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Manhattan Loft Guy

Jan. 29, 2007 - nothing says ‘motivated seller’ quite like dropped dollars / 36 W 15 St #2 on a roll

 
$1.75mm to $1.65mm to $1.499mm in 8 weeks
I am not privy to the internal owner-agent discussions for the 2d floor loft at 36 West 15 Street, of course, but they must have been fascinating.
 
when is a loft a little like a bowling alley?
This 1,480 sq ft floor-through loft has that classic and limited Manhattan loft layout – long and narrow (in this case, 17 ft 8 inches wide), with windows only on the narrow ends and plumbing stacks limited to one bathroom – so it is set up as a 1 bedroom.
 
Sara Waisman at PruDE describes it as both “stunning” and “magnificent”, and it may well be. What caught my eye is a price history that I can only describe as “breathtaking”. New to market on December 5 asking $1.75mm, with a price drop to $1.65mm on January 4, followed by another reduction to $1.499mm today.
 
For those without a calculator handy, that’s $251,000 off in 8 weeks, or 14% less than the original asking price.
 
giving it a shot
The classic explanation for this kind of trajectory and history is that the owner and agent decided to ‘give it a shot’, with the original intention of recalibrating if the market did not bite. (I don’t know anything about the actual decision-making for this listing, obviously.)
 
There is more art than science to this approach, which requires the agent to provide a lot of feedback about market interest, or the lack thereof. Sometimes the feedback is simple and eloquent silence: no calls, no visits to open houses. Other times the feedback is a great deal of interest (phone calls and/or open houses visits and/or web hits) but nobody who is interested enough to return a second time, let alone interested enough to bid.
 
When done right, the owner fully understands that The Market sets the price the loft can be sold at, and the owner has the stomach to adjust quickly.
 
sometimes, listings are bought by agents
Sometimes the dynamic is a little different: the agent is rather too … errr … bullish about the market, which one might say results in the agent buying the listing at an aggressive price fully expecting it not to sell unless and until the price is dropped significantly. But that approach usually takes more time for the dynamic to play out than this price history indicates.
 
big closed-sale prices at 36 W 15 St
Past sales in this building should support a healthy price, with adjustments for the low floor and little view of the 2d floor.
 
The 11th floor closed at $2mm in November, about a week before the 2d floor came to market. That has four exposures (the adjoining buildings are six stories each), with views to the midtown jewels (Empire State, Chrysler, NY Life) and downtown (World Financial Center).
 
The 9th floor and the 5th floor sold in November 2004 for $1.815mm and $1.610mm, respectively. The 9th floor had the killer views (I saw it when it was being marketed) and four exposures, but the 5th floor probably did not.
 
Especially with the two year old sale of the 5th floor, one might have expected to do better than $1.6mm for even the 2d floor. But the 2d floor owner is not counting on that, it seems.
 
curious data + layout variety at 36 W 15 St
The 2d floor is marketed as 1,460 sq ft. All the units in the building are floor-through units, but the 9th floor was described as 2,000 sq ft, while the 11th floor was described as 2,200 sq ft. I have not seen the offering plan, so don’t know if the offering plan has any “official” measurement, but it may be that Ms. Waisman is being (unusually?) conservative in marketing the 2d floor.
 
The 2d floor layout on the PruDE website shows the dimensions as just under 18 feet wide and the length at about 90 ft. Subtracting the long elevator bank and common stairway probably resulted in the 1,460 sq ft measurement.
 
In contrast, Property Shark shows the outside building dimensions as 25 ft wide and 103 ft long. Using those measurements can result in a 2,000 sq ft total, so long as one allocates some common space to the individual unit.
 
But the conundrum of coop measurement is best left for another day….
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2007
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Jan. 17, 2007 - more price pain on 16 St /if you knew then what you know now…

 
4 W 16 St #8A drops a serious dollar
I blogged about #8A at 4 West 16th St after a September price drop (puzzling price policy / slow death near Union Square) that turned out to be too little. On the market since April; started at $1.35mm; dropped to $1.275mm in June; and dropped again to $1.225mm in September (death by small price drops…). The owners display a possible New Year’s resolution as they have dropped the price since the New Year to $1.075mm – a healthy (and serious) $150k hit.
 
The loft is only 1,300 sq ft with only 1 bathroom, and a kitchen photo that (to me) says “original”. Still, that is $115k higher than the last sale shown on Property Shark, the slightly larger (1,400 sq ft) #9B (also 1 bathroom and original kitchen).
 
