Chasid Test

The buyers interested in the second-floor co-op at 545 West End Avenue were disappointed to find out it had sold. So when Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Toni Haber heard about a similar apartment two flights up, she thought her clients would be thrilled. They weren’t impressed. Haber’s buyers were Orthodox Jews, whose specifications occasionally run counter to the rest of the market. Some, as Haber learned, are willing to pay a substantial premium for a low floor because they’re not allowed to push elevator buttons during the Sabbath, which runs from Friday night to Saturday night. Another selling point is a doorman who’s willing to operate the elevator for them, says Halstead’s Susan Ruttner, who has many observant clients. Better still is a building with a Sabbath lift that stops on every floor, negating the hassle of climbing stairs. (On a busy Saturday, however, said amenity can be an inconvenience to nonobservant inhabitants of, say, the 23rd floor.)

Elevators aren’t the only consideration, of course. Brokers say many prefer to live as close to the synagogue as possible, or place a high value on proximity to Jewish schools. Ruttner says buildings that erect a sukkah—a tent used during the harvest holiday of Sukkot—also attract many of her clientele. (LoHo Realty’s Jacob Goldman said his brother and business partner was enticed to move into an apartment that had a terrace large enough for him to build his own sukkah.) For others, having a formal dining room in which to host friends and family members for Sabbath get-togethers is a must. “If there’s nowhere to put a dining table, that’s a liability,” says Corcoran’s Mordy Werde, who’s Orthodox. Adds Ruttner: “The difference between my seven-room buyer who’s observant and someone who’s not is that the Sabbath observers do not look at the dining room as a possible bedroom.” And then there are the storage requirements. “You have separate dishes for the dairy and meat products,” explains Werde. “I would need double the space.” Which may be why apartments that have that oh-so-coveted feature that often ratchets up the price—the renovated kitchen—may not be attractive after all, says Goldman. “People aren’t going to be paying $1,500 per square foot for a kitchen they’re going to need to rip up anyway,” he says. Next: Maggie Rizer Sells Her Franklin Street Loft

Maggie Makes a Move

Maggie Rizer, the fresh-faced model who has graced ad campaigns for Prada, Oscar de la Renta, and MaxMara (and whose stepfather frittered away her earnings to feed his voracious gambling habit), has sold her loft on Franklin Street for a reported $1.9 million. No word yet on who the buyers are, but they’ll be moving into a gracious two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,900-square-foot space with views of the Empire State Building. The apartment’s in the same pet-friendly Art Deco loft conversion—it used to be a bank—in Tribeca that houses Mariah Carey’s triplex. (Bob Vila once lived there, too.) Rizer was recently featured in posters for the Atelier, the Costas Kondylis–designed condo project on 42nd Street and Eleventh Avenue. Is that where she’s going? Her broker, Corcoran’s Susan-Gilder Hayes, did not return calls for comment. Next: Open House Log for 413 West 48th Street

413 West 48th Street, Apartment 2FW
Three-room, one-bath, 425-square-foot co-op.
Asking Price: $369,000.
Maintenance: $291 per month.
Broker: Donald Kemper, Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Who: Michele Renda, personal concierge.
What are you shopping for?
I’m looking for a friend of mine in New Jersey. He’s always asking if there’s something in my building—a small studio.
What do you think?
I think this will work. It may be a little more than he wanted to spend.

Who: Victoria Francisco, employee-relations director.
What are you shopping for?
I live in the neighborhood and I want to stay.
What do you think?
I’m looking for a one-bedroom, and this one looks like it might’ve been a large studio. The sleeping alcove is small.

Who: Lori Schoenstein, teacher, and Derick González, art director.
What are you shopping for?
LORI: We’ve been looking for a year. DERICK: We’re just starting to get serious.
What do you think?
LORI: It’s too small. DERICK: I don’t think we could handle it. LORI: We’d kill each other. DERICK: We’re almost there now. LORI: The building we’re in sucks! DERICK: People come and go, and not many complain about the management of the building. LORI: Our front door fell off last week!

Chasid Test