A Dh47m home in the New York district that went from hippie hangout to millionaire's playground

For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to have lived in New York City, a first visit to the US’s financial (and probably its cultural) capital is often a source of wonder. Its streets have been used so often in films and in TV shows that everywhere you go seems familiar, from the downtown skyscrapers to Central Park and even the subway trains.

Greenwich Village and its large brownstone buildings are a great example of this, with many building exteriors being used as the backdrop for famous city shows such as Friends and Sex and the City. The proximity of “The Village” to New York University means it has been home to writers, artists and other creative types for most of the past century, especially in the counterculture era during the late 1960s.

But in recent years home prices have skyrocketed in the area and now rank among Manhattan’s most expensive. One property on the market, at 110 West 13th Street for $12.95m (Dh47.6m), gives some indication as to why these homes are so appealing.

Originally built in 1844 (but comprehensively renovated over the past two years), it provides the typical high ceilings and large windows expected of a property of this era, with the current owners making the most of the space by hanging curated artworks from its walls.

Once up the stone front steps, the house opens into a foyer and its feature open-plan mezzanine parlour floor. This contains an original ornate fireplace and a lounge area. The ground floor houses the main living and entertainment space, including a dining area and a chef’s kitchen with black marble tops, a Wolf double cooker and preparation hotplates. Next to the kitchen is a media room with high-beamed ceilings and windows overlooking a private garden.

The property’s five bedrooms are split between the second and third floors. The second floor contains the master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, the third floor has more bedrooms and a terrace, and the top of the building has a roof terrace offering views of the Manhattan skyline. Furthermore, 110 West 13th St is just a couple of minutes’ walk from Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas, and just two blocks west of Union Square.

q&a

Matthew Pravda, a senior real estate adviser at selling agents Leslie J Garfield, explains the appeal of Village life

Who would live in a house like this?

The buyer of this distinguished town house will most likely have a background in the finance sector, or a keen interest in the arts. Featuring five generously-sized bedrooms, the purchaser is likely to have children, extended family, or members of staff living in the house.

What sort of amenities are on offer?

The Village offers some of Manhattan’s best restaurants, shopping and schools in a quaint neighbourhood atmosphere. The proximity and easy access to every area in the city make Greenwich Village one of New York’s most desirable neighbourhoods.

What are the neighbours like?

Most of the people living on this block are creatives, with keen interests in music, drama or the arts. Notable neighbours on the block include musician Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon, and Academy Award-winning actress Marisa Tomei.

How have property prices ­performed in this neighbourhood over the past few years?

Over the past five years, Greenwich Village has been the most expensive neighbourhood in Manhattan. Single-family town houses sell at an average of US$3,500 per square foot with some transactions eclipsing $5,000 per sq ft.

mfahy@thenational.ae

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