120 West 20 Street loft sells off 7.2% since 2007

2007 seller took all the profit
I have been meaning for a while to write about the Manhattan loft on the 3rd floor at 120 West 20 Street that sold on March 30 for $1.46mm, but not because that trade was at a 13% premium compared to when it sold in August 2005. The problem for the recent sellers is that they were not the August 2005 buyers; they bought in September 2007 for $1,573,500, so their net gain is a loss of 7.2%. I believe that is spelled O. U. C. H.

They tried for a gain; they really did. But they also reacted to The Market pretty quickly (and suffered one failed contract and one accepted offer withdrawn):

April 16, 2010 new to market $1.65mm
May 11   $1.55mm
July 5   $1.499mm
Sept 2 contract  
Nov 21 back on market  
Jan 25, 2011 contract  
Mar 30 sold $1.46mm

(I omitted one 8-day hiatus in December that, per our data-base, was due to an accepted offer having been withdrawn.) You don’t really need to be reminded that the pace and trajectory of The Market was very different leading up to The Peak, but here is the prior sale history anyway (some details from our data-base, as they are not on StreetEasy):

May 25, 2007 new to market $1.625mm
Aug 21 contract  
Sept 18 sold $1,573,500

the quintessence now costs $869/ft
There is a wrinkle in the classic Long-and-Narrow footprint: the plumbing is all in the middle, away from the long walls. The “narrow” is 22’ 6” wide, except where the public stairwell and elevator interrupt, with 3 windows front and 3 windows back. The two baths sit side-by-side behind the kitchen, with the second bedroom being itself long and narrow. (They are probably taking the race car bed; darn!)

The enthusiasm level in the babble about finishes is rather muted, with the “open chef’s” kitchen and the “spa-inspired renovation” of the two bathrooms. The beamed ceilings, exposed brick walls (there is a lot of brick), and beautiful hardwood floors add up to the “Quintessential Chelsea Loft!”

With “1,680 sq ft”, quintessence comes at a thrifty $869/ft on this true heart of Chelsea block.

a coincidental mirror?
Sometimes the big-mirror-leaning-against-the-wall (as in the main listing photo) works for me, and sometimes it does not. This time it does, especially as I wonder if it is an homage. More likely, it is a coincidence, but I would love it if that decorating element were related to the building’s history as a former mirror factory.

a detailed history
The building has been a coop since 1981 (no idea if it was residential at the time of conversion to coop) and our first record of a sale might just have been the original shareholder. We show this loft has now sold five times in 20 years:

  • Feb 25, 1993    $318,000
  • Mar 12, 2001    $920,000
  • Aug 16, 2005  $1,295,000
  • Sept 15, 2007 $1,573,500
  • Mar 30, 2011  $1,460,000

Of course I have no idea whether the March 2001 seller put the proceeds into another Manhattan loft, but they look like the big winners, over time.

Ahhh, how I remember those days of 1993 … talk about a buyer’s market! Of course, in my case I did very well buying a Chelsea loft in 1993 in exchange for getting creamed on the sale of a (smaller) Tribeca loft. In my case, it really didn’t matter over time that some sales were low and others high, so long as I was buying and selling in the same market niche. (As I was.) For people taking their money out of Manhattan lofts and moving to a different market (or different market segment), the precise timing was much more critical. Fun stuff!

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply