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Manhattan Loft Guy

Sep. 16, 2013 - 1 Bond Street loft goes over $1,500/ft for 3 windows

 

the limits of a (lovely) form

Last week it was the problems caused by the elevator placement in a Manhattan loft with a classic Long-and-Narrow shape (September 13, 77 White Street loft lacks “bedrooms” because elevator is in the wrong place). Today, the recently sold “1,600 sq ft” Manhattan loft #4D at 1 Bond Street (Robbins & Appleton Building) has some wonderful (er … “authentic”) loft elements, including high ceilings, wood columns, some brick, and “over-sized south-facing windows”, but it also has an odd shape, a kinda sorta square with 3 corners cut off, which makes for a rather challenging floor plan. Yes, it is “1,600 sq ft”, but has room for exactly one bedroom because the south wall is shortened on both ends of what would have been the square, so there are only 3 of those over-sized windows. The finishes appear to be high quality, as they are enthusiastically and specifically babbled, well photographed, and helped push the price to $2.415mm ($1,509/ft).


That is one heck of a value for a space so challenged in shape.


It took the market a while to get there, abetted by patient, if not stubborn, (and flush) sellers. The sellers held firm to their price from October 6, 2012 (asking $2.65mm) until negotiating a 9% discount to get to the contract on May 1 that closed on August 20 at that $2.415mm. Obviously, in those 7 months, lofts at all values were flying through The Market, but these folks could (literally) afford to wait; as we’ll see below they had already bought a new loft before putting this one on the market, and were likely waiting for renovation there to be complete before getting serious about selling on Bond Street.


Back to the odd space. Having only 3 windows is only one challenge posed by the shape of loft #4D. Look at the shape of the master suite and the matching listing photo (#5). The cut-away in the southwest corner means that you will never see that window while lying in bed, and with the radiator on that (short) south wall, there is very little use that can be made of that nub.


Of course, you don’t really want to see out of these “over-sized south-facing windows”, as they look south over the narrow Jones Alley at the rear of the neighbors that front on Bleecker Street. (You see only brick out the windows in that bedroom photo; the same would be true if you got a closer look at the pair of living room windows.)


“1,600 sq ft” would be quite a large apartment uptown, or could be a spacious loft, if in a different form. But with this shape and single exposure, loft #4D has one bedroom, one interior office slash guest room, and no place else to put a third sleep area. Don’t think about using the “dining area” nook, as you’d then have to close off the open kitchen, which is the most brag-worthy part of the loft.


a state-of-the-art open kitchen with chestnut cabinets, stone counters, a Braun range, new Bosch dishwasher, Subzero refrigerator and built-in wine cellar


But there are several weird things about the kitchen, as marketed. Unless there are multiples, that “built-in wine cellar” is not “in” the kitchen, but is stuck on the end of that long wall of closets along the entry (see pic #4). A small thing, but in that photo the kitchen walls are white, while in the next photo (#5) the closer-up kitchen has green walls. In that photo, it is easier to see how the cabinets are flush to the overhead soffit on the east wall but not on the north wall. Looks awkward to me, the kind of thing I’d expect to see in a loft with a primitive kitchen rather than one that boasts state of the art with high-end materials. It would have been an easy thing, even with standard cabinets to bring that north wall forward a few inches, or to have pushed that soffit back to match the cabinet depth.


Let’s not quibble too much (note to self …) as this fact proves that everything worked out pretty well in the marketing: sold at $2.415mm, $1,509/ft.

Noho to Soho, eventually

I mentioned up top that the #4D sellers were flush. And by “flush” I mean able to buy a $3.175mm loft that needed a significant renovation while carrying the Bond Street loft for 16 months. They bought the “3,200 sq ft” full-floor Manhattan loft on the 7th floor at 307 West Broadway for that $3.175mm on April 23, 2012, 6 months before putting loft #4D on the market.

I hope it does not feel to them that I am stalking them, but I noted that the 7th floor at 307 West Broadway was in contract when I hit the sale of the 6th floor in my April 16, 2012, artist loft clears at $742/ft in south Soho, 307 West Broadway.  I described the condition of the 7th floor at that time as coming with a renovation after purchase:

[it] is in move-in condition, with chef’s kitchen, spa-like master bath, “ a unique floor plan that will intrigue”, and (let’s face it) a floor plan with an artist’s loft that will be improved with some non-trivial budget

(Their new loft is something of a Manhattan Loft Guy fave as I hit it,without identifying the building, when it was featured in the New York Times on August 7, 2011, in my August 7, 2011, Soho in 1983: $211,000 for 3,300 sq ft; still an artist's loft.)

It seems pretty likely that it took at least from April to October last year for the Noho-sellers-Soho-buyers to be confident that they could put the much smaller Bond Street loft on sale and be able to move into the finished West Broadway loft by the time Bond Street sold. They carried $5.5mm worth of lofts  while doing a substantial renovation of at least the back half of a “3,200 sq ft” loft. That’s “flush”.


Here’s a hint as to why they did it (in addition to having enough money to be able to): the  new loft has 4 exposures and 21 windows, with open views from many of those windows, including Hudson River views. In Noho, of course, the had 3 windows on a single exposure, with a “view” of bricks.


curiously, not at the beginning of Bond Street, now

One final note for today. I’d love to know why the Robbins & Appleton Building is officially 1 Bond Street (or, 1-5 Bond Street), when it is not at the corner of Broadway. You’d think the corner building would have an alternate address on Broadway and another on Bondt Street, as is typical of corner  buildings. I wonder if “Bond Street” originally had a western terminus at Jones Alley, rather than at Broadway. I can’t think of another reason for this atypical  building numbering.


© Sandy Mattingly 2013


 

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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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