closing at 40 West 15 St relieves ALL shareholders

moving one building east
The "2,200 sq ft" Manhattan loft #5A at 40 West 15 Street sold on March 25 at $1.8mm, making it the most recent (but not the most interesting) sale in this 6-story building, and making this the second post in a row on this block (April 8, 42 West 15 St closes where it couldn’t in 2008). That synchronicity is too much for Manhattan Loft Guy to ignore.

Although #5A is "sun-drenched", it is also challenging: the "45 ft. expanse of north facing, over-sized windows with city vistas" are the only windows in the space, leaving this one with no windows in the 2 "bedrooms" or in the office/den.(The Corcoran listing for #5A is here; the StreetEasy page, from which it is easier to see the floor plan, is here.) I find the floor plan to be so awkward that I suspect that the configuration changed piecemeal as the family’s needs (size?) changed over time. I’d bet a quarter that the second "bedroom" was added somewhere down the line; those 3-in-a-row Walk-In Closets (all pointing in different directions) look like an attempt to solve a storage problem and to have walls line up with other walls, at the time when that second bedroom was added.

Of course, those interior walls can be moved and the floor plan reconfigured, but it does not look to me as though it was priced or bought as a ‘project’. The sale was relatively quick, as this loft was new to market in September 15 in contract on December 14 (per Corcoran records; StreetEasy’s dates are one day behind in each case). It actually took longer from contract-to-close than to get to contract ….

what do the neighbors think?
The upstairs neighbors must be especially thrilled with the #5A clearing price; indeed, all shareholders are probably pleased that this sale counters the most recent prior sale, which was a bad comp from their perspective. Those neighbors upstairs bought #6A on June 23, 2009, after a very long campaign. That one has the same footprint as #5A (though is said to be "2,100 sq ft") and is probably in a similar condition to #5A ("super-lovely" is not a very precise description, but it is enthusiastic); if anything, the higher vantage point probably opens up more sky, and this top-floor loft has 3 skylights.

That one took 14 months and four prices to get into contract, but it gets worse … the four prices were $2.15mm, $1.85mm, $1.795mm and $1.695mm. Can it get worse?

The clearing price for #6A, 9 months before #5A got $1.8mm, was $1.3mm. One point three million dollars.

Those sellers got crushed.

In a rational market, #5A and #6A would not trade 9 months apart with a half-million dollar gap.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010


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