The skinniest townhouse in the village is for sale again

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Photo: dbimages / Alamy Stock Photo

Every neighborhood has a property that changes hands over and over again, and some of it is confusing: is the reason a surprisingly noisy corner, a terrible neighbor, a resident ghost? But 75-½ Bedford Street is back on the market again, and here the reason is not particularly mysterious. The townhouse is nine and a half feet wide, and it is outside. The interiors are only eight feet and one inch in diameter.

For years, residents have given interviews claiming to have happily adapted to the unique challenges of living in a house with rooms barely wide enough for a bed, but real estate records suggest they are all getting bored of it. as soon as possible. Since 2000, the thinnest townhouse in the Village, and quite possibly the city, has changed hands three times. The most recent turnaround occurred in 2013, when George Gund IV, “the descendant of eminent Clevelanders”, Bought it for 3.25 million dollars. (The deed was transferred a fourth time in 2015, but for $ 0 to an LLC that appears to be affiliated with the Gund family.) Even its most famous resident, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, only lasted ‘a little over a year.

The house contains a quite respectable 999 square feet of living space, but it is spread over three floors (there is also a basement, but the layout is so tight, that at least in the past it was accessed. via a hatch in the kitchen). “Upon entering the house, a visitor enters what appears to be a generously distributed entrance hall, with a sofa along one wall. But the entrance turns out to be a very narrow living room ”, the the Wall Street newspaper reported after the last sale. Gund claimed that several friends organized an intervention before he closed the house, to make sure he knew what he was doing. But he told them he was buying the house out of passion, not for profit. “I see it as a form of stewardship,” he said.

If the house sells for the asking price of $ 4.99 million this time around, Gund will make a good profit. Although that’s a big one though: the price comes in at almost $ 5,000 per square foot, which for a village townhouse is unusually steep (much like the stairs, one assumes). For comparison, a 21-foot-wide townhouse on East 11th Street that sold for $ 28 million earlier this year was $ 3,778 per square foot.

Of course, 75-½ Bedford is exceptionally charming, which seems to be the reason it continues to sell despite its obvious downsides. Besides her fairytale aura and Millay’s brief residence, other notable former residents include cartoonist William Steig, anthropologist Margaret Mead (who was Steig’s sister-in-law and lived there with him and his sister), and John Barrymore and Cary Grant, who (separately) stayed there briefly as a rooming house for actors working at the nearby Cherry Lane Theater.

Stewardship, security and profitability are common themes among buyers. “I fell in love with the house when I saw it, but I want to be its keeper,” said architect Christopher Dubbs, who bought the house for $ 270,000 in 1993, renovated it and l ‘listed for rent at $ 6,000 per month. years later, said to New York Times. In other words, Dubbs and his partner didn’t really want to live there. They sold the house, furnished, in 2000, for an undisclosed sum, to a businessman who used it while in town for work, then he let his daughter and her boyfriend move in. The 23-year-old recounted AMNY that she planned to stay until her parents kick them out, although she doesn’t think it’s a place to raise children, describing one of the bathrooms as follows: “If you slide the door shut, your knees bump into it. The shower head is against the wall, so if you want to wash one armpit, you turn one way and then the other to wash the other.

The businessman sold the property to an LLC for $ 2.175 million in 2010, which sold it three years later to Gund. It now has two bathrooms, although one is absolutely tiny (three feet seven inches wide). There are three fairly deep but narrow bedrooms, as well as a shared rear garden and a constant stream of groups of tourists and passers-by who stop and watch.


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