A Bit of Spice in Tribeca – 288 West Street, 6W/5W

Think Lincoln Logs, the wooden interlocking building toy that has entertained generations of children.  Now scan the rows of timber beams that line the ceiling of this one-of-a-kind loft and marvel at the character of its design.  

This riverfront duplex at 288 West Street is located on the western edge of Tribeca, between Watts Street and Canal Street.  Sandwiched between two modern developments, the eight-story remembrance of Tribeca past stands out like a footnote to history with its distinctive front doors, arched windows and exterior fire escape.  Built in the mid 1800s, this red brick building first served as a spice storehouse.

288, also known as the Medium Lipstick Building (We have no idea why.) offers 13 co-op residences and glorious views across the Hudson River and Hudson River Park to the west.  The property was converted to residential ownership in 1984.  Most of the floors have two loft apartments; apartment 6W/5W is the only duplexed unit.  There is a video security system with keyless entry.

6W/5W is an unusual home.  It wows you at first glance, as well as your second and third.  And for this reason it’s our latest pick in our Apartments We Love series.  

Upon entering this two-story, four-bedroom residence, you are swept into the past.  Walls of brick, timber beams and posts create an atmosphere that harks back to the building’s beginnings.  But the residence isn’t trapped by its history.  A floating staircase with a glass balustrade, custom lighting, professional grade appliances and central air all serve to meld the present with the past.  The original floors have been replaced with new wide plank flooring.    

On the main level is a sprawling open-plan great room (22’x30’) that forms the centerpiece of this expansive home. Architectural details abound and river views amaze.  Three oversized arched windows frame the view.  On a warm day, swing these windows open for a water breeze; it will feel as though you’re lounging on the river.

Starting from the great room you can easily explore the rest of the home. As you move away from the western side of the loft, the stairs split the room.  On one side is a formal dining area with a wet bar and an open kitchen.  On the other is a small sitting area and a media room with a sliding door.  There is a two-sided fireplace on the wall between the media room and the great room.   

Returning to the front of the loft, we find the master bedroom suite adjoining the great room. The suite includes a sleeping area, a spa-like five-fixture bath with rain shower and a worldly walk-in-closet.  Both the bedroom and  bath enjoy the same beautiful windows and views across the Hudson.  Naturally, the bed faces the water.

Descending the floating staircase to the lower level, we find a second floor almost identical in size to the main level.  At the front of the loft, three distinct bedrooms face west.  The river views are equally splendid from the loft’s fifth floor.  The remainder of the space is divided into areas for work and fun.  The floor contains a home office, gym, laundry room and a playroom.  Need more?  There is even a kitchenette that abuts the third bedroom, perfect for a nanny suite or a visiting mother-in-law.  A full mudroom offers informal entry to the residence.  There are three full baths on the floor, one with a sauna.

When the weather warms, one can take in the building’s magnificent roof deck.  The deck measures some 1500 square feet and offers unblemished views across the Hudson and southward views toward One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty.  The building provides a grill for cooking.   

While the building doesn’t offer much in terms of amenities, it does offer easy access to  Hudson River Park and Piers 25 and 26 just to the south.  The Park, which stretches from Battery Park City to 59th Street, is the second largest park in NYC after Central Park.  It is part of the larger Hudson River Greenway and offers separate lanes for biking and pedestrian traffic.  The piers are truly a wonderful piece of New York, beautifully imagined and maintained.  One can find either solitude or active fun through a host of recreational activities and inspirational playgrounds.  

The residence 6W/5W at 288 West Street is exclusively available through Danny Davis, Lisa Balbuena and Lisa Resnick of the Corcoran Group.  The current asking price is $5.398 million, about a 7% drop from the original ask of $5.774 million.  Given past documentation on the building, we best estimate that the apartment totals about 3,600 square feet which puts the ask at just about $1500 psf. It is also available for rent at $19,995 per month.  

Should you wish to learn more about this property, please visit Linecity.com.

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