Ground-floor maisonettes rise in developers’ esteem

Residential use proving more lucrative than medical or other options
March 12, 2015 03:40PM

Ground-floor apartment units, once relegated to second-class status, are now being rebranded as pricey “maisonettes” by developers redesigning the units and touting the exclusivity of their oft-private entrances.

While ground-floor units are still usually priced up to 25 percent lower than their loftier counterparts and have historically faced stigma from prospective buyers, real estate agents are reporting a “growing emphasis” on the maisonette by developers recognizing their lucrative potential, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Maisonettes are “the highest and best use of the lower floors” of Manhattan residential buildings, according to Douglas Elliman’s Raphael De Niro, who represents a seven-unit residential building at 87 Leonard Street in Tribeca where developers redesigned two massive maisonettes – a three-level, 4,700-square-foot unit priced at $6.6 million and a four-level, 7,000-square-foot unit asking $8.75 million.

The units are proving “more valuable as apartments than they are as medical offices,” according to Susan Hewitt of the Cheshire Gorup, which has converted six medical offices in Greenwich Village and the Upper East Side to residential maisonettes. [WSJ]TRD