Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.
Apartments in NYC are some of the most expensive apartments anywhere in the country. Due to this fact, many people live in smaller apartments than they would in other cities to drive the cost down. This has led to the popularity of studio apartments in NYC since they’re far cheaper, on average, than a one-bedroom apartment and especially two-bedroom units. But some people don’t like the idea of just having one space act as the bedroom, kitchen, and living area. Thus, the alcove studio apartment was born. In this guide, you’ll learn everything about these units. We will include including what they are, how much they cost, and some benefits and disadvantages of alcove studio apartments in NYC.
An alcove studio is a studio apartment with an additional alcove space on the main room’s far side. In other words, an alcove studio is a studio apartment with a separate sleeping area on either side, at the far end of the main room. This nook or “alcove” is typically left open to the main room. It generally is only large enough to fit a modestly sized bed. People usually use this nook as a sleeping space. It is typically situated away from the main door to provide some additional privacy.
In some cases, you can use the nook as a dining area or home office. Still, people commonly use it as a sleeping nook, and you can convert larger alcove studios into one-bedroom apartments by putting up a wall. This is what makes them so desirable.
However, most alcoves are typically small in size. They are just big enough to fit a queen or king-sized bed, so it certainly doesn’t replace a typical one-bedroom apartment.
The first question that many people will ask is, do alcove studios cost more than a standard studio apartment? Yes, they do! Since they have the additional sleeping space separated from the living area, they demand a higher price than traditional studio apartments. That said, they also cost less than a whole one-bedroom apartment since they’re technically just a studio. In downtown Manhattan, a condo studio costs 500 to 600k, and a 1-bedroom ranges from 800k to 1mm. Therefore an alcove studio would be in the middle. For coops, it’s about 25% less.
This makes them an affordable option for anyone looking to get an apartment without having to pay the exorbitant prices that come along with a standard one-bedroom. They are priced relatively for precisely what they are: a bridge between a studio apartment and a one-bedroom apartment.
There aren’t any set rules or dimensions for an alcove studio apartment. And even though it provides an additional sleeping area, the apartment is still technically a studio, and brokers must list them as such. But the alcove must add a lot of living space to the overall floor plan, right?
To create a legal bedroom in NYC, the room must be a minimum of 8 feet x 8 feet. This means at least 64 square feet of living space. So if the alcove were at least that big, then the developers who built it would’ve likely just walled it off and made the apartment a one-bedroom unit to get the maximum value out of it. That said, the additional space created by the alcove in an alcove studio apartment will typically be less than 64 square feet. You will commonly see an alcove that’s something like 8 feet by 5 feet or 8 feet by 6 feet. This results in an additional space of 40 or 48 square feet, respectively.
This means that you won’t fit a big Alaskan-king-sized bed or anything. However, you will fit a modest bed in the space to separate the sleeping and living areas. Plus, a 48 square foot increase in an otherwise 500 square foot unit is still increasing by nearly 10%. It’s pretty significant!
While a junior 1 bedroom will have a similar layout to an alcove studio, the extra space in a junior 1 is generally going to be a separate room. This is why it’s more common to see a junior 1 bedroom apartment advertised as a studio + home office.
This separate room can serve as a bedroom. Brokers cannot legally call it a bedroom as it might not have a closet or window. This means a junior-1 can be more or less desirable than an alcove studio. Some might prefer the privacy of this additional room. But an ideal alcove studio might have a windowed alcove. The owner can convert it into a better bedroom than what you’d find in most junior 1s.