It’s the best rent deal in New York City: a SoHo one-bedroom that goes for the price of a porterhouse steak. Thomas Lombardi, whose family moved to Manhattan from Italy in the 1940s, pays $55.01 a month for a one-bedroom at 5 Spring St. — the same unit where he grew up and which he now shares with his much younger wife. His monthly rent — which amounts to the price of a cup of coffee a day — has not increased a penny in at least two decades, according to state records...When the landlord, Robert Cohen, bought the five-story, 15-unit brick rowhouse on the corner of Elizabeth Street last year for $3.9 million, Lombardi, who is in his 70s, wasn’t the only rent-controlled tenant that came with the package. Retired military meteorologist Tom Combs, 87, pays $71.23 a month for the 500-square-foot one-bedroom he has lived in since 1967. The two pads in one of Manhattan’s most desirable neighborhoods would fetch $2,500 a month each on the open market, real-estate appraisers said.
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New York Post