6sqft’s ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Union Square penthouse studio of Leonard Shaver. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
When Leonard Shaver moved into his studio penthouse 20 years ago, he never thought he’d be there two decades later. But thanks to a 320-square-foot terrace that not only makes the space feel twice its size but offers sweeping views of the skyline and Empire State Building, resurgence of the Union Square area, and the way his system of “organized chaos” has suited him, he now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Admittedly a bit of a “hoarder,” Leonard has an impressive set of Moroccan rugs, along with collections of Limoges Mona Lisa plates, Baccarat crystal, and shoes (yes, he even keeps them in the oven a la “Sex and the City”). 6sqft recently paid Leonard a visit to check out his home and learn about how he makes the small space work for himself and his two dogs Hunter and JJ.
Take the tour of Leonard’s mini penthouse
L train via Wiki Commons
To mitigate the nightmare commuters will face during the 15-month L-train shutdown, the MTA and the Department of Transportation presented four possible alternatives that would make a portion of 14th Street a car-free busway. Streetsblog NYC reported that during a Manhattan Community Board 6 meeting on Monday, the agencies laid out the following options: a standard Select Bus Service (SBS) along 14th Street, enhanced SBS that includes turn and curb restrictions, a car-free busway in the middle lanes along 14th and a river-to-river car-free busway. Agency officials predict between 75 and 85 percent of the daily 275,000 daily L riders will use other subway lines, with bus service possibly absorbing between 5-15 percent of displaced trips.
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This Union Square apartment has certainly seen its fair share of scandal. Notorious former Congressman Anthony Weiner, along with wife and Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, moved into the duplex rental at Zeckendorf Towers in November 2014, just after his failed mayoral run and sexting scandal. And now that Abedin filed for divorce (nearly nine years since the couple announced their separation) after Weiner pled guilty to sending sexual text messages to a minor, they may finally be parting ways with the contemporary home. Three days ago, the Post reported that the unit hit the market for $11,900 a month, but the listing has since been pulled, perhaps from the publicity or because it was rented.
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Advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has been trying to stay focused on grounded solutions–literally, as opposed to the tunnel and skyway ideas that are also being discussed–to mitigate the anticipated possible chaos when the dreaded 15-month L train shutdown hits. The organization is aiming for the ear of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the MTA which control street design and bus expansion, respectively. The group recently held an “L-ternative” contest seeking pedestrian-centered proposals for main transit corridors along the L line, such as 14th street, Gothamist reports. The winning proposal, called 14TH ST.OPS, imagines a (car) traffic-free 14th Street with a six-stop shuttle bus using dedicated lanes, plus protected bike lanes.
Check out the winning post-L-Train vision
The Flatiron District is known for its big, basic loft apartments, often creatively customized by residents, and this duplex co-op at 131 Fifth Avenue is no exception. Currently on the market for $1.75 million, the art-friendly home has understated bragging points like 15-foot ceilings and 10-foot windows overlooking 5th Avenue, as well as a full suite of interior design tools for creative living.
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The redevelopment of Union Square‘s Tammany Hall is moving full steam ahead. As CityRealty reports, leasing has launched, and along with a brand new website, a slew of new renderings showing off the historic building’s impending transformation have also been revealed.
This one-bedroom apartment comes from the Zeckendorf Towers, a 1980s development that encompasses four 29-story towers with 630 apartments. Although it is a condo complex, you can rent this particular unit for $4,900 a month. It’s particularly flexible as a sliding glass door that separates the bedroom also partitions off a bonus space which could be used as an office or nursery. The unit also benefits from built-in shelving and custom closets that maximize storage space.
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The East Village loft owned by novelist and literary bad boy Bret Easton Ellis is available for rent for $5,900 per month. Ellis has been renting out the studio apartment since he decamped for Los Angeles a decade ago; he told the Observer he’s been holding on to the 950-square-foot, second-floor condo in the American Felt Building at 114 East 13th Street as a back-up plan, “if Los Angeles just doesn’t work out.” The “American Psycho” scribe says he spent the late ’80s living in the lofty studio–in his early 20s at the time–writing the iconic 1991 novel of late 20th century privilege, materialism and delusion and throwing massive Holly Golightly-esque bashes packed with his contemporaries back in the day in an East Village very different from today’s.
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The kitchen says Greenwich Village, the bedroom reads East Village, and the large living space is pure Soho loft. Located just south of Union Square and a few blocks from almost everything else in the universe, this good old fashioned “loft-style home” at 816 Broadway is the perfect mix of cool downtown dwellings.
Unless you’re seeking total peace and quiet (which rules out most of New York City) there isn’t much downside–other than the $13K a month rent–to moving right in to this hip, well-stocked apartment with the world just outside your door. This furnished home is available for six months or less (January-September); weekly cleaning and utilities are included in the rent.
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Getting settled in Manhattan can be challenging, but with help from the designers at Peti Lau Inc. this bachelor from Bangalore, India created a place to call home with an epic interior inspired by his love for travel, all things vintage, and coffee. Located in Union Square, this 1,800-square-foot one-bedroom apartment boasts a variety of noteworthy design details, including a cafe-inspired kitchen and tchotchkes and rugs gathered from the owner’s trips to Africa, Morocco and India.
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