That is a 20% reduction off of the original #8A asking price, with many calendar pages burned since April. Hard to say if that is enough of a price change in the current market, but the change should make an impression on attentive buyers.
 
crappy New Year?
The run-up to that decision probably did not make for a very happy holiday season.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2007
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Dec. 19, 2006 - “serious” seller hasn’t entertained much / serious pricing pain at 42 E 12 St

 
if you drop the price and no one is there, does it count?
The 2d fl at 42 E 12 St is a long-and-narrow full floor condo loft (90x25 ft, roughly; Property Shark shows sizes as 1,760 sq ft) that has been on the market ‘only’ since September, but what a price history there has been!
 
The early momentum was impressive: starting at $2.5mm on September 5, a quick drop to $2.3mm on September 13, then a busy October (at least for price changes): $2.1mm on Oct 2, $1,999,999 the next day, and $1.99mm the day after that (a series of miscommunications between seller and agent or between agent and listing data??).
 
The current price of $1.75mm has been in effect since November 27. Looks as though they had at least one offer as a contract went out last week, but it is “back on the market” as of yesterday at $1.75mm.
 
I am not sure I have ever seen a price history quite like this one.
 
funky condo building finances
It is set up as a 2 BR + 2 bath, with the classic high ceilings (11.5 ft), huge windows and open plan, in a building with new lobby, halls, elevator and roof deck that has some funky finances. Common charges are a hefty $2,415, though the agent notes (a) the CCs may come down in 2009 and (b) a portion “may” be deductible (never heard of that in a condo before).
 
But the most interesting numbers are the six price changes since September. The inter-firm listing data says (I will spare you the CAPS) “Serious seller – will entertain all offers!” The holidays are upon us, yet this seller has not had to do much entertaining so far…. Good luck, folks!
***
UPDATE 12.20.06: turns out they did not need my luck, as the listing data has been updated to reflect that they went into contract yesterday, off of the $1.75mm asking price.
 
Guess they will only be entertaining family and friends for a while (until they close). Congratulations to Paula Allan at Sotheby’s!
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Dec. 13, 2006 - selling West 17th St / 3 very different lofts almost on top of each other

 
huge range of (truly) special options west of Fifth on 17 St
I have seen three very different lofts almost on top of each other in three very different buildings on 17th St b/w Fifth and Sixth in the last two weeks.
 
one little area on West 17 St is for sale
The original owners of 12 West 17 St #5 made an unusual choice. It appears that when the building was converted to coop (early 1980s?) the walls and ceiling had various stains, were peeling, and otherwise showed their age and commercial usage (it was built in 1925). Instead of totally cleaning and repainting (or covering the ‘weathered’ surfaces), the original owner cleaned enough to put a poly finish on the walls and ceilings, preserving the look without endangering anyone’s health or having paint chips peel away.
 
patina is in the eye of the beholder
The result is the “patina’ described in the agent’s description and in the photographs that do not do justice to how nice this looks. Clearly, it is not for everyone but it is an interesting look (a bit dark, but pleasing to this eye).
 
Subsequent owners have respected this choice, so that original look appeals to this day. Otherwise, this is a long-and-narrow floor-through loft (with windows along one long wall) that is pretty dated – not that there’s anything wrong with that. If you like the look, you like the look.
 
This is a pretty “classic” loft, in other words. They say it is 2,400 sq ft, asking $2.7mm for the last 18 months.
 
you like nice + new + clean + done?
Across the street at 15 W 17 St, the owners of a former factory building that was converted into rentals about six years ago are now converting floors 2 – 11 into floor-through lofts. The footprint is very similar to 12 W 17 St across the street (long-and-narrow) but the lower floors have windows only front and back, as the side windows begin at the 6th floor.
 
One interesting developer’s choice here is that the built-out layouts are a little different from floor to floor. Each floor is said to be 2,221 sq ft and prices range from $2.425mm to $2.975mm. Click here for the 2d floor info and here for the 9th floor. The units are finished with the standard-for-the-price ‘high end’ appliances and finishes.
 
This is a pretty standard “new” loft in an old building, in other words.
 
or do you want to start from before scratch?
Next door is 17 W 17th St where the 3rd floor is for sale. This is a completely different loft property at a similar price point ($2.9mm). This is 4,600 sq ft of “pre-raw” space, as it is currently a working tool-and-die business that will be sold and relocated. So it is set up with two small offices, one bathroom and all the indicia of the current use for a tool-and-die firm.
 
