The lovely East 12th Street townhouse is also on the market for $16M, for the right buyer

The “elegant and grand” townhouse at 215 East 12th Street has been on the market for a couple of months now, with an asking price of $16 million, but it looks like its owners are trying another tactic to get the place to move—namely positioning it as a rental, with an absurdly high asking price of $40,000.

As EV Grieve points out, that’s a pretty dramatic change from 2011, when the house was last on the market. At that point, it was renting for $18,500 (yes, fully half its current ask) and came furnished.

So why the price hike? It’s a good question. While the particulars haven’t changed—it’s still a gorgeous townhouse on a pretty block, with lots of original details and a huge garden—the staging has gotten less, shall we say, colorful over the years.

215 east 12th street 40k rental

The owner, one of the four founders of the Kate Spade brand, changed out the decor; gone are the quirky hand-painted couches and children’s artwork of yesteryear, replaced by tasteful (if bland) furnishings, and appropriately preppy decor touches.

And let’s not forget the fact that a lot can change in a neighborhood in five years; there weren’t ultra-luxury condos on Avenue A at that point, but here we are.

But is this home $40,000 worth of lovely? You be the judge—it also comes with huge ceilings, an eat-in kitchen, a huge master suite, and a separate apartment that could be rented out for extra income. Buyers would also get the knowledge that there’s an additional 5,000 square feet of FAR, if expanding the home into a bona fide megamansion is more your speed.