New York (CNN) Nyc is hugely expensive. But till March of this year, one girl was lucky enough to occupy the two-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Town — one of the city’s most desired neighborhoods — for the astonishing lease of $28. 43 a month.
Patricia O’Grady moved to New York in 1955 in order to pursue a career as an actress. The girl and three girlfriends found the modest 2-bedroom apartment on the top flooring of a four-story, mixed-use commercial developing.
It was quite a sweet deal. In exchange for capturing the hallways and keeping house tidy, they paid $16 per month in rent.
The years went by and the girl roommates eventually moved out, yet O’Grady stayed. And stayed. Plus why not? Over some 60 years the girl rent-controlled apartment remained incredibly inexpensive.
In March, O’Grady was having a walk near her home whenever she was struck by a vehicle and killed. She was 84. With her passing, news began to distribute
about the longtime Greenwich Village actress — and the girl rent-controlled apartment.
“I want to see that on paper. It will not seem possible, ” Gary Nurenberg, a realtor who specializes in downtown New york, told CNN. “I just leased one (2-bedroom) not too long ago in that region for about $5, 000, ” this individual added. “They can go up to $7, 000, depending on the size of the sleeping rooms. ”
A bargain at 50 times the cost…
O’Grady’s most recent landlord was Adam Pomerantz, who told CNN he purchased the building in 2002 and had been surprised to learn that one of their tenants was paying such a lower rent.
The previous owner had passed away a long period before and the executor of the property told Pomerantz that he never elevated O’Grady’s rent because he liked the girl so much and that the two were excellent friends.
When Pomrenatz purchased the property, O’Grady was paying $26. 45 per month. He looked into whether or not this was lawful and his lawyer advised him it had been because of rent-stabilization laws, but which he could raise her rent an astonishing $1. 98 a month.
He asked O’Grady if she would consider moving out there and she replied, “No I would not really. And please don’t ask me once again, Mr. Pomerantz. ”
He never do.
Pomerantz did raise O’Grady’s rent simply by $1. 98 and could have elevated it more every year under the regulation. But he chose not to because the two became friends.
“She was just a extremely kind woman. She was a consumer in my store, ” said Pomerantz, who owns Murray’s Bagels in the adjoining building. “Overall, she was only a wonderful tenant. ”
… and a ‘dump along with character’
According to her paid obituary in The Nyc Times
, O’Grady had a 50-year career in the theater — mainly small roles in Off-Broadway performs. She studied with legendary performing teacher Uta Hagen, appeared within TV soap operas and had little, uncredited roles in “Next End Greenwich Village, ” “Taxi Driver” and other films.
She didn’t earn much being an actress, but she didn’t have to.
The obit says one of her friends as soon as described her apartment as a “dump with character. ”
When Pomerantz unlocked front side door to show the place to CNN, he struggled a bit to drive it open because there were bagged items all over the floor behind this.
Initially it became obvious that the residence is in dire need of a complete makeover. Everything from floor to roof will need to be replaced and modernized.
“I believe she was embarrassed at the way the place looked, but I also believe she was embarrassed that the girl didn’t pay much in lease, ” Pomerantz said.
When Pomerantz bought the house, he tried to get inside to find out it several times, but Ms. O’Grady politely declined to let him within. It wasn’t until 2005 which he finally saw the unit for the first time. The pipe burst inside her location and began to leak into the the next door neighbor’s apartment downstairs, forcing her to permit him in.
That’s when he noticed that O’Grady’s apartment had no heat or even hot water.
He pleaded with her in order to let him install a hot water heater, yet she refused.
“She would tell me, ‘I’m not really worthy of these repairs and these enhancements. I don’t pay enough within rent to warrant this… I am just perfectly fine keeping it as it is, ‘” Pomerantz said.
Nevertheless, against O’Grady’s wishes he or she installed a $12, 000 heating system unit in the apartment — roughly the same as about 35 years of her month-to-month rent payments.
“She never used it, inch Pomerantz said. Instead, O’Grady used apartment’s two fireplaces and range to heat it during the winter season.
Indeed, the rent will go up
The house is still filled with O’Grady’s knickknacks plus trinkets, making it feel smaller compared to it is. Books and scripts — many from plays she served in — are stacked full of every room. Photos of the girl and her sister, Roberta, hold on the walls alongside images through her career in acting.
Remarkably, there’s no bathtub or shower in the unit. Pomerantz said O’Grady went to the local YMCA to shower every day.
Pomerantz says he programs to renovate the apartment within the next several months and put it out there.
You will have a bit of a rent increase — in order to about $5, 000 a month. Yet he’s in no hurry.
“I’ve been accustomed to getting only $28. 43 per month for the last 16 years that there’s simply no rush. ”