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Manhattan Loft Guy

Jun. 30, 2006 - the newest new kitchen (in Flatiron, not Chelsea)

 
If you have been paying really close attention, you will understand my reference to G4 kitchens (if not, see my earlier blog about Manhattan loft kitchen styles).
 
Here’s a new one in the G4 series, which will have to be G4.3: the “pod” kitchens of Jade Jagger (yes, that Jagger) in the new loft conversion at 16 West 19th Street. The pods are free-standing units in the public area of the units that contain storage, a bathroom and a kitchen that – when closed – are ‘jewel boxes’ with highly polished exteriors. (See the official sales site for pix and how this works, and the four color combinations available.)
 
Kitchens for those who don’t really need one
Triple Mint nails the point about real Manhattan folk who will love these kitchens:
 
As much as big chef's kitchens have become de rigeur status symbols in the marketing of New York lofts these days, the truth is that most Manhattan-ites eat out six nights a week. On the seventh night they use their kitchen to soften a pint of ice cream. Face it, the most important kitchen appliance really isn't the stove--it's the corkscrew. These pods are a kind of tacit admission that many people in New York end up living like global nomads. It's the condo as glorified hotel suite.
 
They are not for everybody (what is??), but they are probably suitable for the actual lives of more Manhattan condo buyers than the (under-utilized) killer kitchens of most high-end developments – especially given the small size of these Jade lofts.
 
A return to the Pullman kitchen
The units available for sale to start include a “loft” with as little as 424 square feet, with one bedroom units ranging from 460 to 1,199 square feet; the available two bedroom unit has 1,364 square feet. (Prices look to start in the $1,150 - $1,250 per foot range.) So the pods represent an efficient (and necessary) use of small space. And they do look cool! (At least until you have to open the bathroom side of the pod.)
 
Small “lofts”
The building is a mid-block commercial building with 12 floors, with a two-story structure with (uncommon) common amenities (reflecting pool, soaking tub, “exotic plants” in addition to the more common sun deck, lounge ad health club). Assuming the 57 apartments will be on floors two through twelve, there will be roughly six units per floor in a building Property Shark shows as being roughly 64’ x 82’, or much less than 1,000 square foot per apartment, on average. Small indeed!
 
But still “lofts”, on balance, due to the high ceilings, large windows and commercial provenance.
 
Geography fudge
Evidently, Mick’s girl -- or her Shvo playmates – thinks Chelsea has more cachet than Flatiron.
 
This building is just west of Fifth Avenue, in the corridor many people (including the Real Estate Board of New York) consider Flatiron. Yet the project is marketed as “Central Chelsea”. Chelsea didn’t used to extend as far east as Sixth Avenue, but these folks are tugging it along yet another block east. East Chelsea would be more accurate, if you are inclined to go there at all, as I would put Central Chelsea just west of Seventh Avenue. But they pay Shvo the big bucks to think outside this (and other) boxes.
 
But the reviews…
… are not good. At least not on Curbed. At least not so far. The comment about the cheap-wood-paint-finish is troubling; the rest is typically snarky Curbed community. The design is different, yes; but I think it will work for some.
More on Jade, the small spaces angle
July 12: The Real Deal has a look at Jade at 16 West 19th Street, using the same stock photos of a classy bedroom and a kitchen pod.
 
Squeezing dollars from square feet
Their take is that Jade is part of trend towards smaller spaces in high-end construction that can command premium prices. (Also noted on this trend is the Bryant Park Tower at 100 West 39 Street, which is 65% studios, and 88 Greenwich Street.)
 
The Jade’s mix is noted as 24 studios, 14 one-bedrooms, 11 one-bedrooms + home office, 4 two-bedrooms and the two penthouse three-bedrooms.
 
The article closes with some classic one-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand commentary about values:
 
Smaller apartments are historically more sensitive to interest rate moves. According the Max Dobens, an agent with the Jacky Teplitzky team at Prudential Douglas Elliman, "If you have an increase in interest rates, the first people to pull out of the market are the studio and one-bedroom buyers."

But Dobens thinks Jade's smallness should insulate it. "Because Jade is not a 400-unit building, it'll do OK at the end of the day."

Chelsea independent broker Fionn Campbell agrees that the mix of smaller apartments should work. "A lot of investors have been priced out of the market. The price point at the Jade could attract investors buying to flip or parents buying for their children -- and a lot of single people who can't afford other buildings in Chelsea," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if they sell the whole thing in one day."
 
© 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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