REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Cocktail-party fodder: East Egg on East Market?


ADDRESS: 1001 East Market St, #7

NEIGHBORHOOD:  Downtown Charlottesville

ASKING:  $374,900

ASSESSMENT:  $366,000


SIZE:  1,034 fin. sq. ft.


CURB APPEAL:  8 out of 10

AGENT:  Karen Ball, Loring Woodriff Real Estate Associates, 977-4005

The Randolph 1001 is located on the corner of 10th and East Market Streets, a couple of blocks northeast of the Pavilion. It shares a parking lot and the first half of its name with the 20 larger units in the taller, pricier Randolph. If Jay Gatsby lived here, he'd no doubt aspire to a flat in the main building, but 1001 is no East Egg: each trendy, circa-2006 building includes commercial space and is architecturally distinctive, the metal roofs adding to the city skyline.

While the main building would fit in on Grounds, there isn't exactly a shortage of red brick architecture around here. Thus, we prefer the cream-colored painted bricks and sea green roof of 1001, which remind us of the apartment buildings one might find in a medium-sized German city– we bet U2 ain't playing any of those cities, though. Achtung, baby!

This entire building consists of 11 units: Number Seven is on the third of four levels. However, the lowest level is a terrace, so the building's tiled foyer and entrance are actually just one flight down. During our daytime visit, outside street noise was unnoticeable, and inside nary a sound– not even the popping of champagne corks from either of the two penthouses above– was audible. 

The defining features are the large, south-facing windows that provide what the agent describes as an "urban view," the CSX coal tower most prominent in the picture. As mentioned in last week's installment of "On Architecture," some condo projects are quietly going up, and then selling– in fact, Coran Capshaw's Coal Tower project may some day appear in the view. 

Nature also features further back with Carter Mountain, although it's capped by the myriad antennae that broadcast to our cell phones and televisions– urbanity demands the last word. There's nothing hip or gritty about the power lines on both sides of the street, though; they just mar the view.

Probably by design, the main living areas are far from the interior hallway; although with only three units per floor, it's unlikely one would hear the neighbors' comings and goings.

The linear, open floor plan inside, along with the light and view afforded by the windows, suggests lots of entertaining. A half-bath near the front door keeps the master bath private, removing from visitors the temptation to snoop through the owners' prescriptions or discover their beauty secrets.

Through a pair of French doors, a small study can double as a coat room. A wide entry marries the already-spacious living room to the dining area and kitchen, affording nearly 400 square feet for not discussing religion or politics. A breakfast bar with two stools divides the dining area and kitchen, so even single guests will be able to share a drink called loneliness– it's better than drinking alone.

While materials are of uniformly high quality, including wainscoting in the bathrooms and cherry kitchen cabinets, the light hardwood floors break the trend. Our hosts might have perceived a furtive scowl behind our martini glass as we noticed they're laid in a style more reminiscent of Pergo, with three strips cut the same length, laid side-by-side. Call us picky, but we prefer the time-tested, more natural board-by-board layout.

The listing agent's photos, which drew us here in the first place, are commendably plentiful and even artistic. Exterior panoramas, well-lit interior shots, and close-ups of the kitchen and bath hardware may not sell the unit– but they will lure more potential buyers, helping the seller's chances.

An open house/cocktail party might help sell it, too– we'd sure come back for that, especially if there's a chance Daisy Buchanan will be there. Maybe we'd run into this jet-setting Minor fellow we're always reading about.




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