The Wait-List Rental:
275 Conover Street, Red Hook
Despite its Zone A location in Red Hook, this converted warehouse has a surprisingly ardent following. Prices defy neighborhood norms—a one-bedroom was recently asking a whopping $4,400 a month. About 40 people are on its waiting list, and previous takers have been known to get into bidding wars, says David Maundrell of AptsandLofts.com. Though grocery shoppers crowd the ground-floor tenant, Fairway, the building’s distance from the city’s hustle and bustle may actually draw some of its famous tenants (Michelle Williams and Jason Segel reportedly shacked up here). That, and the exquisite lofts with thirteen-foot ceilings, arched windows framing Statue of Liberty views, and weighty beams that antedate the Civil War.
Other wait-list rentals: the Verdesian and the Solaire.
The Artists Colony:
Westbeth, 55 Bethune Street
The waiting list has been closed for years at this iconic West Village behemoth, which was converted into an affordable artists commune by Richard Meier in the late sixties. Decades later, it still serves that purpose. Rents aren’t just affordable—anywhere from $800 for a studio to $1,800 for a three-bedroom—but also stabilized. Those artists lucky enough to make it off the waiting list must still meet with the admissions committee, says George Cominskie, president of the Westbeth Artists Residents Council. They also can’t earn more than 90 percent of the median income of the area—$56,000 a year, at last count. Lucky dwellers get airy apartments with big windows (some with river views), a supportive community of artists to kibitz with—poet Hugh Seidman and filmmaker Edith Stephen still live here, and Martha Graham’s studios continue to call it home—plus a ground-floor gallery to show off their work.
See also: Manhattan Plaza.