This is a total gut renovation with four plumbing risers in the floor plan with the major limitation that the light is very good in the front and very bad in the rear. At $2.9mm for 4,600 sq ft it is rather a ‘special’ opportunity. It is marketed as though conversion to a legal residence is a simple process.
 
This is a pretty standard gut renovation job, in other words.
 
it’s a wonderful world
This is a terrific microcosm of the Manhattan loft world, which you can tour within a very small distance. Fascinating (to me; maybe to you). 'Course it ain't cheap....
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Dec. 11, 2006 - a year of pricing dangerously / 140 Thompson loft in contract

 
a long time to find the right price
Unit 6C at 140 Thompson St looks like a pretty nice loft: 2,228 sq ft set up as a duplex 2 BR + 2 (“stunning”) baths, with big windows showing lots of sky, on a “most charming and convenient Soho street”, with reasonable maintenance of a buck a foot.
 
The good news is that it went into contract last week, off an asking price of $1.995mm. The bad news (for the sellers) is that it had been on the market since February and suffered mightily through someone’s unrealistic expectations about value.
 
Who to blame? Maybe the sellers, of course – as it is their responsibility and duty to select a price. But since sellers do that with the guidance and data supplied by agents, share some of the blame with Brown Harris and some with PruDE.
 
riding the down escalator
Check out this price history:
 
2/3/2006: $2,700,000. Initial Price. Exclusive with Brown Harris Stevens
4/5/2006: $2,600,000. Price Drop.
5/22/2006: $2,500,000. Price Drop. (at this price point, dropping $100k is a form of death-by-small-increments)
 
(Summer doldrums ensue….)
 
8/2/2006: $2,495,000. Initial Price. Exclusive with Prudential Douglas Elliman. (a price drop in only the technical sense)
8/22/2006: $2,224,000. Price Drop. (I wasn’t there, but this looks like an agent taking a listing at “too high” a price with a built-in agreement to reduce in a few weeks)
11/1/2006: $1,995,000. Price Drop. (but that price didn’t work either until…)
12/7/2006: $1,995,000. Contract Signed.
 
Nirvana!
 
I have not seen the loft and certainly have no information about the conversations between sellers and Brown Harris, then sellers and PruDE. But it is clear that the unit was priced way above where it could command the best price available in the market.
 
Without seeing strong comps from February for similar lofts selling above $2.5mm, I would not use this as an example of the market dropping, but as an example of overly aggressive pricing.
 
what did they know and when did they know it?
Unit 6F was marketed by other PruDEs, using less aggressive pricing and achieving a better result: another duplex (this one 1,700 sq ft) brought to market at $1.695mm after Labor Day and in contract at Thanksgiving. See the pretty pictures and floor plan here.
 
In the same building, Unit 2E (1,800 sq ft) was marketed a year ago by Halstead with data that must have had some relevance to the 6C owners and agents. They started just under $1,000 per foot at $1.75mm, dropped to $1.65mm in February this year (when 6C first came to market) and went into contract in April (the closing price was $1.575mm in June – another pretty relevant number to anyone selling in the building).
 
maybe 6C had a lot more value than 6F and 2E
One could argue, of course, that 6C had a lot of things going for it that 2E did not (height and views, at the least) and perhaps a few things that 6F did not.
 
but I don’t think so
Turns out the market did not agree. Turns out that 2E and 6F started and sold below $1,000 a foot. Turns out that 6C started at $1,200/ft and sold (probably) for a similar price per foot.
 
Sometimes it is hard to assess the market…
 
© Sandy Mattingly
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Dec. 6, 2006 - heady pricing at The Lion’s Head / what is the Empire State Building worth?

 
Sunday’s NY Times “On The Market” feature included Unit 10G at The Lion’s Head, 121 West 19 St. offered by Fredrik Eklund at Core Group for $2.4mm:
 
PROS: This spacious loft in a doorman building has open city views, tons of closet space and expensive finishes throughout.
CONS: Configuring furniture in the smallest bedroom could be a challenge; it's a bit on the narrow side
 
I saw this apartment a couple of weeks ago; “open city views” is rather an understatement. The unit looks north at the Empire State Building, with as dramatic mid-island tenth floor north views as you are likely to get. (Eklund claims #10G is “the first 3 BR clearing everything” in the building. Great views!
 
loft windows, loft height, but not so loft-y
This 3 BR line feels to me a bit small for a Manhattan loft (said to be 1,920 sq ft). I find the layout to be more "conventional apartment" than “loft”, with the run of 3 BRs along the north wall and a combined foyer/dining area/living room being not especially spacious.
 
