Finding a second home…next door to your home?

A Getaway Apartment, in Your Own Building

Joanne Kaufman | New York Times  | August 9, 2013 | link

Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times

Freddie and Myrna Gershon have added to their holdings in a building in Midtown East. A few flights down from their penthouse is another in-house purchase, a one-bedroom that will serve as his writing studio.

Freddie Gershon lives with his wife, Myrna, and his dog in a penthouse duplex with a terrace in Midtown East. The space is plenty big, he concedes — 6,500 square feet.

But apparently not quite big enough. Last month, Mr. Gershon, the chief executive of Music Theatre International, a licensing agency, closed on some additional real estate in his co-op: a one-bedroom 1,000-square-foot unit on the fourth floor.

“I have reached a point in my life where I want to write,” he said. “I have a book in mind, and I wanted a sanctuary that didn’t require me to get dressed and go outside. I wanted to go to the passenger or service elevator and just go to a different floor.”

Mr. Gershon said he had tried working at home. “But then I’d hear the phones,” he said. “Or I’d get distracted by the view of the river.”

New Yorkers who need more space, but would rather not move, generally try to make a deal with the departing next-door neighbor — oh, for a departing next-door neighbor — or with the people who live directly above or below. Deal done, they get busy punching through walls and ceilings to combine their holdings into a single flowing residence.

But some, like Mr. Gershon, while they are eager for more room, really don’t want that room to be right in the next room. They’d prefer something that’s an elevator ride or a few flights of stairs removed from the mother ship. A noncontiguous apartment — typically, a studio or a one-bedroom — whether used as a writing or an art studio, an office, a man-cave or an escape hatch, allows its owners or renters to be so near and yet so far.

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