68-Square-Foot Apartment With Communal Bathroom Asking $950 a Month

There is no wasted space in this recently listed fifth-floor walkup at 148 West 70th Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue. Every inch of its 68 square feet will feel like home to the next tenant, because those 68 feet are all there are.

The listing originally read “It’s probably the smallest apartment in Manhattan… This is all about location,” according to real estate site 6sqft. But that description has apparently been taken off the current listing on Citi Habitats.

There’s no bathroom in the room — you’ll share it with other tenants on the floor — but there is a stove, a refrigerator, a closet, and a lofted twin bed.

Oh yeah, no pets. It wouldn’t really be fair to Fluffy anyhow.

Or you could rent this 2,000 square foot 5-bedroom house in North Carolina for the same price. But really, who wants all that space.

NEWS | 53 comments | permalink
    1. Steven says:

      I’m sure dozens applied for the apartment. I have a friend in Alabama who rents a beautiful 4 year old house with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms & a huge backyard for $650 a month. You can’t even get a monthly parking spot in NYC for that price. I, like many others used to love NYC. But the prices everyone, for everything have become so outrageous, it’s really taken away my love for this city. Cause let’s be honest, unless you’re rich, you can’t really get by here anymore without it being a struggle.

      • Rodger Lodger says:

        Why do you call NYC prices “outrageous”? Have you heard of supply and demand? Should landlords charge less to accommodate tenants? Does everyone have a divine right to live in NYC? Is the only reasonable price something that everybody can afford?

      • Aaron Biller says:

        Quick, quick! Somebody call Stevie Banks at HRA. They pay up to $4,000 for an SRO room that size for homeless clients. This landlord is missing a real pay day!

      • Sean says:

        “This city” is more than just Manhattan. Manhattan is for the rich. The apartments that you see in Nora Ephron movies are not meant for everybody. NJ suburbs are expensive too. Alabama? Who wants to live in the Deep South and put up with all that crap?

        • dannyboy says:

          “Manhattan is for the rich.”

          Another assumption intended to disenfranchise whole populations of Manhattanites.

        • Pepe GF says:

          “Who wants to live in the Deep South and put up with all that crap?”

          What “crap”?

    2. Josh P. says:

      Build more housing. I’m sorry that some people think tall buildings in Manhattan are a moral abomination, but when you have essentially zero housing stock growth since 1970 you force people to live in these kinds of conditions. The NIMBYs already have their apartments though and they don’t have to look at people who live here, so why should they put up with the inconvenience of new construction?
      People who want to turn the UWS into a gated community and force newcomers to either pay millions or live in apartments like this are more selfish and greedier than any big developer.

      • John says:

        Exactly. New York needs to aggressively increase housing stock. We need ambitious plans to add hundreds of thousands of apartments and the infrastructure to support them. This is of course difficult when existing home owners (and people with incredible rent control deals) throw wrenches in the gears over issues like shadows.

        • chrigid says:

          when was the last time affordable housing was turned down because of shadows? In fact, when was the last time affordable housing unconnected to 80% luxury housing was turned down, or even seriously proposed?

          • John says:

            Forget about the distinction between “affordable” and “luxury” housing for a second. If we add hundreds of thousands of apartments to New York, prices will come down. If they’re all “luxury” apartments, so much the better. Flooding the city with supply will bring prices down.

            No one wants to build “affordable” housing because the economics don’t make sense. When we try to build “luxury” housing, NIMBYs fight it tooth-and-nail for any variety of reasons. The result is that we get very little new housing, supply remains tight, and prices go ever higher.

            We need to build more, bigger, and better.

            • dannyboy says:

              Flooding the city with luxury apartments will continue to raise prices. Is it your experience that the luxury development of the last decades has brought down prices?

          • Josh P. says:

            Here is an example of people fighting tooth and nail against a 100% affordable development. https://www.westsiderag.com/2017/11/02/neighborhood-splits-over-senior-housing-project-at-intense-meeting-call-security It doesn’t matter what the proposal is, it will see huge protests because a lot of people in this neighborhood see development as inherently bad no matter what and think that if they love their community the best way to get involved is to “preserve” and “defend” it. They don’t stop to think that they’re saving the buildings at the expense of the neighborhood’s human character. This used to be a neighborhood for families and bohemians. Now, because nobody ever leaves and we don’t build any new housing, there’s no room for those people anymore. Personally, I’d rather preserve the UWS’s culture than its buildings. A lot of very loud people would rather have the buildings.

        • Rodger Lodger says:

          Back when John Lindsay was mayor the administration was fond of announcing “massive” programs. There was no cost in using that term.

        • Jan says:

          And how and where is the City going to be able to accommodate all of the people in these yet to be constructed buildings. Is it not a reality that the city is overcrowded and there are too many people in Manhattan already schools are crowded subways are a nightmare of people. Has anyone thought of a
          moretaniun on building?

