Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mies envy

Have been jonesing for one of the Mies townhouse co-ops in Lafayette Park for about six years now; everyone from Very Expensive Places that has seen pictures I've taken (all better than this piece of crap I posted above, sorry) can't believe that I don't already own one.

To be honest, I'm hung up on the idea of paying over $700 per month (that was what I was told a year or two ago - has that changed?) for co-op fees when I can own a house outright elsewhere for, you know, $1; that or a reasonably priced loft with one of those big fat NEZ tax breaks.

I am well aware of the benefits of living over there; every time I have been, the place is immaculate and somebody's outside making it look even better. Meanwhile, would kill to sublet one of those for a year, you know, as a test drive...if such a thing were allowed. Maybe after a few months I'd love it so much, I'd quit being such a cheap bastard.


N said...

David, you probably know that the Mies van der Rohe townhouses are four separate coops with four separate boards and occupancy agreements. In my coop, we, in theory, would allow a unit to be rented; but the reality is that we don't. In the years that I've lived here, I can only think of one unit that was rented for one year only. I think the other coops are pretty much the same; but I'm not 100%.

We are, and want to stay, a community of owners. Speaking for myself, I believe that one of the reasons is because owners tend to have not only a financial commitment to the community; but also more of an emotional attachment. There is a real sense of pride that most of us have in living in such a unique environment. Without intruding into our neighbors' lives (not always easy when you live in glass houses), we watch out for our neighbors and, in turn, know they are watching out for us.

I don't want to publicly discuss my coop's finances; but, to me, and I pay over $700/mo., the maintenance fee is a good value for what I get in return.

Finally, you really must have had to dig deep into your Crappy Photos folder to come up with that picture : ).

D-Tales said...

I once again wave to you from the LT.

P.S. I think you should alphabetize your blogroll so Jay and Jasper are NOT above me. :/

David said...

d-tales - *waving back from too far away* if i didn't have the blogroll automatically put the newest up top i'd never read any of them. (that's right, i said it: it's all about what is most convenient for me.)

n - thanks for the note and appreciate you clarifying the structure etc over there. the pride of ownership you mention really shines through to everyone who passes by. it does not look in any way like a rental community, that's for certain. when it comes time to get serious (later in the yr) maybe we can talk. tx again for this, and all your comments.

N said...

Let me share with you a couple of more examples of why I prefer to live in this neighborhood of owners. The upper story of the landscaping in the Mies van der Rohe part of the neighborhood is planted with honey locust trees. For the most part, they are now 50 years old and in ±10 years, they probably will be reaching the beginning of the end of their natural lifespans.

Discussions are already going on within and among the 4 coops as to how we can best deal with this problem that will not be upon us for another 10 or so years.

A neighbor started to grow 80 or so locust saplings in her south-facing dining room window. When they got big enough, she transplanted them outside along her sunny east-facing wall protected where they are shielded by blue plastic protective cones. Some of them are now 8-10 inches tall.

Another example, from across the park in the Chateaufort Coop. Last year, I noticed that they had planted 2 oak trees to replace newly lost trees. These were not little sticklike saplings; but good sized young trees. But still, oak trees can take 40-50 years to reach maturity (as opposed to quick growing maples, for example). I know that many of their landscape committee members are elderly so they will never live to see these trees reach maturity; but they have a commitment to the future and to those who will come after them to plant mighty oak trees! Good people.

David said...

hi, n: totally cool...reinforces the feeling you get going through there - that people really give a damn.

how interesting that you called out the chateaufort development - another personal favorite. not quite as celebrated but equally cool. seems like a very stable community; you don't often see listings.