Hey, I’m back with another installment of Fixer Upper Friday, scouting a 2 BR at 35-31 85th Street, 4h, in Jackson Heights. This home is located in a four-building co-op down the block from where we live, so I get to see quite a bit of it and I can tell you that the outdoor spaces are sweet. I’m going to breeze right over the photos in the ad on StreetEasy and instead show you this of a neighboring home in the same co-op that gives a better taste of how great this home could be. Can’t you just see yourself sipping a latte or glass of wine here? Righty-ho, then — let’s jump right into the floor plan, where the potential to open the kitchen into something spectacular is pure Renov8or gold.
The first thing that strikes me is we’ve got a terrace whose location right off the living/dining room makes sense. Home dwellers who have a terrace are going to be shuffling drinks and food from the kitchen through the living room to the outdoor space. When I see terraces in the Jax located off the bedroom it just doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for me. I mean, am I really going to parade my guests through my bedroom to sit outdoors? But here’s a terrace I just might use. (There’s a bit of an inside joke here about how much people really use their coveted *outdoor* space, because in Brooklyn I had a whole 400 sq foot backyard that I almost never used — another post for another time maybe.)
The second thing that strikes me about this floorplan is that kitchen that’s just primed for opening up. If that wall is not load-bearing and if the co-op board approves the plan, the purchaser of this home has an opportunity to open up the narrow living space and add utility to the kitchen with a small island.
I’d locate the fridge where the stove is now, because putting the largest appliances out of sight lines visually opens up the design. I’d then relocate the stove in an island with a nice hood descending from the ceiling and maybe add some barstool seating around it. I’d relocate the sink at the window, to make it a focal point. Just these small changes will make an enormous difference to the flow in this narrow but nicely proportioned home.
This home at 1,012 sq ft is listed for $450k. Two bedroom homes of 1,000 square feet are selling for up to $600k in this neighborhood for nicely renovated ones, so your instant equity would more than pay for the renovation which would run about 40-50k for the kitchen. The amenities in this co-op are quite substantial — an underground parking garage, nice laundry room, basement storage units and one of the nicest children’s playgrounds I’ve seen in Jackson Heights. I can’t speculate on the co-op’s finances; that’s something a prospective buyer will need to look into. Certainly the grounds and buildings are well kept and the ad says there’s a live-in super and full time maintenance staff.
There is a land lease at this co-op, which is rare in Jackson Heights but not unheard of in Manhattan (Battery Park City and Tudor City are two that come to mind). That’s something a buyer will want to discuss with their lawyer to better understand the pros and cons. In any case, there’s real potential here or at the very least good reason to do some investigating if you’re in the market for a fixer upper.