      • transplanted NYer says:

        Really? Have you thought about the economics of building new housing and how that translates into rent? I know I will take a lot of flak for this but who says everyone has to be able to afford to live in Manhattan (and within two blocks of Central Park)? There is plenty of affordable housing in Queens, Brooklyn, Jersey etc.

    3. Lord Of The Slice says:

      “Or you could rent this 2,000 square foot 5-bedroom house in North Carolina for the same price. But really, who wants all that space.”

      or, if you’re a student in NYC it’s perfect and the commute from North Caroline is a bit much to make it to a 8am class every day.

      but, I’m just being cynical 🙄

    4. Cat says:

      Sooooo ridiculous! I don’t like Citi Habitats. I told them exactly what I was looking for and they took me to every rat hole in the city and then tried to jack up the price + their commission. I started searching on my own and found a small one bedroom with a beautiful bathroom for $1000 and it’s worth every penny!

    5. Donald Hump says:

      The beginning of a successful effort to put New Yorkers back in the closet.

    6. Sean says:

      All you need is room to hang your Canada Goose
      Coat.

    7. nyclover says:

      Living in NYC has become a privilege, which btw is not unique to NYC. Unfortunately, life decisions are guided more by economic forces than the heart, which btw is not unique to the times we live in. It’s a harsh reality that we’d all like to see change but there is no reversal.

    8. John Elari says:

      ….and then there are “fortunates” like me who has a huge studio with four windows, a long hallway to the bath and entrance, a half block from Central, rent-stabilized, SCRIE-protected on W 74th for $545. a month. What?
      I’ve been here for 51 years; and the landlord leaves me alone. Where do I click onto the smiley emoji?

      • Sherman says:

        Laugh all you want but it’s because of people like you that Manhattan has long had a housing affordability crisis.

        Ridiculous deals like yours cause inefficiencies and inequalities in the market.

        You can write all you want about how people like you are such a great addition to the neighborhood and this apartment is your divine birthright but the truth is your living expenses have been subsidized for years by everyone else.

        Sleep well tonight…..

        • josh the hipster says:

          I smell a faint odor of jealousy

        • Madd Donna says:

          You must be a greedy landlord or wannabee developer to make a nasty comment like that. People who have lived in NYC for that many years aren’t causing the housing crisis and have more of a right to stay in their apartments than any transplants who want to live here!! First come, first serve!! And since when did our city decide we have to make more room for outsiders before taking care of those who were born here?? So what thousands of millennials and foreigners want to live here. You can’t always get what you want! Besides, the UPW has lost it’s coolness once all the transplants, foreign oligarchs and homeless people ruined it.

        • Sean says:

          Leave the man alone. He’s 74 years old and he’s been in that apartment since 1967. He got a good deal. SCRIE is a city rent program for seniors. It freezes their rent from increasing if they have annual income under 50K. He probably didn’t even know the apartment was stabilized when he moved in.

          • 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

            This is a disgusting use of state power to benefit a few middle-class welfare cases at the expense of the rest of the population. Public policy is supposed to view ALL citizens as equal before the law. I know many seniors who pay their own way and find housing that they can afford without screwing the rest of the population.

            • dannyboy says:

              So why don’t you take your own advice and “pay [your] own way and find housing that [you] can afford without screwing the rest of the population.”?

        • Aint’t that the truth says:

          Rent stabilized housing was created for WWII veterans. Anyone who didn’t serve should give it up. The concept that it passes down as if it is a genetic trait is just wrong and Mayor De-everything-I-say-is-gospel should deal away with it if he is such a fairness saint.

        • enviousmuch says:

          Like you wouldn’t be all over that deal if you had the opportunity…

      • Cat says:

        This is as close as I can get to a smiley emoji. Kudos to you, lol! 😀

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        It’s a real stretch to say that John Elari’s apartment is being subsidized by “the rest of us.” Since he has a studio, the landlord probably STILL makes money on this rental apartment, or at worst comes close to breaking even. Of course, that depends on how heavily the building is mortgaged.

        the landlord owns a rental building on W. 74th between CPW and Columbus. I am sure he is doing very well.

        Don’t believe me? I challenge the landlord in that building to “open his books” and let me and others examine them.

        As for subsidies, many condo or coop owner on the UWS are probably receiving far greater public subsidies through through the Mortage Interest Tax deduction.

        John Elari has the basic dignity to apparently use his real name. Sherman then launches a personal attack, anonymously.

        Sherman is advocating that a senior citizen who has been in a studio apartment for 50 years get thrown out, for the sole reason that the rich landlord can make more profits. he advocates this based on solving “inefficiencies and inequalities” in “the market.”

