Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.
Tiny living doesn’t always come with tiny price tags. This $ 750,000 Manhattan environmental entrepreneur’s 350-square-foot studio apartment in SoHo proves that. Its decked-out, smart, tech-enabled design feels more luxury than little.
Granted, this is no ordinary studio. And it’s no ordinary seller.
In 2007, owner Graham Hill sold his blog about saving the environment, TreeHugger.com, for $ 10 million to Discovery Communications. He then went to build LifeEdited.com, a blog about, what else? Living with less. He’s also known for a 2011 TED talk on the subject of how reducing our use of space can lead to more happiness.
The apartment, which Bloomberg reported is listed with Corcoran at the end of July, was purchased for $ 280,000 in 2010, and it was renovated to accommodate much more than a few hundred square feet, capable of seating 10 for a dinner party and sleeping four adults comfortably.
It’s equipped with a host of streamlined, stowable storage options, drop-down shelving and an accordion wall by a company called Hufcor.
Hill told Bloomberg that the collapsible divider stores each foot of wall in one inch of space.
The apartment is branded “LifeEdited2,” or LE2, piggy-backing on LE1, a similarly designed 420-square foot apartment in the same building he bought, renovated and sold in 2014 for $ 790,000.
The apartment, unit No. 33 in 40-unit co-op, is located at 150 Sullivan St. and was recently on the cover of Dwell.
The listing’s webpage states that the apartment is “a prototype for future residences that simplifies your life and makes space function like twice its size!” One can assume that Hill is aiming to develop a number of similarly functioning less-but-better residences.
Listing agent Jerrie Butler told Inman that he’s shown it a few times since its been on the market, and that not every buyer “gets it.”
“Half of the people understand the quality of the design and appreciate the thought that went into it, and the other half wonders where they’ll put all their stuff,” Butler told Inman.
Butler was referred to Hill by a colleague and friend who had worked with Hill on LE1. However, that person is now working in another part of the city. He doesn’t envision it lasting too long on the market.
“Even though August is our slow season in New York because a lot of people are on vacation, we decided to expose it to our international clients, who are on vacation here. They won’t have to furnish it. It’s ready to go. They just need to bring your clothes, and that’s it,” Butler said.
The unit is a testament to technological efficiency and space design, boasting Amazon Echo voice control that integrates with a smart-lighting system from Insteon, Nest Cam and Protect, air purifiers, and compact, energy-efficient dishwasher and oven by Smeg, and a refrigerator.
The home office morphs into a second bedroom, and the cabinetry and finishes throughout feature walnut, oak and ceramic. There’s not a home system or corner not dedicated to minimizing energy usage or maximizing square footage.
“Being on the top floor helps,” Butler said. “There’s a lot of natural light, so it doesn’t feel small.”
Ultimately, renovating a place this size has to come with some small sacrifices, such as placing the toilet in the shower, similar to an RV.
However, it’s a very nice shower.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe