loft at 245 Seventh Avenue sells at $1,215/ft with very strange wall

a post for floor plan fetishists only
Of course I will get to the financial and comparative details, but the first thing I looked at for the “2,258 sq ft” Manhattan loft #4B at 245 Seventh Avenue that just sold for $2.745mm was the floor plan. And the single line on that floor plan that jumps out at me is that crazy wall in the master suite (a master wall?). Seriously: what possible uses are there for that odd space, without blocking access to the bathroom or the walk-in closet?

Once you start thinking along those lines, what’s with the doors, walls and closets in the other two bedrooms? Immediately on entering the second bedroom, you bump into the back of that closet; you’d have a safer walk and a larger closet if the door were moved a few feet east. That third bedroom (without dimensions!) suggests a fondness for zigs and zags; if that doorway short wall were moved south (to line up with the rest of the north wall of that bedroom), you’d have a more rational surface on both sides of the wall.

Maybe these sellers (or whoever put up these walls) had multiple pieces of site-specific art. Don’t know otherwise why there are so many unconventional wall placements. (Too many cocktails when the layout was sketched out on a napkin??)

meanwhile, efficiently across from the Chelsea Merc…
Funny thing is that 245 Seventh Avenue was developed a few years before the icon across the street, even though (in my opinion) it was the success of the Chelsea Mercantile conversion that increased values here at 245 Seventh Avenue. (Note to self: test that with, you know, data one day.) I would not say that Chelsea Mercantile values are related to values here (The Merc is sui generis), but I would say that values here are related to those at The Merc.

Loft #4B is a nearly square space at the best corner of this building, with a corner living room that peaks down Seventh Avenue and across 24th Street. It will have as much light as you can get from a low floor on this corner. (Not sure this is “unbelievable light”, but that’s babble for ya.) The shape allows for 3 bedrooms easily (funny walls aside) and those 11 foot ceilings and large windows provide great volume when you finally wind your way into the public space.

The bragging about the finishes is succinct and focused on the plumbing rooms: “granite counters, custom walnut cabinets, stainless appliances, and brand new marble spa-like baths“. It took one price drop, but The Market reacted well to this loft:

Oct 12, 2011 new to market $2.9mm
Nov 18   $2.8mm
Feb 7, 2012 contract  
May 9 sold $2.745mm

That’s a deal at less than a 2% discount from the last ask, and a 5% discount from the first. Not bad at all, but not quite what the downstairs neighbors did last year.

Loft #3B has the exact same “2,258 sq ft” footprint, nearly the same floor plan, and is one (very) upgraded kitchen away from having the same level of finishes. The #4B sellers tried to building on this history, without quite succeeding:

April 3, 2011 new to market $2.7mm
April 27 contract  
Aug 16 sold $2.8mm

As nicely as the #4B kitchen was babbled (above), #3B had this when it sold above ask (my apologies for the shouting):

AMAZING COOKS’ KITCHEN designed and built by a CELEBRITY CHEF where no detail has been over looked. Bedecked from top to bottom in Viking Professional appliances…double ovens, 2 dishwashers, 150 bottle wine fridge, a pot filler faucet, an appliance garage, custom cabinetry and stone counters

With only the kitchen furniture and appliances being different, the $55,000 difference between these two lofts is remarkably rational. Score one for Team Efficient Market.

Loft #3B has only 2 bedrooms, and the floor plan answers some questions about the funky lines in #4B. First, that the diagonal master wall that set me off in #4B is unique to that loft. Second, that the second bedroom doorway placement is original, however odd. Third, that the placement of the 3rd bedroom walls in #4B was, in part, a reaction to the structural column opposite the kitchen, though that column does not require the zig zag. Last, that the reason there are no dimensions in the #4B floor plan for the 3rd bedroom is that they did not change the original dimensions on the floor plan when the bedroom lines  were drawn and built.

Without getting too far into the weeds of this comparison, #4B at $1,215/ft with “unbelievable light” but no great views is still less than the small lofts across the street with no views (see my June 21, small loft sale at 252 Seventh Avenue is another double-sided bold name transaction, about that sale at $1,295/ft) but more than the larger but odd layouts there with few windows overlooking the interior courtyard (as in my April 23, 2012 , Chelsea Mercantile loft with few windows-per-foot sells without view at $1,040/ft (again!), about a “2,066 sq ft” loft, and my February 3, 2012, water fountain view from Chelsea Mercantile loft worth only $1,040/ft, about a “2,269 sq ft” loft). Overall, 245 Seventh Avenue can’t go toe-to-toe (or dollar-to-dollar) against 252 Seventh Avenue on equivalent lofts, but some lofts on the east side of the street are more valuable than some on the west.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


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