why not? Chelsea Mercantile loft with forever views sells for $2,336/ft

quality sells, Chelsea brand name loft conversion, too; and views!

Don’t take my word for it (I will prove it down below), but there are not many Manhattan lofts that re-sell at or above $2,000/ft, even before adjusting for outdoor space. Any sale starting with a “2” in $/ft will jump out at you if you look at deed records for Manhattan loft sales regularly; follow the “2” with a “3” and you are in rare company. The “1,327 sq ft” Manhattan loft in that Chelsea icon, #18C at 252 Seventh Avenue (Chelsea Mercantile) is that rare bird, having sold on October 10 for $3.1mm after spending 10 weeks trying out $3.2mm and then $3.3mm. The broker babble is enthusiastic, of course (as we’ll see more below), and the Merc is the Merc (or, is “the sought after Chelsea Mercantile Condominium”). The glory of the place is what is outside, a long way off (including the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade, and the Woolworth Building) and what is not outside, up close (anything obstructing that view to the harbor 3 miles away). Is there a group of Manhattan coop or condo owners more invested in the continuation of only low rise development in prime Chelsea than the south-facing high floor owners at the Merc?

To repeat, two thousand, three hundred thirty-six dollars a foot.

The finishes are lovely, of course, though the main stuff is probably standard issue deluxe option for this 2000 game changing new development. Either that, or the selling team got bored praising the view and this rather odd assortment of custom features:

This home offers unprecedented features, includes a full Crestron Smart Home Control System throughout, Lutron lighting system, Lutron electric recessed dual shade system both black out and sun shades, Audio/ Video system throughout with Blue Ray DVD, ipod dock, Sirius Satellite Radio, WiFi throughout and wireless laser printer/ fax/ scanner/ copier. With additional sound proofing in ceilings and walls makes this apartment unbelievably quite. [sic]

This is probably not such an odd assortment of features in broker babble for a top-tier condo loft, but it is unusual to see these mentioned when there is no mention of the kitchen, no mention of the bathrooms, no use of proper proper names other than Crestron and Lutron. (Seriously, to note that here is a wireless laser printer/ fax/ scanner/ copier, of unknown make, without mentioning plumbing involving Waterworks, Miele or Bosch is … weird.)

hard to comp with downstairs loft

There is a very recent, very nearby sale of a very similar loft, one that would ordinarily be a wonderful basis from which to judge the #18C sale (did I mention $2,336/ft?). Loft #17C has exactly the same floor plan, it sold only 3 weeks before #18C, and (while there is no mention of audio or window systems, or of soundproofing) was sold after enthusiastic (if vague) broker babble:

11 foot ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors, super-sized windows and a W/D. An oversized living room / dining room opens up to a state of the art chef’s kitchen complete with high-end appliances, ample cabinet space and an 8 foot (granite) island. The spacious master bedroom enjoys a grand en-suite marble bath and closets galore.

That one also claimed skyline and Statue views. At first blush, the $2.795mm at which #17C sold is almost preposterously short of the $3.1mm garnered by #18C. Well, at second blush, too, especially as a quick scan of the StreetEasy history shows that #17C came to market on “June 14” at $2.795mm and found its contract by “July 16”. It’s not complicated, but that was June 14 last year and July 16 this year, interrupted by not just 13 months but one tenancy. (Note the “Investors only[;] Tenant in place” that starts that babble from June 2012.)

Looks like whoever rented #17C in October 2012 was clever enough to match the old asking price before his tenancy expired, to induce the owner to avoid “all the hassle” of listing the place again. (Either that, or someone else who knew when the tenancy would end and had an idea the owner might part with the loft at the last asking price.)

Future buyers at the Merc are going to want to use the #17C sale as a comp as much as future sellers will use the #18C sale. But only one of them was a result of public marketing. If any “friends” of the #17C sellers share the news about #18C, I have to believe the #17C sellers will be more than a little upset. Probably upset to the tune of $305,000 (less whatever it costs to soundproof a “1,327 sq ft” loft and to fully outfit it with wiring of all kinds and a ” wireless laser printer/ fax/ scanner/ copier”). Pretty upset, indeed.

about those other Manhattan lofts sold in the twos

I had to go back about 200 loft sales on the Master List of downtown Manhattan loft sales between $500,000 and $5,000,000 to find as many as 10 sales at $2,000/ft or higher. That’s to July 18 on the list, last updated October 26. At least two of those ten involves private outdoor space, and so would likely adjust below $2,000/ft. Only one was higher than $2,336/ft, a loft with direct Madison Square views that may have gotten a society boost for having Presidential connections that sold above ask at $2,471/ft.

A rare bird is #18C at 252 Seventh Avenue, indeed. And a bird that kicked its neighbor’s tail feathers.

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  1. […] The “2,201 sq ft” loft #PHK is not a real penthouse either (no outdoor space), but it sold in January as a deluxe property: $5mm, or $2,272/ft. Granted, that boasted a complete renovation and open city views (including a peak at the river), but that’s a huge price per foot premium over #PHS (ballpark the terrace as worth only 25% of the interior to get an adjusted $1,784/ft for #PHS). Other recent high floor sales at The Merc include even higher values: the efficient 2-bedroom-2-bath “1,327 sq ft” loft #18C sold for $2,336/ft on October 10, helped considerably by wonderful finishes and views to the Statue of Liberty (#17C got only $2,106/ft on September 18, likely discounted for being sold with a tenant in place); #17D got $2,233/ft on September 9, again helped by views that included the Empire State Building north and Statue of Liberty south. (I hit that “C” pair of sales in my November 4, 2013, why not? Chelsea Mercantile loft with forever views sells for $2,336/ft.) […]

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