Despite having been a force in real estate, the late former Mayor Ed Koch never personally owned a piece of New York City. The politician, who died last week aged 88, was a lifetime renter, the New York Times reported, living in a one-bedroom unit at 14 Washington Place during the beginning of his mayoral term and later at the Rudin family’s 2 Fifth Avenue, where he remained until his death.
During his time as mayor, Koch refused to give up his rent-controlled Washington Place apartment, despite agreeing to move into Gracie Mansion mid-term. He said of the apartment at the time “It’s small. I like it. It’s me.” The apartment reportedly cost around $250 a month when he first took office and $475 a month when he left office in 1989.
Despite initially intending to move back to Washington Place after his term, Koch had a change of heart and accepted the offer of the Fifth Avenue apartment from the Rudins after losing his re-election campaign. His 1,300-square-foot apartment in the building had two bedrooms and a 31-foot terrace. He remained a renter at the building until his death.
“I said you can get used to posh very quickly,” he said of his decision not to return to Washington Place. “And I did.” [NYT] –Katherine Clarke