        Let’s be clear that Sherman is simply advocating a wealth transfer upward. He will take wealth and convenience AWAY from a senior citizen, one with modest income (we know this because John says he gets SCRIE), and TRANSFER that wealth to the rich, probably absentee building owner.

        Where is the “efficiency” in that? It is just advocacy for the rich.

        • Anon says:

          I guess you don’t think much of the Federalist Papers, then. Or Thomas Paine.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            a smug remark from, not surprisingly, “Anon”.

            maybe you would care to explain what it is in the Federalist Papers and/or Thomas Paine you are citing.

    9. m.pipik says:

      Isn’t this illegal? It is too small and without a bathroom it may not even qualify as an apartment.

    10. Sean says:

      An apartment this size is called a starter apartment in the real estate industry. It is offered for rent to
      someone usually in their 20s. It is not meant to be a life long residence. The usual turnover for these apartments is 3 years on the UWS. You are supposed to further along in your career by then and moving onward and upward. If not you are in either the wrong career or city or both.

      • Cato says:

        Ah, the bliss of stereotyping.

        An apartment like John’s “is offered for rent to someone usually in their 20s.”

        No, under our capitalist system it’s offered to someone willing to pay for it. And under our legal system a landlord who declined to rent it to someone because that person was *not* “in their 20s” would be violating age-discrimination laws. Or don’t the laws matter in your world view?

        “It is not meant to be a life long residence.” This we know how, exactly? Do leases contain a provision to this effect? I’d love to have you show us one. And if it’s not in the lease, then how is it “not meant to be a life long residence” if the tenant and the landlord are OK with it being a “life long residence”? Again, under our capitalist system, they — vendor and customer — get to decide that. Who are you to impose your personal world view to tell them that, no, you can’t do it that way?

        “You are supposed to [be] further along in your career by then and moving onward and upward.” “Supposed to be”? Supposed by whom? Who are you to decide where another citizen should be in his or her career development? Is there a chart or something of universal acceptance announcing what everyone’s career development is “supposed to [be]”? If not — how do you know?

        The world may not have ended up structured the way you fantasize it, but please don’t tell everyone else that they have to fit into your fantasies because they are “supposed” to.

        • Sean says:

          Actually I was commenting on the tiny apartment mentioned in the post and not John’s. An apartment is shown by an agent because it’s available and matches a need. There are starter apartments. A family would not move in here. Generally on the UWS these apartments are for college kids, recent grads etc. The kids are from the suburbs and come in with their parents to see them. The parents are the driving force here. They have very specific requests as to location.

    11. JoHo says:

      People forget that 40 years ago only the brave lived in this neighborhood. And we saved it from urban blight, fighting to get home at night and making friends with the hookers on Broadway (in the 70’s and 80’s no less; both streets and years) out of self-preservation. They EARNED the right to live here. The MADE the neighborhood. But don’t worry, they’re starting to die off, and if we get Republican control of the Legislature, you’ll have your ‘free market’. Then you can live among only the wealthiest folks, assuming they are actually staying at their palatial pied-a-teres that time of year. Sounds like fun, huh?

      • Sherman says:

        You’re no pioneer and you’re no hero.

        You only lived here during the pre-Giuliani dark days because you had a cheap deal.

        It was the newcomers to the neighborhood -who are straddled with exhorbitant housing costs – who revitalized the area.

        Nobody owes you anything.

        • dannyboy says:

          Start taking your own advice that “Nobody owes you anything.”

          Go out and make something of yourself to pay for your apartment without bellyaching about how other people.

          “Nobody owes you anything” would be a good start.

          • Sherman says:

            @ dannyboy – I’m glad your entitlements allow you to sponge off your fellow UWS residents. It enables you to afford all those exotic vacations you’re always bragging about.

            • dannyboy says:

              I guess that you are stuck in the mode of blaming everyone else for your own lack. How is that working for your own sense of success and satisfaction?

    12. Bob Leonard says:

      There are a ton of city owned buildings on the UWS and all over town that are 1 or 2 stories. A good example are public schools; many are quite old. Replace them with a high rise with affordable housing plus a state-of-the-art educational facilities and maybe some kind of public-oriented space. It’s a win-win-win.

    13. Lis Krosov says:

      I’ve lost track. Are the landlords who, for decades, warehoused apartments still doing that?

    14. Lis Krosov says:

      Are they still warehousing apartments on the West Side?

    15. Peter says:

      When you talk about transplants and people moving here remember that this is a sanctuary city right? Immigrants and refugees welcome right? Don’t complain about crowded subways or schools or ERs. You told these people they could come here. Now you complain about a housing crisis? You reap what you sow.

    16. Teresa says:

      Shouldn’t a $950/month space that’s a little more than an 8×8 box with no bathroom be listed under WSR’s Absurdity?!