efficient market for “A” lofts at 130 West 30 Street

a shower with views!
I don’t know that I have ever seen a Manhattan loft marketed before emphasizing shower views, so the campaign for the “1,394 sq ft” loft #14A at 130 West 30 Street (the Cass Gilbert) (“en-suite marble bath with a truly fabulous shower framed by huge corner windows with views of the City!”) is probably my first. Let’s not quibble, as the campaign was successful: to market on June 25 at $1.599mm, in contract by November 10 (per the inter-firm data base) with no price drop, and closed at $1.463mm on December 14.

The building history caught my eye because of a tight trading range for “A” line units of late, but first there are things about the floor plan that are also interesting

This is one of those funky footprints that happens when you convert a large lot (office?) building into residential spaces, as happened here in 2003: only the living room, bedroom and (of course!) master bath have windows, with none for the “second interior room with pocket doors that has direct access to the second full bathroom”. (The Chelsea Mercantile has a few of these layouts, as does the Grand Madison.) They can’t ever be marketed as “2 bedroom” units, but the hint is there for #14A, with a walk-in closet (unusual in a den, office, or dining room) and that direct access to the second full bath (which is also accessed from the public space.

I think the broker babble got carried away in separately mentioning the various spaces in this “1,394 sq ft” loft. Let’s bold, italicize, and [count]:

The livingroom [1] over looks the street with a side view of the Empire State Building. The roomy cook’s kitchen [2] has beautiful white marble countertops and matching backsplash, light wood cabinetry, and a large pantry. The very private master bedroom suite [3] has two exposures, north and west, and an en-suite marble bath with a truly fabulous shower framed by huge corner windows with views of the City! There is also a dining area [4], and a second interior room [5] with pocket doors that has direct access to the second full bathroom.

A “dining area” is usually an open part of a larger room, sometimes an alcove; a “dining room” has, you know, walls, and sometimes glass sliding doors, as here. But the agent got a little carried away with describing the same room as “a dining area [4], and a second interior room [5] with pocket doors”. It happens.

A = A = A (within a tolerable range)
Simple math can be very elegant. As it happens, three “A” line lofts at the Cass Gilbert sold within 14 months of each other, all in seemingly original condition. You’ve already met #14A at $1.463mm, sold December 14, 2011. There is no 13th floor denominated as such (pure superstition, or a market driven omission? Buehler?? The Miller???).

Loft #12A sold on May 31, 2011 at $1.427mm, despite not having played up the two windows in the master shower.

Loft #11A sold on October 1, 2010 at $1.4mm after a long slog (starting at $1.68mm on October 17, 2008, brrrr …).

That is a spread of only 4.5% from 11 to 12 to 14 (13), from sale dates October 2010 to May 2011 to December 2011.

You can’t make an efficient market theorist of the Manhattan residential real estate market any happier than that.

At the risk of a distracting digression, note the original sponsor sales:

#11A $1,013,158 Oct 13, 2004
#12A $998,903 Oct 6, 2004
#14A $941,081 Sept 28, 2004

The weird thing is that all of these contracts were signed within a few weeks of each other in 2003 (according to our data-base), yet the sponsor got 3 different prices back in the day, with the original #14A buyer getting the ‘deal’.

down the hall on 12, not too long ago
My internal search found only one other loft sale that I have hit in this building. That was for #12C, “1,900 sq ft”, with a much more efficient layout than the “A” line.  My August 12, 2011, tired of pi**ing into the wind, 130 West 30 Street loft sellers take money, run, tells the tale of disappointment (they started trying to flip at +63% within two years of having bought and did not succeed until the July 2011 sale at +39%).

Comparison of same-building gains in new development resales is not an exact science, but it can be diverting. Plugging #12C at 39% into the “A” line data above yields this, which will be one to close on whether you find it diverting or not:

  • #14A 55%
  • #12A 43%
  • #12C 39%
  • #11A 38%

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply