Fireplaces: The Ultimate Urban Amenity

A Fire in a Fireplace.

Wood Burning Fireplace

For a variety of reasons, traditional wood burning fireplaces are becoming less popular or simply aren’t available to everyone living in Manhattan.  However, there are certainly alternatives that can satisfy the primal lust for fire and warm your apartment on those cold winter nights.

Most of my clients that intend to purchase or rent an apartment have a well defined “wish list.”  One item on that list that often requires compromise is the wood burning fireplace.  For various reasons, many apartments in the West Village’s historic housing stock lack this coveted amenity.  Restrictions in insurance policies, modern renovations that divide floorplans leaving some units without fireplaces, and costly retrogrades leave many apartment dwellers without a working fireplace.  Many consumers are familiar with the electric fireplace, but there is a far better alternative.  The ventless gel fireplace, such as those serviced by Real Flame, are an affordable, environmentally friendly alternative for those who seek warmth and charm in their historic homes.  The available models range from modern to classic and their flame and heat production of 3,000 BTU are comparable to what you would expect from wood burning fireplaces, without the environmental and health issues.  While they’re burning, they look incredibly similar to “the real thing.” The fire is created by the burning of a flammable gel in a metal can which produces the familiar crackling and heat that you would expect.  Additionally, the fireplaces are generally not permanently affixed to your apartment and thus can be brought with you should you move.  The cost of the fireplaces generally range from $250 to $1,0000 depending on your design and quality of construction.  The gel cans cost approximately $2.70 a piece (if you shop around online) and last approximately three hours.

Ventless gel fireplaces are a viable alternative to their wood burning brethren and offer some apartment dwellers with the only way to satisfy their fireplace desires.  They also offer the added bonus of promoting environmental sustainability while avoiding the unnecessary pollution caused by traditional word burning models.


About Akerly Real Estate

Mike Akerly grew up in Orange County, CA and lived in Irvine until he left to attend the University of Southern California. After graduating with a BA in Political Science, he worked in talent and literary representation at agencies and management firms such as ICM in Beverly Hills and Media Talent Group in West Hollywood. While there, he had the opportunity to work on behalf of artists such as Angelina Jolie, Billy Bob Thornton, Mira Sorvino, Forest Whitaker, Robert Rodriguez, Danny Boyle, and Baz Luhrmann. While in Los Angeles, Mr. Akerly began his career in real estate as a landlord in Orange County before moving on to New York City to attend law school at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. There, he completed his Juris Doctor with concentrations in real property law and corporate law while he continued his real estate investments with acquisitions in Manhattan. Today he is licensed in California, New York, and Massachusetts. Kate Akerly was born in New Jersey and raised in California. She attended college in Los Angeles where she received her BS in sociology from Mt. Saint Mary’s College. After college, Kate was introduced to real estate as a landlord in Orange County, California. She later moved to New York City where she worked for a city agency that handles civil complaints of alleged misconduct on the part of the New York Police Department. After being promoted to Senior Investigator, she decided to move on to begin her career in real estate brokerage. Kate is now a licensed real estate salesperson who has handled more than one hundred New York City real estate transactions. Mike and Kate now work together from their TriBeCa office in New York City. Together they service clients in residential and commercial brokerage throughout the boroughs. The team also considers investment opportunities in multi-family properties, mortgages, and trust deeds, nationwide. During their free time the two enjoy travel, good wine, great food, and friends. They have advanced certifications in deep water scuba diving and are avid skiers and snowboarders. They reside in Greenwich Village in New York City. If you are interested in purchasing, selling, or leasing residential or multi-family property in New York, California, or Massachusetts, please contact the Akerly Real Estate Team at (212) 400-4838 or via e-mail at
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