uber-renovated (?) loft at Chelsea Mercantile sells 7% above Peak

what does it cost to uber your renovation?
The “1,344 sq ft” Manhattan loft #4J at 252 Seventh Avenue (the game-changing Chelsea Mercantile) just sold for $1.725mm in “perfectly uber-renovated” condition (“[n]o stone was left unturned in this state-of-the-art renovation”), closing on November 1. That seller bought the loft on May 21, 2008 (essentially at The Peak) for $1,617,500 in “absolutely stunning …. triple mint” condition with “en-suite luxurious bathrooms[, a] kitchen is fit for a chef with top-of-the-line appliances and granite counter tops, sophisticated lighting, … an integrated sound system….”. Of course I wonder how much money the-2008-buyer-turned-2011-seller put into uber-ing the place and whether, now that he has sold for just over $100,000 more than he paid, whether he thinks that was worthwhile.

Unless I am missing something, the floor plan after no stone was left unturned is exactly the same as the floor plan before the stones turned. (I guess they out the new stones back where the old ones were.) The pictures tell a different story, with a dramatically different kitchen look (again: in the old configuration) and at least one bathroom that has been completely re-furnished and re-covered. (You can’t see tat on StreetEasy, but our data-base has kitchen and bathroom photos in the ‘before’ condition.) That old “sophisticated lighting” in the living room appears to have been changed from tracks to high-hats, but if anything else was changed I can’t see it in the pix.

Clearly, The Market agreed with the ‘after’ babble that the loft has been beautifully redone, as there may not be another example of a 2011 resale beating a price as close to Peak as May 21, 2008. I suspect the seller put more into it than The Market repaid him for, but almost certainly not as much as 10% of his purchase price plus the $107,500 resale premium. The space, after all, is only “1,344 sq ft” and no walls or lines were moved. You’d think you could upgrade an “absolutely stunning …. triple mint” skin to a “perfectly uber-renovated” skin for under $200/ft.

But then again, if it were me doing the work I would want to get more than 3 years to enjoy it before moving on.

downsizing from a Chelsea #4J to a Village #4J
The seller’s notice address on the deed by which he sold loft #4J at The Merc is apartment #4J at 2 Horatio Street on Jackson Square in the West Village, so I tracked him. He bought that apartment (with a partner) for $945,000 10 weeks before selling at The Merc, in a transaction for which I find no public listing. The chances are really really good that the new apartment has the same floor plan and is in a similar condition to #6J at 2 Horatio Street, which sold for $995,000 on May 5.

The old loft was a 1-bedroom+home-office in a turn of the century loft conversion; the new apartment is a straight 1-bedroom in a classic prewar Bing & Bing building. Our data-base says #6J (and, presumably the new #4J) is “880 sq ft”. The guy moved into space one-third smaller than his loft, paying $1,074/ft (and $1,260/mo in coop maintenance) after having sold at $1,283/mo (and $1,404/mo in taxes and condo common charges). He got back his Chelsea Mercantile down payment plus $107,500 (less expenses like the sales commission and transfer taxes, and less his renovation costs) and turned that into the new coop.

I remain ignorant of the details behind a move like this, as I am ignorant of nearly all of the other eight million stories in the naked city. But I can hope that the move was a positive one (maybe he got married), and that the guy is happy looking at One Jackson Square.

fun fact
Both times that #4J at 252 Seventh Avenue last sold, the original asking price was $1.995mm. It took a bigger discount to get it sold in late 2007 into 2008 than it did in 2011. An uber-renovation can do that, I guess.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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