130 W 17 9S is new + really going for it

$1,600/ft coop loft, butwhy?
Unit9S at 130 West 17 Street is a top floor “2,000 sq ft” loft witha skylight and the possibility of purchasing roof rights, asking anew-construction-like Manhattan loft price of $3.2mm and$2,062/mo.
Unlike the listing for the 9th floorat 105 East 29 Street addressed earlier (105E 29 9th fl is new this weekend + going forit), this listing description presents apremium justification (persuasive or not is a different story),dropping “exquisitely finished”, 4 exposures, “beautifullyappointed”, “sky-lit cook’s kitchen” and “superb bathroomrenovations”. The listing pix are consistent with this prose, butwhere’s the floor plan?
$1,600 per foot is a very aggressive price for acoop loft, even one with potential roof rights in centralChelsea. Maybe there’s some building history that makesthe argument for the primo premium easy.
Maybe not.
$1,000/ft coop loft
Thelast sale in the building was the much smaller #6S (“1,300 sq ft”which is charming, but not very bright, and in serious need ofupdating, even though designed by an award-winning architect (Ihave seen it; funky rather than spacious). It sold fairly quicklyin May for $1.25mm (above the $1.195mm asking price). That’s under$1,000/ft for the mathematically challenged.
$1,100/ft coop loft?
Thelast sale before that one was #9N, which sold in February 2006 (andwent to contract in two weeks). City records don’t show that closedprice, but the ask was $1.85mm for “1,700 sq ft” described(modestly?) as having “brilliant light and towering city views” and”intelligent room coordination, design and fine fixtures”. Not apremium description like that for its neighbor on the9th floor, but one could do a lot of renovation in 9N’s1,700 sq ft before getting close to $1,600/ft all-in (depending onthe final sale price for 9N, of course).
Theentire 6th floor was offered for sale for two monthsearly this year on a to-be-combined basis, “4,000 sq ft” and a lotof renovation work for $3.695mm, but had no takers before beingtaken off the market in March when the contract for just #6S wassigned.
premium value for the plusfactor
Forbuyers to pay the primo premium asked for 9S, there’s gotta besomething special about it. The other sales in the buildingindicate that location is not the plusfactor here. The views could be a plus factor, but they appear notto have helped 9N much. The “possible” roof deck should not be aplus, since (a) you’d still have to pay for it, and (b) it ismerely possible at this point. (Out door space –especially private roof space — can be a significantplus factor, I just don’t think this possibility qualifies.)Perhaps it is the finishes and fixtures.
Forfinishes and fixtures to be the plus factor driving an atypicallyhigh price, they have to overcome the buyer’s mental math howmuch would it cost me to build out my dream loft?and it has to match the buyer’s tastes. So themarket of really interested buyers shrinks as the finishes andfixtures become more (personally) stylish. The seller wants a buyerwhose taste exactly matches theirs, or else the buyer won’t bewilling to pay a premium.
Timewill, of course, tell.
a true condop
Apicky aside. Nearly every time an agent describes a building as a”condop” they mean “a coop with condo rules” (such as freesubletting, or no board interviews, or some such ‘easy’ thing). Butthe legal meaning of “condop” is very different, and 130 West 17Street is such a “condop”. The building is a condo, even though theapartments are sold as coops. The condo has two units: thecommercial first floor is owned by the RubinMuseum.Floors 2 – 9 are owned by a residential cooperativeassociation called 17th Street Artists Corp, theshareholders of which own shares and hold proprietary leasesentitling them to live in their coop apartments.
Endof (that) lecture.
©Sandy Mattingly 2007
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