NY Times on what building improvements

Loft amenities are not like other amenities / and “value” does not equal resale
Front page Real Estate Section article in Sunday’ NY Times was entitled “Which Building Improvements Really Pay Off?” This article illustrates how lofts (and loft buyers) are different from “apartments” and apartment-buyers.
The clear thrust of the article was that the most valuable amenities are (1) a 24 hour-doorman, (2) a gym or health club, and (3) “the lobby, the lobby, the lobby”. Reporter Teri Karush Rogers lined up lots of people supported this trinity of value-enhancers.
no doorman? no problem – for many lofts
I have previously posted about how loft buildings tend not to have doormen (other than very new or rather large buildings). It is probably difficult to sell an apartment on the Upper East or Upper West Sides above $1.5m if there is no doorman, but this is not an impediment n downtown lofts.
I will grant that many loft owners may see value in having a gym on-site, but except for large and new buildings, few loft buildings have that amount of common space that can be converted to gyms – which were not the fashion ten or more years ago. (Let’s not even discuss children’s play rooms.)
is a ‘done’ lobby mandatory? not so much…
“Apartment” owners prefer nice lobbies (and nice lobbies with door folk). Loft entrances end to be much more utilitarian, and loft hallways been more spare. That is part of the ‘charm’ of the ‘grit’ in buildings such as 718 Broadway, 1200 Broadway, 38 West 26 St, 4 West 16 St, or many SoHo lofts.
There is a little bit of a “trust me on this” to this discussion, as agents do not brag about the lobbies or hallways n these buildings and never take pictures. So, trust me on this.
loft-y roof decks
Curiously, the one enmity that the Times article debunks is one that – for lofts – adds significant value if done well – a common roof deck. In many small oft buildings (15 – 30 units), neighbors rarely see each other in the elevator or in their (small, utilitarian) lobbies. They are much more often to ‘hang’ with each other in common space when there is a planted or beautiful roof deck.
I am thinking of loft buildings in the greater- Chelsea area in particular, such as 40 W 24 St and 22 W 26 St.
Whether that benefit translates into greater resale value is for a different post, but I think it interesting how different loft owners and apartment owners approach the question of amenities.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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