MSNBC.comJanuary 17, 2012120 W 29th St Apt 2, New York NY
For sale: $1,750,000
The magic of the steampunk apartment begins at the entrance, where the science-fiction/fantasy world of this intriguing home comes to life. There's a heavy, submarine-style front door, oxidized green with working porthole and keypad entry. It opens into a dramatically-inspired space straight out of a Jules Verne novel.
Cogs, sprockets and gears line the ceiling and the walls. A giant zeppelin light fixture hangs from the ceiling.
It is a fantastic mix of steampunk and modern, said listing agent Parul Brahmbhatt, who added that for all the apartment's whimsy, the space is completely comfortable.
"Once you're in the space, it doesn't feel cluttered," explained Brahmbhatt. "It may seem like a museum, but it's a museum you can live in."
One of the more spectacular elements of the Flatiron apartment for sale is the 32-foot-long dirigible light fixture that hangs from the ceiling in the middle of the apartment. It's computer programmed, allowing a light display to flash different colors and patterns with the flip of a switch.
Some of the cogs and pipes are antiques. A few of the ropes and pulleys work. In fact, one rope releases a Murphy bed, while others open and close the bathroom and shower doors. Many of the items in the house have been assembled from antique or abandoned items.
"(The owner) literally found the stuff all over the place and put it together piece-by-piece," said Brahmbhatt. She likens the features to many of the things seen on TV's "American Pickers."
One bathroom has a vanity constructed from an oil drum. The bedroom has the feel of being inside a tattered dirigible.
The kitchen is a carefully planned space with plenty of counters and high-end appliances that are juxtaposed against the antique tools used as drawer and cabinet pulls.
"The amazing part of the apartment is the attention to detail and quality. He has a way of mixing the old and the new," said Brahmbhatt. "He's spared no expense in making it livable."
With 1,800 square feet of living space and a large attached patio, Brahmbhatt says the apartment is spacious and perfect for entertaining.
While some of the items will be moved for whoever buys the property, the owner wants to keep the aesthetics of the place as it is, says Brahmbhatt. For the right buyer, portions of the collections of antique fans, cast iron bed warmers and typewriters could be included in the sale.
Although part of a larger co-op, the apartment is only one of two in the building. That makes it somewhat unique, plus it is located in the Flatiron District, where redevelopment has been spurred up through Chelsea.
Thanks,in part, to the development of The High Line park, West 29th Street has seen recent openings of hotels and restaurants, resulting in rise in real estate values, according to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal. In the Flatiron District, median home values hover around $1,187,200. Median rent prices are $3,300 a month — and rising.
According to current mortgage rates, a monthly payment on the apartment would be $6,434, assuming a 20-percent down payment on a 30-year-mortgage.