Woolworth Mansion for rent, just $150K a month

Jennifer Karmon

Guess it's true what industry insiders are saying about the rental market heating up. Manhattan recently welcomed a new rental listing with a monthly chit that's in the neighborhood of America's average mortgage balance: $150,000.

Let's not be too cynical about this, though. You get a lot for the money. First, it's a residence with an impeccable pedigree. Designed by architect Charles Henry Pierpont Gilbert and completed in 1916, the Woolworth Mansion at 4 East 80th Street on New York's Upper East Side is one of a trio of townhouses commissioned by American retail tycoon Frank Woolworth for his three daughters. A 25-foot-wide mansion on either side hugs the center building that's for rent -- and 40 percent wider. (Take that, sisters!)

According to Brown Harris Stevens, the firm handling the listing, it's New York's only mansion fully renovated in traditional pre-war style that is "formally" available for rent. Your monthly rent payment includes the furnishings, if you want them.

You can take a look at a slideshow on Yahoo! Homes (click here or on the photo above), but we highly recommend you also view the marketing video for the full experience, as it features a proper British narration over Bach's Air on the G string.

Our favorite parts of the narration:

- The "rear solarium morning room" is considered "ideal for breakfast, as it is positioned next to a serving kitchen." Terribly convenient.

- The voice-over starts at the entry hall and ascends floor by floor all the way to a crowning seventh floor, a two-bedroom staff suite that includes "elevator access." How charitable!

- "The fifth floor is configured as a gymnasium with three additional bedrooms." Because all that exercise will surely tucker you out. (The property was most recently owned by the late fitness magnate Lucille Roberts, and now her estate, Zillow reports.)

- Closet space is "ample." We should hope so, considering that the property is about 20,000 square feet.

The video marketed the Woolworth Mansion when it was for sale recently at $90 million. (It didn't sell.) In case you're wondering, rent of $150,000 a month is really a relative bargain; we crunched the numbers using our mortgage calculator and estimate that at a 3.5 percent interest rate with 20 percent down, your loan payment would have been $420,812.18 a month. Approximately.

If you're interested in the property, contact Manhattan power agent Paula Del Nunzio. Be prepared to commit, though; the minimum lease length is two years.

To see more pictures of the mansion, visit the Woolworth Mansion slideshow on Yahoo! Homes. You might also want to check out previous slideshows of America's most expensive homes and America's most beautiful mansions, both of which featured the Woolworth Mansion.

Oh! And if you're in the market to rent a place in Manhattan or even to buy Manhattan real estate, we've also found a couple of much cheaper options for you, just a few doors down. The townhouse at 26 East 80th Street is a mere five levels and 23 feet wide, but it's only a third the rent, too -- that's $50,000 a month. Or check out the two-bedroom duplex at 16 East 80th Street. Suddenly $3,700 a month sounds like mere pennies, doesn't it?