how close is that hotel in the window? Light, lost; lowers lucre

More change + less light in Flower District loft = less value
I’ve had my internet eye on a West 28th Street loft for a buyer customer and had a chance to see it at an open house today. 1300 sq ft of “[u]nique loft with beautiful hardwood floors, original tin ceilings, open kitchen, 2 bathrooms, great light” seemed like something to check out, either at its September 14 price of $995k or especially at its September 20 price of $800k (it started in April at $1.195mm).
What’s down with that pricing? The listing agent (Paddington Zwigard at Brown Harris) sells a lot of lofts; she knows her stuff.
Having seen it “in person” I must say that the loft needs a lot more work than the listing (details here) implies. I knew already that the block is very commercial, with the last vestiges of the wholesale flower businesses on both sides of 28th St, but I was surprised at how worn the hallway was. But a lot of old loft buildings in commercial areas have crummy hallways and busy street scenes.
accounting for big dollar reductions
Although the unit needs a lot of work, that’s not the point of this story or the reason for its pricing slide. The unit is in the back of the building, not too far from the back of its 29th St neighbor, with four large windows giving some light from the rear. Four large windows on the east provide most of the light (and all of the “great light” touted in the listing). Today.
Seems that there is a 16 story hotel planned for the burned out commercial shell next door. The agent at the open house did not know how close the new hotel would come to the windows in 4D, but expressed the view that “all” eastern light would be lost.
Labor Day might not have been happy
That owner and Zwigard must have had a painful heart-to-heart after Labor Day (remember the post about post-Labor Day price drops?). They decided to drop $155k the week after Labor Day, then another $195k a week later. That is serious pain.
I will try to figure out when news of the hotel plans got out, but it looks as though the owner or agent discovered that problem this month.
test case of 2D with no light
Interesting that the same footprint on the second floor has been for sale since June – without any eastern windows at all. #2D was initially offered at $995k but that post-Labor Day discussion resulted in a drop to $925k. Without any light except from the rear windows, that unit is marketed by Corcoran’s Adam McLaughlin as “a quiet, generous space to create an urban sanctuary”on the second floor in the rear of the building, [with] low light”. Note the white floors, white walls, white ceilings in the listing photos – they know they are dealing with a poorly lighted space.
So no surprises about light for anyone visiting 2D. But 4D visitors are in for a big surprise – and an explanation for dramatically dropping dollars.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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