But Lion’s Head buyers are likely to be more about the finishes and (at this height) the views than about being in a “loft”.
 
There are two other 3 BR layouts for sale at the Lion’s Head $200k and at least 7 floors lower, #2C and #3A.
 
recent comps suggest a quick sale
#10G has been on the market for five weeks. Given that Unit 7G just signed a contract this week off an asking price of $2.375mm (on the market since May), #10G should not last long. #9B (2,000 sq ft with a 2 BR + office layout) also signed a contract this week, after being marketed at $2.35mm since June. (Both #7G and #9B were offered by Benjamin James, but I could not find the listings on their site, in a quick search.)
 
Buyers seem willing to pay a premium for height, light and views at the Lion’s Head.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Dec. 4, 2006 - smackdown at 3,000+ sq ft + $2.7mm / 118 E 25 vs. 116 W 29

 
one of these things is not like the other (agent prose and listing pix aside)
I visited these two lofts within a few days of each other. On the surface, they look pretty similar: both are rather large full-floor lofts in 12 story coops that were likely built as industrial spaces 80+ years ago, both are “wonderful” for entertaining, both accommodate “live/work”, both have direct passenger and freight elevator access, both claim four exposures and four bedrooms, both have laundry rooms, both are just outside “real” neighborhoods on somewhat tacky blocks nearby nicer blocks. They are essentially the same price and maintenance. Both appear to be inhabited by owners in the art world.
 
 The 8th floor at 116 West 29 Street, offered by Lori McNichol at PruDE, is said to be 3,000 sq ft of a “magnificent” floor through loft with 26 “tremendous” windows. Asking $2.7mm with $2,491 in maintenance.
 
The 3rd floor at 118 East 25 Street, offered by Richard Healy at Halstead, is said to be 3,500 sq ft of a “magnificent” floor through loft. Asking $2.695mm and $2,464 in maintenance.
 
however
They could hardly be more different. (“Magnificent” has its limits.)
 
truly tremendous light in a classic artist loft
116 W 29 St does have tremendous light, with large windows that capture open city views that include the EmpireStateBuilding. That aside, this unit is primitive where the other is polished. It gives the impression of having been renovated 25 years ago to suit the living and work needs of someone in the arts world, and has hardly been touched since then.
 
The (original?) kitchen – on a (rough plywood?) platform raised for gas and plumbing lines to pass under -- is workman-like, at best. At this price, the kitchen is a gut renovation project for most buyers. Some storage has rough curtains rather than doors. Some design elements are rough wood, such as that curved thing on the floor plan. One bathroom is beautiful and modern, and stands out in the unit as a result. The pictures do not give a true sense of the ‘feel’ of this loft; nor does the agent’s prose.
 
Having said all that, it is a large amount of space with great light and views that could be a “magnificent” loft. It may have served its owner very well for many, many years, but it does not compare to other lofts that could be described as “magnificent”. It can be great space for the buyer who wants space at the right price. Hard to say this is the right price.
 
tough block, in between
The location – on a very busy commercial street directly behind The Cass Gilbert – provides fair access to services (which will improve with the monster rental towers along 6th Avenue nearby) but will be a challenge for many buyers.
 
This loft is not quite in Chelsea and certainly not in Flatiron. You could call it the Flower District if there were any reasonable prospect that the wholesale flower dealers who have been here for 75 years would be able to stay in the neighborhood.
 
yes, a magnificent loft
118 E 25 St technically has four exposures, yes, but few people would likely walk out thinking that was four exposures. (One exposure is from small windows in a laundry and a bathroom; one is from two large windows in a dark airshaft; one is the dark rear mid-block ‘view’ of nearby buildings.) The front windows are both large and light, however.
 
But this is quibbling. Except for someone who has to have great light with views, this loft is far superior in finishes to its competition on W 29 St.
 
bragging rights
Where W 29 St had a pedestrian kitchen at best, this one is justifiably bragged about by the agent: “Huge Eat In Chef's Kitchen w/ Siematic German Cabinetry, Top Line Appliances, Solid Granite Counters and Breakfast Table”. Where W 29 St had only one beautiful bathroom, this unit has three worth talking about (“Bathrooms w/ Stunning Solid Italian Marble/Tavertine Walls And Floors, Radiant Heating, Custome Grohe Hardware”; the stonework is “stunning”). Where W 29 St had some storage best described as “handyman specials”, this one has “Fantastic Walk-In Closets”.
 
Although the loft does get great north light over the Armory, the current layout does not make this a “light-filled” loft. This can be changed easily, however, with the removal of a small stretch of non-load-bearing wall. Other small partitions are also easily removed, which would reduce the somewhat meandering feel to the flow of the loft.
 
Funny thing is, the pictures don’t really give a true sense of the feel of this loft either, but in this case the experience is far superior than projected from the photographs. For this one, if you don’t love the stone work in the kitchen and baths, please don’t buy it and rip it out. The demo workers will get hernias carrying it out and you would destroy something designed and executed beautifully.
 
tough block, in between
This block is not so busy, with the Armory directly across the street and Madison Square interrupting the westward flow of traffic a block and half away, bit it is not pretty.
 
This is too far north to be Flatiron or Gramercy, too far east to be Murray Hill. It will soon be known as Madison Square, what with all the multi-million dollar lofts sprouting up east and north of MadisonSquarePark.
 
the space per dollar equations seem to be off
At least one of these units is priced wrong. Judging from the fact that 116 E 25 St has already had a price drop (from $2.875mm) and has been available since March, this one may be still too high for the market. But if it is, then 116 W 29 St is even more off the mark, even though it has only been offered for two months.
 
116 W 29 St has open houses Wednesday from 12:30 to 2 and Sunday from 11 to 12:30.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Nov. 26, 2006 - Tribeca trifecta on the market / if you need a "D", 55 Hudson is for sale

 
same building, same line, similar (aggressive?) price, for different layouts
NY Times On the Market today included a loft with some classic attributes, including arched windows, vaulted ceilings – and an awkward bathroom arrangement. Turns out that is one of three units for sale in this building in this line.
 
a 2 BR classic loft layout
55 Hudson St Unit 7D is marketed by Stribling’s Michael Chapman. The Times doesn’t say so, but this unit is said to be 1,500 sq ft and is offered at $1.85mm (maintenance $1,790/mo). There’s nothing wrong with 55 Hudson, but I am not sure I would call it “Tribeca’s best coop” (interesting question, that; so many condos down there; but no doorman here).
 
It looks beautiful and has lots of light and windows (a corner unit). The layout is efficient, except there is that classic loft problem: the bathrooms and kitchen are along the one ‘wet’ wall (where the plumbing stacks are), so one must travel from either bedroom to either bathroom. Not the best layout for many folks, but a common problem in classic lofts.
 
same footprint, 3 BR layout
As it happens, Mary Ellen Cashman at Stribling is marketing the same unit one floor up. Unit 8D does not look to have the same level of finishes, but it has an interesting 3 BR layout that almost solves the travel-to-bathroom problem with this loft. Asking $1.8mm for that one (Cashman is more modest about 55 Hudson: “one of downtown’s most sought-after coops”).
 
or the 1 BR edition
Curiously enough, yet another Stribling agent is selling the same unit one flight down. Unit 6D is offered by Bruce Ehrman at $1.865mm, so there is little doubt where Stribling thinks the right price is for this line. This one has a very different layout (set up as only 1 BR, 1.5 baths, so 6D solves that problem while creating others). For Ehrman, 55 Hudson is (more modestly still) the “ultimate convenient Tribeca address”. Ehrman thinks this is a 1,600 sq ft layout, however. No arches in these windows, and that looks like glass brick in the MBR photo.
 
So if you love the building, do you want that with one Bedroom, two Bedrooms, or three?
 
Has Stribling guessed the price in the $1.8s, or are they playing chicken with each other?
 
Based on the four sales in 2006 in this building, it looks hard to justify much more than $1,000 a foot here.
 
how much more than $1,000 a foot?
2006 was the year of the “A” line, just as they hope 2007 will be the year of the “D” line. 4A and 7A closed in January 2006, 6A closed in October, while 7C closed in June. The “A” line is 1,270 sq ft and the prices were
 
 
Closed price
Asking price
4A
$1.15x
$1.095
7A
$1.295
$1.295
6A
$1.24
$1.249
7C
$1.15
$1.15
 
I don’t think the option to have 3 BRs in 1,500 sq ft will justify that much of a premium over the 1,270 sq ft sales. Let’s see what the market thinks….
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Nov. 16, 2006 - more Days on Market delirium / a flaky stat for individual sales (the 160 Bleecker example)

 
the 6 months sale that was pretty quick
Today’s NY Times ‘Residential Sales’ feature includes a studio sale at 160 Bleecker that was on the market “24 weeks”. I checked the details, wondering about the price history of this (seemingly) hard-to-sell unit. What I found illustrates the degree to which individual closing data for Manhattan lofts and apartments can be screwy.
 
Turns out that #9A-W was really a pretty quick sale, though it took a long time to close. It came to market in March and was in contract within a month. But it took more than four months to go from contract to closing (particularly in a condop that has to have all-cash purchases), for reasons unknown.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Nov. 13, 2006 - a run on turtles / NY Post also discovers Turtle Bay lofts

 
like a Time & Newsweek cover coincidence, almost
In addition to Sunday’s NY Times ‘On The Market’ that featured #15M at 319 E 46 St, which I mentioned yesterday (real loft discovered in Turtle Bay / NY Times features small loft in funny place). Saturday’s NY Post included a small loft in the same building in the ‘Just Sold’ feature.
 
Another problem counting Days on Market
#9H was sold by Corcoran‘s Howard Spiegelman for $925k off an asking price of $949k, but it really took much longer than the 49 days reported by the Post. The inter-firm database shows that #9H was offered for sale in January for $1.075m then reduced in price to $999k in March, then to $949k on June 3. The contract was signed on June 16 and finally closed on September 18.
 
This illustrates the difficulties on getting useful data for Days on Market, which I have commented on before. The contract was signed “only” 2 weeks after the last price reduction and closed 16 weeks after that price reduction. But it was on the market for about 20 weeks before final contract and more than 30 weeks until closing. Looking at this history, I don’t see any way to count and get 7 weeks.
 
Anyway, this unit is said to be 1,433 sq ft with maintenance of “only” $1,700/mo (why is #15M’s so high??). It included a “standing tanning bed” in the master bedroom.
 
Spiegelman – like Gina Kuhlenkamp -- makes a living off this building. He’s the guy who had five open houses there on Sunday. His listing said “this one will not last” which turned out to be a bit of a stretch.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Nov. 11, 2006 - real loft discovered in Turtle Bay / NY Times features small loft in funny place

 
2d Av loft building – go figure
Today’s NY Times ‘On The Market’ features a loft that is unusual in at least three ways (not counting the green walls): it is just off 2d Av, it is under $1mm, and it is a prewar doorman building.
 
But it is legit. The building is a former factory and the loft has 14 ceilings, big windows and a sense of space. (No comment on the green walls.)
 
#15M is offered at $825k for 1,000 sq ft by Bellmarc’s Gina Kuhlenkamp, who looks as though she makes a living in this building. As Vivian Toy in the Times notes, it has river views, is airy and light but (Grey Lady understatement??) “maintenance is on the high side”. At $2,045/mo for about 1,000 sq ft, I would say the maintenance is on the very high side, especially for a building with so many units (300+). But the building does have a fitness room and roof deck, as well as the doorman and renovated lobby and hallways. Regardless, two bucks a foot is a lot. My guess is that their taxes are very high and/or they have been left with a very high underlying mortgage from the conversion in 1988.
 
TurtleBayTowers is a condop. There are 13 units for sale, from a 500 sq ft “loft” for $395k to a penthouse 1500 sq ft unit for $1.39m (with maintenance of $4,755!), with FIVE open houses today. But not this one.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Sep. 28, 2006 - top 6 six-figure Manhattan lofts

 
It surprised me to find as many as six ‘real’ lofts available for under $1 million (in fact, there are more).
 
All are in true loft buildings. All pass my "loft-smell" test.
 
 
$799k
sucking the envelope for how small a loft can be without being a studio, but this 650 sq ft unit is in a true loft building w doorman, it has 14 ft ceilings and huge windows (and “spectacular sunset and Grace Church views)
Miriam Sirota at Corcoran
 
 
$795k
750 sq ft w 12 ft ceilings, exposed brick and “elegantly crafted bath” (doorman) Open House Tuesday 5:30 – 7
Barry Silverman at Halstead
 
 
$870k
1000 sq ft fully renovated (“with incredible taste”) with original woodwork restored, 12 ft ceilings
Tom Doyle at BondNY
 
 
$895k
at 1200 sq ft, the giant in the bunch, with two terraces, 1.5 baths and the possibility of a 2d (interior) BR (part-time doorman) Open House Sunday 12:30 - 2
Gerald Germany at Corcoran
 
 
$899k
975 sq ft with along wall of floor-to-ceiling south-facing windows, with tin ceilings and “rustic columns”
Gabriella Winter and Alex Nicholas at Corcoran
 
 
$915k
1100 sq ft w 12 ft ceilings, “spectacular light and views” (but only 1 “sleeping loft”)
Georgia Asher from Stribling
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
 
