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Manhattan Loft Guy

Aug. 2, 2012 - from the Department of Odd (But Round) Numbers: 3 lofts sell in July $5,000 above ask

small samples can be fun, if limited
Anyone who has checked out my Master List of Manhattan Lofts Sold Since November 2008 at all recently is aware that I have let it get woefully out of date. But I am working on it! My excuse is that I usually update it on Saturdays, for lofts that had deeds filed in the prior week, but that I have a long string of too-busy Saturdays. Mostly family stuff (as if that can be an excuse for a blogger!), but enough things that have kept me from spending the hour or two that it takes if I do it weekly. As of today, I am caught up for July deeds filed as of last weekend, but I still have June-filed deeds to catch up on.

I mention this because in looking at the 23 Manhattan loft resales on the Master List (for closings between July 2 and July 12) there are five that jump out (in green) because they closed above the last asking price, three of which closed exactly $5,000 above the last asking price. That’s just weird enough to catch my eye, and perhaps your interest.

Sharp-eyed readers of Manhattan Loft Guy will remember that two of them were the subject of blog poasts already (my July 12, a tale of 2 lofts: did (removable) decor add $126/ft to value of one 32 West 18 Street loft?, and my July 16, it should not be this hard to get the right price, as 40 West 15 Street loft (finally) sells above ask); the third is the “1,375 sq ft” Manhattan loft 49 East 21 Street #9A, which one day (soon?) will get its own blog post for having beaten its prior sale, just before The Peak in the overall Manhattan residential real estate market.

In each case, the contract followed quickly after the last marketing campaign, although as noted in that July 16 post in one case there was a curious and long campaign before that last successful one. In all three case, my guess is that the time frame was so short and the above-ask premium so small both indicate that there was no bidding war, just a single buyer saying “let me pay you $5,000 more than you are asking to get you to take it off the market right away”. Again, I am guessing, but a $5,000 premium does not seem like much of a ‘war.’

I know I should do more posts looking back at the aggregate loft closing data on the Master List (Note to Self …, of course), but I need to get fully caught up first. Back to the data base ….

© Sandy Mattingly 2012



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Nov. 6, 2010 - Non-Sequitor Of The Day from Observation of New York housing market panel

The New York Observer ran a short (7 sentence) piece on November 4 about a panel discussion with New York residential real estate developers and a Bloomberg reporter, Henry Elghanayan 'Frightened' By Midterm Elections. There’s not much room in 7 sentences, so the Observer has only two quotes from the guy in the headline (CEO of Rockrose Development). The segue from the first quote had me scratching my head, but maybe that’s because Manhattan Loft Guy has never been fashion forward:

"I'm actually quite nervous about it as far as New York is concerned," said Mr. Elghanayan, CEO of Rockrose Development. He was wearing a black suit and gray tie with leather hiking boots.

You’ve got 7 sentences to work with (and two developers not quoted) and you devote one of those sentences to the guy’s attire??

Jared Kushner, call your editor
Now that I am here, there is one more thing that caught my eye in this short piece, and I mean that in the most negative way. The last paragraph (3 of the 7 precious sentences) does not make sense as the writer has paraphrased the Rockrose CEO. The highlighted words should probably be “to lend”, or else the entire thing means something else not conveyed:

With increased Republican control in Washington looking to rein in stimulus money, Mr. Elghanayan said, New York City's banks will have less money for rent. "I'm nervous about our financial institutions. If they take a hit, we're going to lose tenants and that's frightening to me."

It is amazing how much can go wrong in only 7 sentences.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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Aug. 4, 2010 - another celebrity who hates Tribeca

cognitive dissonance is in the eye of the beholder
OK, OK, I don't know that Mike Love of the Beach Boys really hates Tribeca, but this is supposed to be a Manhattan loft blog, so I need a hook.

I do know that he owned a (combo) 3 bedroom condo in the oh-so-not-chic Yorkville micro-nabe of Second Avenue at 93 Street. Liz Harris of the NY Times told me that gave me enough hints to figure that out today. Must have been the water views.

If you know where to look in Property Shark you can find the July 19 deed, then cross check against StreetEasy to get listing information. (Some prior owner combined the A and B units on the 30th floor.)

insert your own bad pun here
I am not going to play, but punning off Beach Boy lyrics to describe a disappointing sale is like shooting fish in a barrel. (Go ahead. I will wait.) ... (Not done yet?) ... The prior sale and listing history show some (... errr ...) disappointment with the Love tenure in this "1,787 sq ft" condo:

Dec 1, 2004 purchase $1.465mm
Nov 11, 2009 new to market $2.35mm
Jan 19, 2010   $2.05mm
March 9   $1.995mm
April 21 change firms  
May 10   $1.875mm
June 15 contract $1.6mm
July 19 closed  

That's nearly 8 months, 4 prices and $460k in price drops to get to contract 9% above the 2004 purchase price, 32% below the November asking price. OUCH

Were the Beach Boys too old for Tribeca, even in 2004? Or were they always an Upper East Side sound??

