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Old 09-25-2009, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Berkeley, CA
3 posts, read 9,454 times
Reputation: 10

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My wife and I are considering a move to New York but have some specific housing requirements and need help knowing where to look.

I have been offered a VP level position with a Manhattan-based company.

My wife is the artist. She is excited about moving to NY, but is afraid she won't be able to find a studio space comparable to the one we have in California.

To be specific, she is a fine art printmaker, which means that the primary tool of her trade is a fairly massive steel etching press.

This means that she ideally needs a ground floor studio with plumbing and a solid floor - preferably concrete. Ideally the studio will be located in the same building as our living space.

To complicate things further we have 2 dogs and a 4 year old son.

We are currently renting a live/work space in Berkeley with a proper studio on the ground floor and a two level loft above, which is perfect. But in the past we have made do with garages and basements.

But we have no idea if we can find anything like this in NY. We've visited Red Hook and DUMBO/Vinegar Hill and seen a few places that looked like they might work - and we liked the neighborhoods. But I don't know how affordable these kinds of places are.

We are both urban people and are perfectly comfortable living in neighborhoods with an "industrial" feel (our current loft is right on the railroad tracks between a brewery and a stock yard!). But, because we have a small child, we also have to worry about safety and schools.

I'll be making a good salary - at least $140K a year - but if public schools aren't an option, we'll need to make sure we have enough money left over for private school.

Any suggestions about where to look? Who to talk to?

Thanks
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:43 AM
 
37 posts, read 52,616 times
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So how much space would you actually need i.e. total square footage? Unless you're comfortable living in a less desireable neighbourhood it might make more sense to live in one area then rent a studio somewhere else.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:58 AM
 
16,639 posts, read 13,887,763 times
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I would suggest looking in Williamsburg.
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:06 AM
 
7,081 posts, read 24,760,649 times
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You're going to have a tough time finding everything in one place, especially with your need for a good school. Williamsburg schools are dodgy, at best.

I would suggest you first find a place to live and then work on finding a rentable studio.

What is your budget for a home? Are you renting or planning to buy?
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:07 AM
 
Location: New York City
3,998 posts, read 5,229,751 times
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Very few artists have a combined live/work space, unless it's in a sketchy area (where you wouldn't want to raise a small child). You're only real option is to find an old-style loft that has no restrictions (they still exist in places like Bed-Stuy) or buy an entire building.

Private school can run $30K for kindergarten. That's a huge chunk out of a $140k salary. I would suggest finding a school you like first, and then looking for an artist's studio in a nearby neighborhood.

By the way, it's unrealistic to compare Berkeley with New York. A more accurate comparison would be San Francisco with New York and Berkeley with New Brunswick, NJ (home of Rutgers). Your family would have to give up a lot to move into San Francisco proper. It's the same with New York.

If you're looking for an "equivalent" lifestyle, you need to look outside of the city (or triple your salary).
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Berkeley, CA
3 posts, read 9,454 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for all the replies. It's hard to put together a plan of action until you know what your options are - as well as the benefits and drawbacks of various choices. I've lived in the Bay Area most of my life so I have a good idea of the trade-offs of living in different cities or neighborhoods. NY? Not so much.

To answer some of your questions: Our current space is 1430 square feet. 830 square feet for living space and 600 square feet for the studio. I think that my wife could make due with a slightly smaller studio - say 500 square feet. But I think it would be very tough to squeeze into a smaller living space - particularly as our son gets older and wants more privacy.

Ideally, we would buy. We could probably come up with at least $100K for the down payment, maybe a little more. $500K+ would probably be do-able. But I'm also quite willing to rent which is what we're doing now.

Finding a non-attached studio might be the best way to go, particularly now that our son is older. Although it would take some adjustments. My wife' gotten very used to just going downstairs to work whenever she has a spare hour or two. That would have to change. But she might be able to find a way to split her work - doing some of her prep work at home and only going to the studio when she needed to use the press.

As much as we would love to live in one of the boroughs, we are open to the idea of living outside the city, provided it's not too suburban and the commute isn't too hideous (my current job requires me to drive almost 90 minutes each way, 3 days a week).

We would love to hear people's suggestions for good places to live outside of the city.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
10,352 posts, read 18,805,565 times
Reputation: 3791
here's the steps to finding a JLWQ (joint live-work quarters):


New York City Loft Board

this is the NYC loft board website. they have a list of all buildings in manhattan, queens and brooklyn that were originally factories that were converted to residential lofts.

next you go to

HPD - Home

this is the city's website of housing preservation and development, or HPD for short.

you can put in the address of whatever building you are interested in, and get management information (mgmt name and contact person)

lastly, go on that good old google and google the mgmt company to get a phone
# to call them up. hope this helps.

also, makes sure your wife looks into this:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcla/html/about/artist.shtml

she must register as a certified artist in nyc, so that you guys can live in a JLWQ
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:21 PM
 
Location: New York City
3,998 posts, read 5,229,751 times
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It's very difficult being an artist in New York because making art requires space, and space is a luxury in this town.

I know a couple that owns a disused fire station in Jersey City. Such a space would be ideal in your situation, but they're hard to find (and I don't know what the schools are like in Jersey City).

You might also consider Yonkers or even White Plains.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
6,624 posts, read 11,570,764 times
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How old are your kids ? I ask because this can have a major impact on how many options may be open to you.

There are many great ,very affordable neighborhoods scattered around the city that have good elementary schools and sometimes good middle schools but pretty bad high schools.The sad fact is that city schools get worse in the higher grades except for the examination schools. If your kids are very young it may give you the opportunity to live in one of these areas for at least a few years and plan on moving or private schools a bit later.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
6,624 posts, read 11,570,764 times
Reputation: 4216
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNHeise View Post

Ideally, we would buy. We could probably come up with at least $100K for the down payment, maybe a little more. $500K+ would probably be do-able. But I'm also quite willing to rent which is what we're doing now......
There are some fairly decent sections of The Bronx where you could find a one or two family house for $500,000 that would probably have a full basement and/or a separate garage that could be a studio.And some of these neighborhoods have good elementary and middle schools:
Pelham Parkway,Morris Park,Pelham Gardens,Pelham Bay and Throg's Neck
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