People Are Aghast at the Price of an NYC Studio With a Kitchen Shower

Estimated read time 3 min read

A real-estate agent took a video of the studio, on Elizabeth Street near Soho in NYC’s trendy Nolita neighborhood, and posted it to Instagram under his handle @ocr_realty on March 2.

In the caption of the video, which has racked up 36,300 views, the broker asks: “Is this the worst layout you’ve seen?”

The camera pans over the shower, located steps from the door and the refrigerator of the open kitchen. It has gray- and cream-colored tiles that look like they’re either partially worn down or dirty. The video also shows a tiny bathroom with only a toilet — no overheard light, mirror, or sink.

The studio, which had been on the market for two months and was most recently priced at $3,495 a month, was delisted yesterday — perhaps over the social-media furor.

Commenters haven’t been afraid to deliver their verdict: It’s weird, at best, and horrifying, at worst.

“This looks like a Sims house,” one commenter wrote, referencing the life-simulation game where people can virtually design homes.

“People really suffer to say they live in NYC,” another said.

Some users were more critical, questioning the ethics of giving a unit with that layout such a big price tag.

“Some kid from the Midwest is going to rent that apartment to live their NYC dreams. That place is a no. It’s not even bad design,” another comment said. “It’s more like the landlord doesn’t care at all.”

It’s cheaper than the average studio in the area, but an agent still finds the rent ‘outrageous’

Nolita, which stands for north of Little Italy, is dotted with boutique stores and high-end restaurants.

Real-estate rental platform Zumper reports the average monthly rent for a studio in Nolita is $3,600.

Even though the Elizabeth Street studio is cheaper than the average monthly rent in the neighborhood, some aren’t convinced it’s a good deal.

Nolita is an upscale neighborhood in NYC brimming with boutiques and restaurants.

Nolita is an upscale neighborhood in NYC brimming with boutiques and restaurants.

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

The real-estate agent who runs the @ocr_realty account, who declined to disclose his real name for privacy reasons, told Business Insider he felt “shock and confusion” when he visited the unit.

“Personally, I believe the rent price is outrageous, but I don’t dictate the market’s ebb and flow,” he said. He added that he wasn’t surprised the studio had been “very polarizing” on social media.

The apartment’s listing brokers did not return Business Insider’s requests for comment.

Small apartments with high price tags are common in NYC

New York has many buildings with small studios, called single-room occupancies, or SROs, that lack bathrooms or kitchens.

Those rent for sums that are cheap by New York standards but pricey for the rest of the country’s. It’s another example of how people are willing to sacrifice space for the opportunity to live in some of NYC’s most prized neighborhoods.

In 2023, BI’s Hana R. Alberts reported on a bidding war by prospective renters over a studio apartment without a bathroom listed for $2,350 a month because of its location in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

As one student vying for that apartment put it to Gothamist reporter David Brand: “If you want to be on a prime block of the city, it’s like, you can’t have everything.”