What Is a Garden Apartment?

Originally posted on August 19, 2022 3:00 pm
Updated on August 04, 2022 10:29 pm

If you have ever been apartment hunting, you’ve probably heard the term “garden apartment” before. However, depending on where you are and who you’re talking to, “garden apartment” can mean different things to different people. However, no matter what your definition is, garden apartments are very popular.

Definition of a Garden Apartment

The term “garden apartment” has several definitions, the most common one being “a multiple-unit, low-rise dwelling having considerable lawn or garden space.” This definition was first used in 1913 by the Queensboro Corporation when pitching plans for the new neighborhood in the borough of Jackson Heights. Co pleated in 1917, they named their complex, with ample green space, Garden Apartments, and cemented the term in the cultural zeitgeist. This definition is most commonly used when talking about the first floor of a brownstone that has backyard access.

Another definition is “buildings of low density, human scale, and acres of shared open space.” By this definition, Stuyvesant Town, just above Alphabet City in Manhattan, could be considered Garden Apartments. Complexes like this are typically found a bit farther out from Manhattan, though there are some in every borough. No matter your definition, the constants are low-rise buildings with ample outdoor space.

Benefits of Garden Apartments

When people think of NYC, garden apartments might not be the first thing they think of. However, every borough has brownstones and rowhouses, most of which have some access to a yard. This can make for a wonderful entertaining space in the warmer months and is a major plus if you want to sublet your home in the future. People love a yard, after all! It also provides you with more space away from neighbors. Many people in NYC feel cramped in their complexes full of people, but garden apartments can make you feel like you aren’t even in the city.

For complexes that have a shared garden space, there is still a huge benefit. These outdoor spaces are usually impeccably curated, featuring benches, shady spots, fountains, and even spaces that can hold events like concerts and picnics. These spaces are essentially miniature parks, so living in one of these beautiful complexes can feel very suburban. Many garden apartments even have swimming areas that can be private entrances to buildings. Access is usually very exclusionary, so your privacy is assured. If you want to live in NYC but in a home that feels like it’s farther away from the action, a garden apartment might be right for you.

Downsides of Garden Apartments

There aren’t too many downsides to garden apartments unless you hate the outdoors. That said, since they do come with ample outdoor space, they can be a bit farther out from the rest of the city to make room for that space or be more expensive. This means your commute might be a tad longer or you’ll need to pay more monthly rent. Additionally, if you have the type of garden apartment with a private outdoor space, you will have to perform regular maintenance to keep that space looking nice. It most likely won’t be as difficult to maintain as a yard in the suburbs, but that is an added task to your weekly schedule. 

Where Can I Find Garden Apartments in NYC?

There are many garden apartments in NYC, no matter which definition you subscribe to. Some popular ones include:

  • Sunnyside Garden Apartments: Located in the Sunnyside Historic District, this garden apartment complex has many great homes. The outdoor spaces are immaculate and are great on warm, sunny days. Buildings also feature laundry rooms and on-site parking.
  • Stonehenge Gardens: A gorgeous building in Chelsea, the entrance is behind a lovely red brick front gate, past the private landscaped garden. This place also has a laundry room, stainless steel appliances, and is pet-friendly! You and your furry friends will love spending time in the private garden.
  • 1311 Pacific Street: This townhome has multiple homes in it, but the ground floor is the one with the garden apartments. The landscaped garden on the first floor is small but mighty, and the rest of the home is gorgeous and modern.
  • Hope Gardens: Hope Gardens is an affordable housing complex with many features, especially in its outdoor space. Their garden contains a playground, basketball courts, BBQ areas, and plenty of seating areas for residents to enjoy. This complex has high-rise buildings along with garden-style homes.
  • 202 Prospect Park Southwest: This gorgeous single-family home has many cool features, from the completely exposed brick bathroom to the gorgeous kitchen with tons of stainless steel appliances. The garden area is cute, shady, and private.

These homes are just some of the illustrious garden apartments in NYC, and all of them are beautiful. Residents will be very happy no matter which complex they live in.

Garden apartments can be both single-family townhomes with private yard space or multi-building complexes with a garden area shared amongst residences. No matter which one you’re looking at, these homes are some of the best in the city, providing residents with a touch of green in the concrete jungle. These areas are peaceful, relaxing, and, if you own your home, a great investment. Having a yard in the city isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. So if a garden apartment seems interesting to you, why not take a look around? You’ll be surprised at what you find.

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