291 Seventh Avenue loft sells after many (many) years

our long national nightmare is over
The fact that the Manhattan loft on the 4th floor of 291 Seventh Avenue that sold on April 15 nearly doubled in value since it was purchased in July 2002 is hardly the most interesting thing about the loft; that it also nearly doubled in value between its original sponsor sale in May 2000 and that first resale two years later is interesting, but still not the most interesting thing about this “3.370 sq ft” loft in the greater FIT micro-nabe. The listing history visible on StreetEasy is very interesting, showing a marketing campaign from October 1, 2007 to contract on March 1, 2011 that had only two minimal breaks of 7 weeks in total over that 41 month period. But even that is not the most interesting thing about this loft.

Nope, the most interesting thing about this loft sale is something that StreetEasy is missing: the actual beginning of the campaign by that July 2002 purchaser. Our data base shows the loft was offered for sale beginning August 11, 2005 and ending November 20, 2006. Then the July 2002 purchaser took it off the market for 10 months before starting that long (essentially uninterrupted) campaign on October 1, 2007. The full history is set out below, but here’s the overview:

this loft was offered for sale for 54 of 66 months from August 2005 to the contract in March 2011

Methusaleh, please call your office
Think about that length of time, and the differences in the Manhattan residential real estate market within that period. Or look at it this way: if the July 2002 purchaser had a baby right at that purchase, the baby would not quite have been ready for pre-school when they started trying to sell the loft, but when the sale closed a month ago, the kid would have been nearly finished with 3rd Grade.

I doubt that I will ever see a listing history with a longer “active” period over a longer time. I an having a lot of trouble even imagining the effort it would take to be on the market for 4.5 of the last 5.5 years, let alone the feelings that might have come with the contract … relief? disbelief?? regret???

step-by-step, like a Dave Eggers title

Aug 11, 2005 new to market $4.9mm
Mar 15, 2006   $4.75mm
Aug 31   $4.4mm
Nov 20 hiatus  
Oct 1, 2007 new firm $4.75mm
Dec 26 hiatus  
Jan 15, 2008 back  
June 6   $3.9mm
Sept 2 hiatus  
Oct 2 back  
Sept 21, 2010   $3.75mm
Mar 1, 2011 contract  
April 15 sold $3.25mm

It is truly trivial to point out that there were only four different asking prices in nearly six years (one was used twice), but trivia can be fun. It is slightly more substantive to point out that the loft was priced at The Peak about one-third higher than its eventual clearing price but was asking ‘only’ 20% higher than that clearing price the entire Summer before Lehman (indeed, at that same price for another two years after Lehman).

Rude Monday morning quarterbacks like Manhattan Loft Guy (are there other kinds??) can only speculate about what might have happened if that $3.9mm asking price moved up only one date in the sequence above; if they had been asking $3.9mm from January 8, 2008. I bet they would have gotten a bid higher than they sold at nearly 3 years later. (And you cant prove me wrong.)

But it feels like quibbling to focus on the asking prices instead of the calendar pages. They ripped 66 monthly pages off the proverbial calendar from beginning to end.

some details
There are a few more photos on the broker website than survive on StreetEasy, but no more prose. The “broker babble” is the least babbling in recent memory, and likely the fewest characters per dollar in any seven-figure loft listing:

State of the art renovation.

Modern design at its best.

Bring your toothbrush!

(Note that the StreetEasy listing headline even saved 3 characters by shooting for “gorgeous”, but missing.)

Fortunately, that 2005 listing in our data-base has a more descriptive … err … description:

    Impeccable Design: Featured on Fine Living Networks Ultra Space and multi-published, this massive condo loft displays a taste level rarely seen. Designed by Stephen Roberts, known for his outstanding use of light, this 1-2 bedroom, 2-bath property has an enormous living/entertaining space, spacious dining area, fireplace, white epoxy terrazzo floors and soaring ceilings. Stunning kitchen has high gloss Formica cabinets and the finest fixtures & appliances. Master spa bath & dressing room are truly works of art.

Yes, it is lovely. (And WHITE!) And you will have to look at the floor plan on the broker website to see the whole thing, and to note that it is a “3,370 sq ft” two bedroom, 2 bath Long-and-Narrow. But I can’t get over the pile of proverbial calendar pages on the floor.

  • Listed in August 2005
  • Sold in April 2011
  • Off the market December 2006 through September 2007

O. M. G.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply