Powered by RealTown Blogs

Manhattan Loft Guy

Mar. 15, 2010 - new development limping towards finish line


will it cross?
There's a new development property that has been offering Manhattan lofts for sale for so long that I used to regularly refer to it when I commented on active listings of other firms. When I noted a (fairly) recent closing in the building I assumed it was a resale, since the original offerings were so, so long ago. Not so, after all.

Turns out that it needs two more closings before I can talk about it publicly by name, which is a rather extraordinary number of unsold units in a building that has fewer than 10 units, a building in which the first marketing was done in 2006 [two thousand SIX!], well before the development was completed, in which the last residential sales to close were in 2008, and in which the development's website has long since given up its URL. Yikes.

The lofts are in a prime Manhattan loft neighborhood, on a prime street for lofts. More than half the residential units were already in contract before The Peak. They were even able to sell one above $1,100/ft with a contract signed soon after The Fall of the House of Lehman.

But the last sale price was at $634/ft for space that was marketed without a view. Last two lofts are offered for sale above $1,000/ft (with light, views and space). One hardy soul is trying to flip out at $1,200/ft (a 12% premium over the arrival price). Double yikes.

in the canon of western literature
Cue Marlow. What's that you say, Kurtz?


© Sandy Mattingly 2010


Comments (0) :: Post A Comment! :: Permanent Link
View more entries tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Jul. 25, 2006 - Cobblestone wars PR muscle moves in??

Weird that the NY Post today has a piece about the June 20 CB1 Landmarks Committee rejection of the attempt by 44 Laight Street condo owners to replace part of the cobblestone street, which I blogged about on July 5.
Why is 44 Laight Street news now?
What’s weird is that there is nothing obviously ‘newsworthy’ today about that month-old event. But the new article is making the rounds of the blogosphere, giving the issue new life. My guess is that the condo owners have hired some PR firm in anticipation of their appeal to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
I would characterize the tone of today’s article as somewhat sympathetic, notwithstanding the slap at the building’s units going for “$5 million a pop”, but not specific enough to be really helpful.
These rich strolling-pushing Manolo-wearing moms (snarky bloggers are not sympathetic) are only asking that a portion of the cobblestone “street” be replaced, and make the point that the “street” has no sidewalk. That doesn’t sound quite as unreasonable as moving to the historic district because of its charm (old manufacturing heritage, which includes cobblestones and no sidewalks) then calling for the removal of the charm.
Should they be repatriated to the Upper West Side?
Community Board 1 has – so far – been less than sympathetic. The CB1 Landmarks Committee chair is quoted as though they should get back on the boat:
"If you don't like cobblestones in TriBeCa, live on the Upper West Side," he sniffed.
Fact is, the condo may be responsible if someone is injured walking in front of the building (ever try to shovel snow or ice off of cobblestones??). Fact is, sidewalks weren’t need on the block when (a) there were no pedestrians and (B) 18 wheelers pulled up right to the building edges. Would a real sidewalk impair that ‘authentic’ Tribeca grit on Laight Street? Maybe not….
Sounds as though Landmarks Preservation should let them pay for a real sidewalk without disturbing the street-full of cobblestones.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
Comments (0) :: Post A Comment! :: Permanent Link
View more entries tagged with: , ,

Jul. 5, 2006 - You cant make this stuff up / condo owners rue authentic TriBeCa cobblestones


This one will inaugurate a new category ‘Truth IS Stranger…”.


Maybe they didn’t get the memo

One would assume that people move to TriBeCa, in part, because they appreciate that the neighborhood looks different from most residential neighborhoods in Manhattan. One would also assume that the folks who bought loft condominiums at 44 Laight St noticed that about 75 feet of the street in front of their building is cobblestone.


One might be wrong.


44 Laight Street is an 18 unit condo converted in 2004 from a hundred year old warehouse. Half the lofts in the building are more than 3500 square feet and there seem to have been 4 sales this year from $3 million-plus to almost $5 million.


(photo from the Tribeca Trib on-line)


If this does not work. you’ll have to scroll down through the July 2006 on-line issue of The TriBeCa Trib for the story (http://www.tribecatrib.com/) of the petition to have cobblestones removed in the Tribeca North historic district presented to Community Board 1.


“CB1’s Landmarks Committee, whose members include many longtime residents who consider the north section of the neighborhood to be the last unspoiled territory in Tribeca. Here, the cobblestones are protected and enjoy near-sacred status”


On the one hand, there are not many cobblestone streets left, and the survivors reflect the area’s distinctive mercantile and (relatively) ancient heritage. . On the other hand, cobblestones can be hard to walk on (even in flat shoes, and worse when wet or icy), and are much harder to push a stroller on than other surfaces. The situation for 44 Laight Street residents is made worse by the fact that there is no curb and no sidewalk in front of the building.


But these relative newcomers picked on the wrong sacred cow.


No mace at meetings

Neither the author of the article nor the CB1 Committee was sympathetic to the petition. The condo petitioner “may well have suffered far worse abuse had all of the [Landmarks] committee members been in attendance”, says the author, who proves it by quoting one committee member that if another member had been there “[the absent member] would have sprayed mace in your face”.


No telling if the condo representative appreciated what he missed, but they may persist in their request. CB1 had only an advisory role on this issue, since the authority to approve a change in the street composition rests with Landmarks Preservation Commission. An LPC official was quoted as saying that the condo has been in communication with the condo owners about possible alternatives that could pass muster.


When is a cobblestone not a cobblestone?

But they are not likely to be holding their breath at 44 Laight Street about getting a more stroller-friendly, heel-friendly surface.

“They need to seek our guidance as to what it is going to look like,” [the LPC official] said. And what might an acceptable solution look like?
“Cobblestones,” she said, “made of concrete.”

I would not want to push a stroller on concrete cobblestones, or walk on icy cobblestones, no matter what they were made of. Nor would I want to consider what a “concrete cobblestone” should properly be called. Odds are that the folks at 44 Laight Street won't have to do any of these things, either.

Comments (1) :: Post A Comment! :: Permanent Link
View more entries tagged with: , , , ,

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

RSS Blog Feed


apartment types
bubble talk
caution: no real estate content
change is a constant
economic "analysis"
general weird stuff
In the news (me)
loft features / amenities
loft features / kitchens
loft features / outdoor space
loft features / "space"
loft features / views
lofts in 'other' neighborhoods
Loft neighborhoods / Chelsea
Loft neighborhoods/ East Village
Loft neighborhoods / Flatiron
loft neighborhoods / NoHo
Loft neighborhoods / SoHo
Loft neighborhoods / Tribeca
loft neighborhoods / West 30s
lofts outside New York??
loft style
Manhattan real estate business
Market Data - aggregators
Market Data - reports
Market Trends
Marketing Manhattan apartments
New York, New York, New York
On The Market
open houses
pricing analysis
The Process - buying an apartment
Psychology of the market
public art in Manhattan
truth IS stranger...
what makes a loft a "loft"
internet and blogosphere
renovation opportunities + rewards
One Bed Wonders
new this week

Favorite Links

Manhattan Users Guide (be sure to search the archives)
The Gotham Center for NYC History
Matrix the Real Estate Economy
Hopstop (door-to-door subway instructions)
MTA subway site, including maps + schedules
NYC Dept of Education site
NY State Assn of Independent Schools (find private schools)
the local TriBeCa newspaper
"the weekly newspaper of lower Manhattan"
Brooklyn, but a great blog
Patell & Waterman's History of New York
The Soho Memory Project by a long-time resident
Tribeca Commons, an economist considers history, development + more
NYC Past photo tumblr
Manhattan Loft Guy Facebook page (use dropdown menu for Timeline)
the MLG Master List of loft sales, to Nov 2008
Tribeca Citizen
Malcolm Carter
Brick Underground, "vertical living demystified"
Daytonian In Manhattan a tourist's wonder with a local's eye
Urban Digs (numbers, graphs & charts, oh my)
True Gotham (very) occasional front-line dispatches
DNA Info, local news via the inter-tubes
The Real Deal, our industry rag
Coop and Condo (a lawyer writes with a funny pen)
Crain's New York real estate
Tom Fletcher’s NYC Architecture
Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York
Architakes, one guy's take
Scouting New York (location guy with camera)
Forgotten NY
Soho Alliance
Soho Journal
Chelsea Now (area news)
the essential. if ephemeral, New York
The Broadsheet Daily (especially for BPC, FiDi and Tribeca residents)
The Atlantic Cities


View my profile
Email Me
Blog Manager