen with the unique glass-fronted cabinetry, a proper eating room with wainscoting and views of the George Washington Bridge.

One day later, in keeping with StreetStraightforward, a two-bedroom unfold with one rest room — and tony touches equivalent to image moldings — listed for $1 million with RE/MAX Sparrow Realty.

Among the opposite availability: Unit GRI, an eight-room duplex, which now asks $1.99 million after itemizing for $2.2 million in April. It boasts three bedrooms and two full loos. Features embrace French doorways, a wood-paneled eating room, authentic oak flooring and cabinetry, and mirrored mahogany doorways. (Instead of a conventional itemizing, this house — represented by Hauseit — is an assisted for-sale-by-owner providing.)

There’s even unit 2A — a 1,800-square-foot three-bedroom with French doorways, crown moldings, and bonus areas together with a library, a lobby, a maid’s room and a pantry. It was listed in September for $1.35 million — and is represented by Jamella Swift of Keller Williams NYC.

The light-filled unit 2A, listed for $1.35 million, has French doors.
The light-filled unit 2A, listed for $1.35 million, has French doorways.
Keller Williams NYC
Unit 2A also has wainscoting and chic molding details.
Unit 2A additionally has wainscoting and stylish molding particulars.
Keller Williams NYC

Occupying a full triangle-shaped block between 157th and 158th streets — and Riverside Drive and Edward Morgan Place — the Grinnell affords houses of a bygone New York period. The smallest condominium has 5 rooms and measures 1,100 sq. toes; the most important has greater than 10 rooms and spans 2,700 sq. toes. Built in 1911 and designed by architects Schwartz & Gross, it is a history-rich standout with a Mediterranean-style façade, a porte-cochere entryway to an inside courtyard — and different traditional inside particulars together with hardwood flooring, leaded glass transoms and 10-foot ceilings. Amenities embrace a health club, a motorcycle room and a rooftop terrace.

Apart from the grande-dame glamor and million-dollar asking costs, many New Yorkers do not know it is a Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) co-op — which means it is a part of the town’s reasonably priced housing inventory and topic to sure earnings restrictions for house purchases. It’s probably the most profitable co-ops of its type, and that “has labored properly to take care of Grinnell’s massive infrastructure through the years,” mentioned Robertson.

That mentioned, the Grinnell is the uptown early-Twentieth century condominium constructing match for savvy New York royalty who, with the right earnings necessities, can act now to get a coveted deal. It’s no shock residents find yourself staying put.

The Grinnell stands on a full triangle-shaped block on Riverside Drive in Washington Heights.
The Grinnell stands on a full triangle-shaped block on Riverside Drive in Washington Heights.
Stefano Giovannini
The mighty building commands views in all directions, this one looking north over West 158th Street.
The mighty constructing instructions views in all instructions, this one trying north over West 158th Street.
Stefano Giovannini
The Grinnell dates to 1911.
The Grinnell dates to 1911.
Stefano Giovannini

“People who purchase in Grinnell do not transfer as a result of it is a great place to stay,” mentioned Robertson, who’s additionally a former member of the constructing’s board and has offered 10 units within the constructing through the years.

Robertson has lived in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unfold along with his spouse, additionally an actual property dealer, for the previous 22 years. They discovered the condominium on a whim after getting priced out of their Upper East Side rental and instantly knew the constructing was particular. He loves the south-facing home windows, shiny mild, stable development, excessive ceilings, hardwood flooring and the quiet.

“All in all, it is exhausting to encapsulate how the Grinnell is so particular and the way that got here to be. Mostly as a result of it actually is a group of cohesive residents, many households who’ve grown, now being changed by younger households, who care about one another,” Robertson mentioned. “We do not all the time agree about points dealing with any 112-year-old landmark constructing of its measurement and scope. But we work by way of them and are pleased with a gorgeous construction that appears and seems like residing in a citadel, in a bucolic-feeling space with great neighbors in different comparable buildings.”

Robertson has sold nearly a number of units in Grinnell over the years.
Robertson has offered almost quite a lot of units in Grinnell through the years.
Stefano Giovannini
Robertson is also a 22-year resident of the building.
Robertson can be a 22-year resident of the constructing.
Stefano Giovannini
A virtually staged image of unit 8H, which Robertson represents.
A nearly staged picture of unit 8H, which Robertson represents.
Tina Gallo Photography

Other long-time residents agree it is a constructing with a stunning spirit.

Bruce Kanze, 74, an adjunct lecturer on the close by City College of New York, moved to Grinnell in December 1977 and lived in condominium 3B. He moved to 8F in March 1982, an eight-room, two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium, along with his spouse and three kids, where he is lived ever since.

“There’s a way of belonging to a group, and we love our neighbors,” Kanze mentioned. He recalled fond recollections of climbing the mulberry tree in entrance of the constructing and choosing berries along with his daughters, of organising summer time lemonade stands with them — and of crab fests with the neighbors. “We’d purchase bushels and canopy the tables with paper baggage and see who had the best pile of crab shells,” he added.

But one more reason why individuals keep so lengthy in Grinnell is due to its HDFC title. It’s certainly one of 1,100 HDFC co-ops within the metropolis, where residents are shareholders and personal the constructing collectively. The standing dates to 1982 when residents efficiently purchased the Grinnell from the town after a marketing campaign that included the slogan, “Buildings for People, Not for Profit.” Apart from the tony interiors and like-minded group, a part of the circumstances for possession embrace a flip tax, which additionally retains residents put. The funds from it go in the direction of the constructing’s capital reserve.

Unit 8H, on the top floor, also has great exposure to light, in addition to handsome hardwood floors and moldings.
Unit 8H, on the highest flooring, additionally has nice publicity to mild, along with good-looking hardwood flooring and moldings.
Stefano Giovannini
The kitchen inside unit 8H.
The kitchen inside unit 8H.
Tina Gallo Photography
The wood-paneled dining room inside 8H.
The wood-paneled eating room inside 8H.
Stefano Giovannini
8H has northwest views of the George Washington Bridge.
8H has northwest views of the George Washington Bridge.
Stefano Giovannini

In addition to the earnings restrictions, a real-estate tax abatement makes the upkeep lower than different co-ops of comparable measurement and stature. By distinction, a four-room, 2,000-square-foot condominium at 116 Pinehurst Ave. will set you again $1.58 million with $3,400 a month in upkeep. Similarly, a three-bedroom co-op within the century-old Riviera throughout West 157th Street from Grinnell goes for $1.79 million with $2,174 a month in upkeep. Robertson’s $1.59 million itemizing, for occasion, has $1,448 per 30 days in upkeep. Both units GRI and 2A have $1,450 month-to-month charges, StreetStraightforward reveals.

Wayne Benjamin, 64, an architect who purchased a 1,300-square-foot, two-bedroom co-op in Grinnell in 1987 for simply $85,000 — about $228,000 immediately — has no plans to go anyplace. He enjoys cooking in his full-sized kitchen and listening to music on his vinyl document participant — or jazz on an old school FM radio with a pair of audio system. He additionally enjoys uncommon New York City cross-ventilation, as each room within the condominium has exposures — so he can open the eating room home windows, which face the courtyard, and the French doorways and home windows in the lounge throughout the hallway, which face the road, and revel in breezes year-round.

But ultimately, it is the individuals.

“It comes all the way down to what’s necessary,” Benjamin mentioned in regards to the pull Grinnell has stored him there. “There are issues that you just share in frequent with others — frequent considerations and pursuits that you just come collectively to handle. That is what creates the sense of group that may make a constructing or neighborhood a vibrant great place to stay.”

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