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Sep. 28, 2006 - Ice House does fly / NY Times residential sales

agent told no lies about 27 North Moore loft

Today’s NY Times report on closed residential sales includes a Manhattan from the Ice House in Tribeca.
TRIBECA $1.995 million
27 North Moore Street
(Ice House)
2-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,700-sq.-ft. condo in a prewar loft building; 24-hr. doormen, private elevator to unit; living room with fireplace, 11-ft. beamed ceilings; private roof deck; health club in building; common charge $763; taxes $7,476; listed at $1.995 million, 7 weeks on market (broker: Corcoran Group)
This unit is #3E and was sold by Neil Levine at Corcoran, who claimed in his listing description that it was “priced to FLY!!”. Since it took less than three weeks for this loft to go to contract at full asking price, kudos to Neil. (But the “overlooking lovely park” part is a bit much, as the lovely park is the greenery at the Holland Tunnel spillway.)
 
The Ice House runs through the block from North Moore to Ericsson Place which, as noted, abuts the Holland Tunnel loops – though the compensation is that the North Moore entrance is across from Walker’s. It was converted to condos in 1998.
 

lots of choices up the Ice House ladder
Perhaps the Holland Tunnel depressed the price for #3E, or perhaps Levine and the seller were more realistic than other sellers there. There are three other units for sale in the building in the last five weeks, all by Corcoran agents, each with open houses scheduled.
 
#5B is the same size as #3E and is offered at $2.395m
 
#7C is larger (2300 sq ft) with bigger views and a heftier price tag: $3.925mm.
 
Going up the ladder, #9D is larger still (2800 sq ft) and is offered at $5.95mm (off its original pre-Labor Day price of $6.45mm).
 
are the sellers really “sellers”?
Repeat after me: there are buyers out there, who buy apartments that are well-priced. There are sellers out there who are “sellers” in name only, because they are asking a price that no buyers are willing to pay. Neil Levine hit it right; time will tell if his Corcoran colleagues do as well.
 
© Sandy Mattingly
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Sep. 10, 2006 - five falling prices / “price improvements” on five lofts

 
‘tis the season
There is a new market after Labor Day, or at least new energy. Both buyers and sellers are “back” from the summer, whether they have been physically elsewhere or not. Many sellers decide to change the market’s reaction to their lofts by dropping prices.
 
I picked out five examples.
 
105 Fifth Av #4A
This Brown Harris listing (Elaine Clayman) came out in March for $1.695mm; it just dropped last week to $1.575mm. It is a 1300 sq ft “exquisitely renovated” coop, facing Fifth Av from the fourth floor. I hate when they say “this will not last so call me today”, then forget to edit the listing after six months. Open house Tuesday 9.12 from 5 to 6 PM.
 
80 Chambers St #15D
This was new on August 13, but Stan Ponte at Stribling dropped the price last week $150k, to $1.645mm. This 1640 sq ft condo was converted in 2002, and carries taxes and common charges of $2,841/mo. This may be an unsold unit from the original offering. Does that kitchen look “lived in” to you??
 
258 Broadway #2A
This one is around the corner from 88 Chambers and came to market in June at $1.925mm. The post-Labor Day price is $1.75mm. It is 1750 sq ft, on the second floor “overlooking CityHallPark” (and the Broadway traffic), but the 11 custom but windows might take care of that noise. Either it is an unusual sales inducement, but someone there has stopped playing the piano, as “the best offer get s a free baby grand piano”! Offered through ThomasFalls at Warburg, with an open house Wednesday 9.13 from 6 – 7 PM.
 
471 Broadway #4
This unit offers a ton of space (2171 sq ft) and roof rights for a post-Labor Day price of $1.795mm (it started in March at $1.995mm). The major drawback? It is the top floor of a five story building without an elevator. And on Broadway 2 blocks above Canal St. Offered by Rebecca Edwardson of Warburg.
 
88 Laight St #2
Way west on Laight St (last block to the river), this is a new small (7 loft) building, dubbed the Glass Condominiums, that is a solar energy building. This 1677 sq ft unit came to market in January at $2.588mm. While it has not had a new Labor Day price, there were two price changes in July, bringing it to $1.95mm, which caught my eye. It has 17 ft ceilings and a wall of floor-to-ceilings windows (a lot of glass!) and (they say) Hudson River views, Details are accessible through the Project Real Estate website. Only the penthouse unit is in contract; the others are priced above $2.6mm. They must be testing the waters with the price drops on Unit 2, as #4 went up n price in July, #3 has its original price, while Units 5, 6 and 7 have had about $300k price drops.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Aug. 29, 2006 - NY Post “Just Sold” at the Petersfield 115 Fourth Av / hard data can be hard

Here is the description given in the NY Post on Aug 24 for a recent closing of a condominium loft at the Petersfield at 115 Fourth Av (at 12th St):

 
$1,050,000 One bedroom, two-bath loft condo, 900 square feet, with washer/dryer, den and storage; building has roof deck with Empire State Building views. Common charges $1,000, taxes $600. Asking price $1,195,000, on market 40 weeks.
Broker: Alan Pfeifer, Halstead Property
 
The listing is no longer up on the agent’s website as active, and not yet up as ‘recently closed’, but this listing has to be #4G, which has a more extensive price history than indicated to the Post.
 