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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May. 29, 2010 - QOTD distinguishes "glamour" from "Utah"

he better stay out of Park City + Sundance
The Wall Street Journal featured a la-di-da Bridgewater home on the market for 8 figures by some (famous?) architect. Check the slide-show for details and pix of the 12,000 sq ft house (with 5,000-sq ft sun deck, a pool, waterfall, and 32 foot high decorative glass pyramid) that was built in 1993. Apparently the famous architcet does not want to entertain any longer, at least not on this grand scale.

His agent's explanation for why he is moving to Utah (where in Utah??) with his wfe and three kids is my weekend Quote Of The Day. He is selling out east and moving to Utah because (slide 8/10):

He decided he didn't want the glamour life.

zen + feng shui = glass bricks???
Color Manhattan Loft Guy confused (or amused). This eight-figure house that was "designed ... to include principles of Zen Buddhism and feng shui" features floor-to-ceiling glass bricks in the kitchen (slide 3/10; they are just out of the line of sight in slide 4/10, through the kitchen pass-through).

Having been personally guilty of using a glass brick wall in a Tribeca loft in 1981, I really thought The Glass Brick Moment was over in the 1980s. (Indeed, I have found the presence of glass bricks to be a reliable carbon-dating system for ''classic" Manhattan lofts.) But this famous architect used them in a 1993 mega-house in the Hamptons. Go figure.

Next time I see glass bricks, I will pay more attention to flow and will wait for serenity.

h/t The Real Deal

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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Apr. 30, 2010 - efficient use of space, to nth degree

not a loft, not in Manhattan, but...
This is one of the most amazing videos I have seen about using a small space. No matter how much space you have, at some point you probably wonder if your space can be used more efficiently. Take heart (and inspiration) from this guy in Hong Kong. After multiple renovations, and using all sorts of moving pieces, he gets 24 "rooms" out of his 344 sq ft apartment.

Three hundred. Forty-four. My advice: don't fixate on the "24 rooms", just look at the many different uses he makes of the space.

And yes, this particular layout is not ideal for bathroom / guest bed usage, but still ... the guy only had 344 feet to work with. Imagine what he could do with 700 square feet and 2 bathrooms!

h/t The Real Deal.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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Dec. 21, 2007 - fluff (dated fluff, in fact) from NY Times ‘styles’ / remember that rug??

the zebra cowhide rug has lost its edge
I will never find my post unless by accident, but I clearly remember posting some months ago as an aside something like ‘what’s up with the animal rugs all of a sudden?’, after commenting about a rug in a ($3mm?) loft and a very similar rug in a ($900k?) loft.

The NY Times yesterday announced that I was not alone in commenting on the ubiquity of the zebra cowhide rug, in Flash in the Can, about design trends that “got up and went” in 2007.

The hot-then-out-now zebra cowhide rug is pictured here.

That made me smile.

© Sandy Mattingly 2007

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Nov. 8, 2006 - dreadful irony / demise of a lovely garbage website

I have considered http://www.garbagescout.com/ to be one of the more unusual god-bless-‘em-entrepeneurial sites. They posted tips from folks who saw (or put) ‘stuff’ on the Manhattan sidewalk for trash pick-ups, in some cases starting races for the ‘stuff’ with the Sanitation Department, in special cases starting races between lucky scavengers.
Turns out this ‘garbage’ site (I mean the term with all respect) was done in by garbage (I mean the term with all disrespect): spam! The site couldn’t filter out the spam fast enough to make it worthwhile to keep the site up. Now that’s a garbage problem!
Sorry to see you go, Garbage Scout. While I never used it myself, I forwarded the link to someone just a week ago. Darn.
THX to the Inman blog for pointing me to the news.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Jul. 17, 2006 - Popularity contests / NYC just cracks list of best big cities [caution: parochial rant]

It has been a few years since I paid attention to the annual college rankings in US News & World Report, but I remember the head-scratching that the ranking process engendered. CNNMoney.com brought those memories back with its rankings of the 100 best places to live and the 10 best “big” cities.
The methodology is transparent to the extent that they cite the statistical categories that they rely on to make these rankings (including things such as median household income, median home price, crime stats, and air quality), but these rankings are always a bit surreal.
A national shortage of big cities?
I will not dwell on the minutiae any longer, as the strangest things that struck me about the 10 Best Big Cities is … how small they are. Six of the top ten have populations between three and four hundred thousand, two others are under 750,000. Then there’s San Diego at 1,255,500.
New York City squeaks in to the rankings at #10, right behind Wichita. What kind of list of BIG cities is that??
I guess they like their big cities small out there in America....
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Sandy Mattingly is Manhattan Loft Guy; now with The Corcoran Group (http://corcoran.com/ ; but see the disclaimer at the bottom of the page), he can be reached most easily at Sandy@ManhattanLoftGuy.com or 917.902.2491, and followed on Twitter @ManhattnLoftGuy (note "mis-spelling"). After 7+ years, the blog has moved. Links here on RealTown will work for the foreseeable future, but new posts (and all the old content) has migrated to ManhattanLoftGuy.com.

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