But you don't know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?
The budget traveler might remember this address as "Chocolat", the $40-a-night UWS bargain "hotel and hostel." But a few years back, Chocolat shuffled on. And then it took what seemed like forever for the renovation of 850 West End -- a 6 story building between West 101st and West 102nd -- to be completed. First there was the scaffolding, then the mattresses and all manner of porcelain were hurled out the windows, down chutes, right into curbside containers. Then came the work. Steel beams, hoisted to the roof, concrete, dry wall. More concrete. It was all quite mysterious. And rather ambitious. This was a to-the-studs gut reno replete with swanky roofdeck.
Well, sometime last summer, everything started to gel. The renovation was done, the container hauled off, and the the heavy equipment motored to its next gig. Nothing significantly different about the facade tipped neighbors off to the new reality: a short-term, no-fee rental building -- geared perhaps particularly to foreign students -- in full swing. For the moment, a cool $2K will get you a new micro studio, or what could be alternatively thought of as a "studio-ette" or hotel room plus. Here's how the marketing language goes:
Our budget friendly luxury NYC apartment complex is conveniently situated on Manhattan’s trendy Upper West Side neighborhood. Located right in between Central Park and the Hudson River, you can find the lovely Riverside Park, Broadway, many restaurants, grocery stores, banks, and so many other great attractions nearby to round out this wholesome neighborhood. The close proximity to Columbia University, New York Institute of Technology, and Barnard College make this a great option for students in search of off campus housing. Aside from being conveniently located to those campuses, the building is only a quick stroll to various modes of public transportation, including the 1 train, which runs the length of Manhattan.
Our newly renovated residences are perfect for students looking for off campus housing or for young professionals that want a luxurious dorming lifestyle.
Seems like the property might be ripe for Columbia University to snap up. Given this mega-landlord-to-our-north's dearth of housing for visitors, it would be a no-brainer. Columbia already has a presence here: the 83-unit 2700 Broadway at West 103rd, completed in 2005. I'd venture a guess that there's more ahead for 850 West End Ave.
But its marketers should know that "trendy," we are not. Yet.
By Caitlin Hawke