Originally offered at $1.275mm, it had five price drops in 9 months before a contract was signed in June at $1.05mm.
 
The Petersfield has long been one of the premier condo loft buildings south of Union Square, with a doorman, new gym and beautiful roof deck. (And much better windows than across the street at 111 Fourth Av.) But a couple of other sales have been slow there of late.
 
4H has also been on the market for a year, with no sale yet. It is said to be 1260 sq ft, now asking $1.99mm through Douglas Elliman, having come out last year at $1.25mm.
 
The same agents also have 7B, 1175 sq ft, said to have been “meticulously renovated to the most exacting standards” (these guys don’t lie). This one came to market in March at $1.595mm before one price change and one agent change.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Aug. 24, 2006 - Is the buzz dead? / will Britney be the last celeb in this loft?

  
The Wall Street Journal carried this news to me, but I am sure other media outlets had things to say about it that I missed.
 
Oops! It (finally) sold again
Britney Spears finally sold her Manhattan loft, after two years of marketing. The 4400 square foot penthouse unit in The Silk Building at 14 East 4th Street was first offered for sale in July 2004 for $5.975mm. Following several price drops down to $4.5mm over two years, the Journal reports that it sold last week for $4m.
 
The anonymous buyers are civilians, so this may be the end of the line for the celebrity residence of this penthouse, the provenance of which sets something of a straight line down, out of celebrity-hood.
 
the civilians were begat by Britney Spears,
who was begat by Russell Simmons,
who was begat by Keith Richards.
 
That is a fall from grace.
 
Did she ever live there? The pix from the agent’s website do not look very ‘lived in’.
 
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Apr. 3, 2006 - 200 Mercer St #2D

 

NY Times ‘on the market’ 4.2.06

200 Mercer St #2D

$2.15m

The Times slide show page

 

This would be a SoHo loft, but it is on the wrong side of Houston St for that. (I would call it the West Village [west of Broadway, above Houston], but Halstead thinks NoHo has more cachet.) This is an odd block, though, with the NYU gym across the street and the Angelika on the corner – heavily trafficked, but very different from the traffic of SoHo.

 

 

Good news: This is a classic loft – long + narrow (24 x 100?) set up as a one bedroom with 2 baths, with windows on the narrow ends, 13 foot ceilings, brick wall, high end granite kitchen and limestone baths, even a fireplace. Claimed to be 2400 sq ft, with maintenance of $1,875/mo.

 

Other news: the 13 foot ceilings include a mezzanine loft area over half the unit (kitchen, baths, and den) and it looks as though the living room fronts on Broadway (second floor); no doorman. A similarly-sized unit on the second floor was on the market for a year, through August 2005, not selling at $1.85m.

 

The Halstead listing

 

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Mar. 30, 2006 - 114 Mercer St, 2d floor

114 Mercer St, 2d floor  $1.779mm

featured in "Living In" SoHo article NYTimes 3.26.06

 

A typical SoHo side street loft, long and narrow, with windows only at one narrow end. 12 ft barrel ceilings and new cherry floors. 2250 sq ft with the relatively low maintenance of $1350/mo (no doorman).

On the market since October 2005 (originally $1.85mm).

 

As of today[March 30], "temporarily off the market", so the  link <http://www.corcoran.com/property/listing.aspx?Region=NYC&ListingID=827145> will not work unless (until) it comes back on.

 

march 31: that was quick! back on the market (same price) with a different firm: http://www.carolelevy.com/114%20Mercer_2.htm 

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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.

Recent Posts

• ch ch ch changes September 30, 2013
• diversion is more of a (small) rant about Manhattan real estate "penthouses"
• 50 West 29 Street build-out loft sale not as simple as it looks
• 28 Laight Street 1-day loft sale looks like a whisper listing
• room or light? Tribeca or Chelsea? 2 lofts sold above ask at $2.645 million have different charms


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