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Getting in on the Ground Floor

The real-estate market is sky-high—but if you’re willing to make some (or sometimes a lot of) compromises, you might still be able to afford a toehold in the city’s highest-profile new condo developments.

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The Plaza
The space: An 849 square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath.
The price: $2.727 million
What you get: Access to hotel perks (including turndown and maid service) and, since the apartment’s on the 16th floor, plenty of light. Plus bragging rights to living in what may well be the most prestigious—or the most-anticipated, anyway—condo in the city.
What you don’t: No ringside seats to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade—and all the other city celebrations that proceed down Fifth Avenue, for that matter—nor views of the park.


One Hanson Place
The space: A 489-square-foot studio in the landmarked former Williamsburg Savings Bank.
The price: $342,000
What you get: Ten-and-a-half-foot ceilings and Viking appliances in the kitchen. Plus, use of the Sky Lounge, a tricked-out common room that leads to a roof terrace, and a business center open all day—and night—long.
What you don’t: Manhattan views that could make you wonder why you’re paying Manhattan-style prices in Fort Greene.


The Hit Factory
The space: A one-bedroom, two-bath, 1,021-square-foot loft.
The price: $1.025 million.
What you get: Super-high ceilings (eleven feet) and an extra room for guests in what developers are branding the study (there’s no window, so they can’t call it a bedroom, technically). You also get to live in a storied Hell’s Kitchen building that once served as a recording studio for musicians like Madonna, Stevie Wonder, and John Lennon—hence the name.
What you don’t: Views are nothing to write a song about; all you see are the backs of other buildings.


The South Star
The space: A 299-square-foot studio.
The price: $390,000.
What you get: Your basic Wall Street studio perked up by Sub-Zero appliances and drenched in light (it’s on the fifteenth floor). Plus, you get some access to the Hotel Gansevoort uptown—you can use the pool in the evenings.
What you don’t: Wiggle room.


Zinc Building
The space: A one-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath, 880-square-foot loft in Tribeca.
The price: Mid-$900,000s.
What you get: An eDesk, which basically connects you to the front desk from wherever you are (you can e-mail the doorman to remind him that you’re expecting furniture delivery while you’re away), refrigerated lobby storage for FreshDirect—and that crucial half-bath for guests.
What you don’t: Double exposures (you only get one, due north) and the fancier appliances and finishes, such as the larger Sub-Zeros and extra-large tubs found in the bigger apartments.


8 Union Square South
The space: A 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath.
The price: $1.89 million.
What you get: Ten-foot ceilings, a view of Union Square through floor-to-ceiling windows, and concierge service through Quintessentially, which can do everything from finding you a housecleaner to booking you a private jet.
What you don’t: Being on the third floor means proximity to the madness that is Union Square on the weekends. Then again, you’ll have an inside track on the freshest Greenmarket veggies.


240 Park Avenue South
The space: An 805-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath condo in starchitect Charles Gwathmey’s post–Astor Place outing.
The price: Approximately $1 million.
What you get: Optional “smart home” technologies like the ability to switch on the A/C over the phone, and free breakfast-on- the-go service.
What you don’t: The free-form pool that comes with the penthouse.


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