A long, long time ago I wrote a post about the ridiculous set up at 164 Grand Street. This is a new condo-turned-rental on Grand just off of Bedford (across the street from La Villetta Bakery). At the time, I noted that the building (designed by Scarano Architects) used every play in the book – mezzanines, attics and cellar duplexes. What was particularly ridiculous about the cellar duplex is that the building’s trash cans sat right on top of the sidewalk grates that protected the cellar’s light wells.
The cellar in this instance is not a legal living space. Often such a space is designated on plans as a “home office” or other such contrivance to get around the fact that it does not have sufficient light or natural ventilation to qualify as a habitable room. Sure, real estate agents will give you a nod and a wink when they tell you you can’t use it as a bedroom – but the Certificate of Occupancy (pdf) is pretty clear on the question: “not for living or sleeping”. And plenty of people do use these non-habitable spaces for habitation.
But it is illegal. As the tenant in this unit found out last week.