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Manhattan Loft Guy

Apr. 27, 2012 - truly "one of a kind" bathroom sells for $2.35mm, loft at 56 Warren Street comes with it

what’s the magic trick?
Forgive me, but the question that lingers longest in my mind after seeing that the “2,200 sq ft” Manhattan loft #5E at 56 Warren Street just sold for $2.35mm, is how did they take that bathroom picture without the photographer being reflected in the mirrors? Yes, there are interesting questions about a layout this big that features one bedroom and one bathroom, and about how this loft compares to others in the building that have not (yet) sold at much higher prices, but that bathroom keeps nagging at me.

First thing you should do is study pic #4, in Click for large photos mode, of course. (I will wait.)

You are in the “one-of-a-kind bathroom” (this babble does not lie), facing a mirrored wall above the mirrored bathtub with the long back wall of the bathroom (also mirrored) to your right and the wood-panelled wall of closet behind you (of course, that wall has a small mirror). The red thing suspended from the ceiling? An artfully tied shower curtain, of course. I don’t know what to say about the flooring, so I won’t. I can’t certain, but I think the ropes that subtly hang down the middle of the floor-to-ceiling glass walls are pulls for blinds or shades. (I really hope so.)

Can we agree that this is one of the most idiosyncratic Manhattan loft bathrooms? And that it violates that Conventional Wisdom about neutral design choices? Holy Mother of Dornbracht!

(I gather that the camera was on a tripod and got photo-shopped out, but I wonder if they could they also take out the photographer or whether it was on a remote shutter.)

how is this “One of the few remaining original Tribeca loft spaces”?
It is hard to get a sense of the finishes in the space from the broker babble and photos. On the one hand, “[o]ne of the few remaining original Tribeca loft spaces”; on the other, that so-beyond-merely-modern bathroom. And the new kitchen. The loft retains the exposed piping across the ceiling and an (intentionally) rough-ish floor. There is no “bedroom” or dining area photo, but I cannot believe that the owner responsible for that bathroom has not finished everything (except the floor) with high quality, and I am sure that floor is done very well to evoke or retain a vintage feel.

Flooring aside, the only thing that might makes this anything like “an original Tribeca loft space” is the open floor plan. The “bedroom” at the rear of the loft has no front wall; aside from the exterior walls of this very Long-and-Narrow loft, the only built wall in the “2,200 sq ft” space is that glass wall in the bathroom. OK … that, and the short wall built out to hide the refrigerator. In fact, considering that the bathroom wall is mostly glass, this is as open an open loft as open could be.

Whether because of or in spite of the idiosyncrasy, the loft was not a hard sell. It was brought to market at $2.495mm on October 17, dropped to $2.395mm five weeks later, was in contract by January 29 (per the inter-firm data-base), and closed at $2.35mm on March 29, or $1,068/ft.

comps and more, and less
In terms of utility and price-per-foot, loft #5E down in South Tribeca is something like the Noho loft I hit in my April 13, why did 48 Great Jones Street 1-bedroom loft sell 18% above Peak value?, the Chelsea loft I hit in my March 28, One Bed Wonder loft at 129 West 20 Street sells modestly over $1,000/ft, despite custom finishes.

The Chelsea loft was not as big (at “1,626 sq ft”), probably better renovated (“beautiful features and lux finishes, handsome in every respect with no detail overlooked”), a condo, and a true One Bed Wonder. Yet it cleared at only $1,024/ft.

That Noho one had a conventional bedroom and a second (interior) bedroom, and was marketed as a “masterful renovation” throughout, so I am giving extra credit to that Noho loft’s price ($1,365/ft) for the renovation. (Of course, the point of that April 13 post was to wonder how a loft that sold in the same condition at the peak at $1,154/ft gained so much on the recent resale, but it is interesting as a one-bedroom loft, like #5E at 56 Warren Street.)

The best comps are in the same building, of course, though here we have only some ceilings. Loft #3E did not sell at $2.695mm or $2.895mm when offered over about 12 weeks last Summer, despite being “[n]ewly renovated ... with an eye to every detail” and having custom this and custom that. That loft also had a lot of rooms (that floor plan is an interesting change from #5E in the same footprint), fitting 3 bedrooms, 2 baths,  and a media room. It appears as though loft #2E is about to sell (it just went into contract) off an asking price of $2.85mm, also with a 3BR+ floor plan much more similar to #3E than to #5E. That closing price will tell us how The Market values a built-out 3BR+ floor plan over the open-as-open-can-be #5E. (Note to Self …) It looks like a premium in the range of 15%.

time for another bath
The most interesting comp for loft #5E is not one that is similar in utility, as the north Tribeca loft I hit in my March 22, love it or hate it? glass master bath sells at 181 Hudson Street loft, is fully built out (2 bedrooms plus office / media) as well as being “in triple mint condition … [with] feature ... overlooked”. Here’s what that loft does have:

a very unusual design choice in the master suite: the headboard sits against a clear glass wall, directly behind which is a long walk-in shower, then sinks and a  deep soaking bathtub (the toilet, thankfully, is located behind a side door; with a bidet??).

I further described that bathroom “either as head-scratcher or a jaw-dropper”. And I made the case in that post that there might have been a market hit taken for such an unconventional design choice. The #5E bathroom is more conventional in layout (a low bar, but still: it does not sit behind the bed!) but not in design.

Not sure if the right place to park such lofts is a Loft Bathroom Hall of Fame, but if that is the right name for the right thing, the glass wall and mirrors and general flash of loft #5E at 56 Warren Street will join the glass wall #3F at 181 Hudson Street, and the bath tub in the bedroom that i hit in my November 11, 2010, nice flipping loft at 49 Howard Street.

Please send me other nominations for this hall of fame!

© Sandy Mattingly 2012
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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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