The Hotel Chelsea, once home to playwrights Arthur Miller and Thomas Wolfe, is up for sale.

When it was built in 1883, Hotel Chelsea was the first co-op apartment building in New York City, and the building served as both a 101-unit co-op and 125-room hotel. Throughout its history, it has housed musicians like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, and it was also infamous for the death of Dylan Thomas and the stabbing of Nancy Spungen allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols.

Hotel Chelsea shareholder and board member Paul Brounstein told the Associated Press, “It is time to let a new owner, with perhaps some new innovative ideas and resources, to re-energise and revitalize the Chelsea.”

Some residents like Tim Sullivan are anxious about the sale, warning potential buyers, “They’re going to have to deal with a hundred people who have lived here 30 years, and we don’t take too lightly to, you know, turning it into a McDonald’s.” Other residents like David Linter aren’t as worried. When asked how he felt about potential changes, Linter shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I’m sure that’ll affect me, but that’s okay by me. I don’t mind being affected by things. I just go with it, you know? I’m a ‘60s guy. I go with the flow.”

To take a look inside the Hotel Chelsea, check out the Associated Press’ video and interviews with residents at http://www.smh.com.au/world/remembered-well-chelsea-is-now-for-sale-20101021-16vyg.html?autostart=1, and read more about the Hotel Chelsea’s history on the building’s website at http://www.hotelchelsea.com/history.php. Also, you can check out other residential buildings in Chelsea at Neighborhood NYC at http://neighborhoodnyc.com/category/chelsea/.

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Between the Benjamin James Real Estate blog and Neighborhood NYC, we have done a lot of articles about how to deal with co-op boards from discovering your online reputation to prepping your dog for a board interview and making sure your kids aren’t members of any hate groups on Facebook.

One part of the process that we have yet to cover, however, is submitting letters of recommendation. Placing your reputation in the hands of a friend or colleague can be nerve-wracking, but at the same time if you get back an overly glowing letter, don’t be too quick to gloat. BrickUnderground did a fantastic semi-humorous piece on “what [letters of recommendation] say…and what they mean.”

This gem is my favorite of bunch:

“Mr. L’s finances are impeccable and he would make an excellent coop board treasurer.”
Translation: Mark always holds our cash when we go to Vegas on a junket.

To read the full article, go to http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2010/07/nyc_reality_speak_about_those_letters_of_recommendation.

Looking for a new home? Check out our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com/.

Dylan McDermott, best recognized for his starring role on TV’s The Practice, has purchased a one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea.

The $701,000 apartment comes with a large kitchen, living room with fireplace, and a balcony. Location-wise, McDermott will be a few blocks from the popular Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre, the Joyce Theatre, and Benjamin James Real Estate’s main Chelsea location.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Dylan! We love Chelsea, and we know that you will too!

To view residential buildings in the Chelsea area, go to http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com/category/chelsea, and to view buildings in other neighborhoods, check out our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

Are you rich? Do you love fireplaces? Maybe you should check out 960 Fifth Avenue. This $22 million apartment has not one, not two, but four wood-burning fireplaces! If that isn’t enough, the apartment comes with beautiful hardwood flooring, an oak paneled library, and a location next to Central Park.

To check out the inside of the apartment, click here or go to http://www.observer.com/2010/slideshow/129665/woodsmans-lodge. Comment below and tell us if you think four fireplaces is too many fireplaces for one apartment.

Check out more properties at our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

The Benjamin James Real Estate blog usually provides links to practical advice and tips for apartment hunters, but this story from the New York Times was so intriguing that it seemed a shame not to share it.

The story of Joyce Cheney and apartment 9B is part Clue, part The Maury Show with a splash of Hollywood detective story thrown in. For years, Joyce Cheney battled with her daughter Diane over the pre-war 3-bedroom, 4 bath apartment, and this chilling tale includes attempted murder, a sex change operation, and a battle over the elderly Joyce Cheney’s will.

Click here to read the full story or go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/nyregion/18nineb.html?pagewanted=1&partner=rss&emc=rss. Do you think Diane tried to kill her own mother to get her hands on the apartment? Comment below and let us know what you think.

Christopher Theodoros, Google’s ad director and the founder of DoubleClick, has purchased a duplex penthouse on the Upper East Side. Theodoros paid $5.2 million for the 3-bedroom penthouse located at 325 East 79th Street. The building is a beautiful pre-war with on-site fitness center, storage, and a lovely garden.

To see pictures inside the apartment, click here or go to http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/07/16/google_ad_exec_buys_52_million_upper_east_side_penthouse.php. Is the apartment worth $5.2 million? Let us know what you think!

Home hunters who are looking for pre-war charm but wanting to avoid the co-op boards will be excited to hear that more and more pre-war conversions are becoming condos.

Read the New York Times article here or at at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/realestate/11cov.html?_r=1 and find out how you can live in a great Manhattan pre-war building without having to deal with co-op boards.

Co-op board interviews can be high-pressure and stressful for home-hunters, but when a pet is part of the equation, approval can be even tougher. Some co-op boards even set up interviews with applicants’ dogs to determine if the dog can behave itself. Pets go through a series of tests to determine friendliness, how likely they are to bite and bark, and whether they will be a good fit for the building.

Click here or visit http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2010/05/brickiq_how_to_get_your_dog_past_a_co_op_board to read more about these tests and how to increase your dog’s chances of winning over the co-op board.