Z Tower: You Can Get In, But You Can’t Get Out

The living room at the showroom apartment at Z Tower. (Photos by Ray Johnson)

Early this month, we told you that the newest luxury condo at 1702 Avenue Z had lost some of its major players.

A short while before that, when there was still snow on roofs, signs posted invited everyone to come on up to the fourth floor for an open house. Knowing that readers were interested in seeing the design of the apartments, I followed the instructions and headed up to take a look.

There were boxes of appliances stacked in the front entrance and much of the building had an unfinished look to it. The elevator emptied out directly into the apartment, a rare thing around our neck of the woods.

I was expecting a crowd of visitors and a real estate agent there to greet me, but instead I was the only one in the apartment with no one else in sight. Thinking it to be a “show yourself around” type of open house, I toured the narrow rooms.

The building had a modern feel, but closets seemed too small to handle the width of a man’s suit coat. Numerous windows and a few small terraces overlooked Avenue Z. I don’t recall if there was a tub in any of the bathrooms, because I was so overwhelmed at seeing the huge stand up shower in one of them.

The place was decorated with modern furniture and the place was a bit drafty, possibly due to the fact that since no one was living there, there was no need to put on the heat.

I made my way down to the lobby, where there was still no one in sight. I pushed the door to exit and found it locked! For the next scary moment, the only thing I could hear was this phrase repeated in my head over and over again, “Oh no, I’m locked into Z Tower.” For some reason, though, it was in a Count Dracula accent.

As if he would know what to do, I called my editor. That was a waste of some precious cell phone minutes.

As I took deep, calming breaths, some workers came out of the elevator. They looked right through me as I tried to communicate to them about my dilemma. After some chitchat amongst themselves in some other language, they disappeared upstairs again. I was left behind in the locked lobby.

I called the agent’s number on the open house sign. She told me to call someone else. Three or so calls later, a man told me that he would send someone over in a few minutes to unlock the door. Before that happened, though, the workers came back down, this time with a key. I thanked them and quietly slipped out as the others made their way through the door. Once again, no one even acknowledged me and my red face.

The lesson to be learned here is: don’t believe all signs posted for open houses. Unless the sign has a time and a date, do not enter. Sometimes, an open house on the way in means a locked house on the way  out.

Take a look at the pictures I snapped of apartment 4A and a few more on the realtor.com website before making a visit. If  you happen upon $778.5K and you decide to take a look at the apartment, make sure there is another means of egress, in case the lobby door locks behind you.