market different in 1Q13 over 4Q12, says 107 West 25 Street loft, sold after (unnecessary?) price drop

don’t question what works
Couple of things about the “1,475 sq ft” Manhattan loft (with “500 sq ft” terrace)
#2B at 107 West 25 Street that recently sold for $1.785mm:  it did not sell during the last quarter of 2012 from asking prices of $1.895mm (4 weeks) and $1.795mm (12 weeks), then it found a 2013 contract within 5 weeks of dropping again, to $1.695mm. The first sequence establishes that the price The Market was willing to pay in February 2013 was not available to this seller in 2012 (i.e., no buyer at/around $1.795mm), while the latter sequence establishes that there were at least two buyers willing to spend in the $1.7s who were either (a) new to market in 2013 or (b) not interested until price dropped below $1.7mm.

My (metaphorical) money is on the former. Whether “a” or “b”, however, the not so brilliant but still interesting insight is that, no matter that a loft has been fully exposed to The Market for a considerable time, it can “just take one” buyer to make a deal, and just take two buyers to make a deal that makes a seller happy.

lovely space, exactly as is
I was in this space twice with the same buyer when it was asking $1.795mm. There are many positive elements accurately described in the broker babble, with one serious negative that a buyer would have to accept that leads me to think of
Inigo Montoya:

This meticulously built out space was conceived and constructed by an architectural designer and has a flexible contemporary efficient open floorplan, 11’ ceilings & luxury design elements define this mint, 2 bed, 2 bath, loft in the heart of the old flower district. Gourmet Kitchen with Sub Zero, Built-in Bosch oven & dishwasher, Alpes Inox Italian gas cooktop, Gaggenau hood, Valcucine cabinets & limestone counters. Baths have Dornbracht/Duravit fixtures. Master w/ double vanity, glass tile, Zuma soaking tub & separate shower. Second has glass tile, Venetian plaster, river rock floor, linen storage, and Zuma soaking tub. Master bed fits king, has 2 windows overlooking terrace, and designer closets. The open living/dining room is perfect for entertaining, gets bountiful northern and eastern light, has a beautiful Venetian plaster wall, and opens onto the private 500sf brick walled terrace. Professionally designed lighting thru-out. Dark oak floors. Central A/C. Laundry Room with ample storage and W/D.

No doubt: the finishes are lovely, the quality of the workmanship is high, the proper names and materials are most proper indeed, the light is bountiful (if indirect), and the space is meticulously built out. (It actually shows much better than the listing photos, as it is easier to ‘read out’ the [distracting, transgressive of all principles of Staging 101] decor in real life.) But the one thing the
floor plan is not, is “flexible”.

Absent great expense and a major renovation, the only change one can make in the loft as laid out is to take down the walls / dividers setting the bedrooms apart from the living room. There is no space in which to put another (interior) room; you’d hate to describe any in-loft storage space as “wasted”, so let’s say that the space to the left of the entry is …
inflexible, unless converted to an office; the kitchen dining area is disproportionately large in a “1,475 sq ft” loft, but you need that width to get out of the darn loft; you do have the “flexibility” to live in a no-bedroom loft, but freedom ain’t free.

what this floor plan tells you about the 1980s (or earlier)
As the StreetEasy
building page says, this coop was “one of the first garment district conversions, in the early 1980s, to residential use”. (“Garment District”, rather than Flower District, is interesting, given the flower places up and down Sixth Avenue here [and in the 1980s], but this is an apparent homage to the sewing machine repair shops that used to be all over this block.) Like most of the 25 units in the building (“[n]o two lofts are alike”), loft #2B allows for a maximum of 2-bedrooms, as this was (obviously) the sweet spot in The Market in this micro-nabe at that time.

If converted today, this building would probably have no more than 10 units, each well over 2,000 sq ft, but in those days developers did not think of this as a family neighborhood.

Our listing system says that loft
#2B faces north and east, so this “1,100 sq ft” floor plan must slot right in to the zigs and zags in the lower right (southeast) corner of #2B. What a lovely (flexible!) layout one could construct in such a nearly square space (with wrap terraces around the corner) if #2B and #2C had been designed as a single loft!

My guess is that this building was a residential rental building before being converted to coop in 1984, with these same (awkward) layouts then. The sponsor likely did the minimum renovation work to create sale-able spaces (remember: “[n]o two lofts are alike”). People since then have made the interior upgrades that their budgets, tastes and needs required (or permitted).

All of which is a long way of explaining that loft #2C does not have a “flexible” floor plan, though it is “contemporary” (I suppose), “efficient” (absolutely), and (almost, within limits) “open”. Inigo Montoya would have said it more concisely.

The Market corrects what it wants to correct
We’ve been here before: a loft that lingers has a price cut that results in a sale above the last asking price. (The last time for me was my February 25,
market corrects too-low price drop at Chelsea Mercantile, just as it’s supposed to.) This loft did not sell from September 24 to December 14 when offered at $1.795mm, yet it closed on May 15 at $1.785mm after a price drop to $1.695mm on January 3.


we’ve also been here before
Past Manhattan Loft Guy posts about sales at 107 West 25 Street (small building … many posts…):


© Sandy Mattingly 2013

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