“bring your vision” loft at 111 Fourth Avenue sells +15% over 2004, nonetheless

or was it already the place “you’ve been waiting for”?
It is probably a fool’s game to try to make too much sense of too much broker babble. But my edition of The Babble Primer would reserve a statement like “the apartment you’ve been waiting for” for units that are done, usually in a most appealing way, while using the dog whistles “bring your vision” and “bring your architect” (let alone the combo “bring your vision and your architect”) for spaces that are so in need of completion or updating that you need (you know) some vision. Or an architect. Or both.

All of which is a very long, very Manhattan Loft Guy introduction to a small loft, the “725 sq ft” Manhattan loft #8F at 111 Fourth Avenue. Like many small lofts in this building, the outstanding measurement is from floor to ceiling, and owners have done a variety of things to take advantage of the height. In this case, there is a “lofted area” over the bedroom (babble hint: for a den or office) and a lofted “storage area” over the entry, the kitchen and bathroom. Semantically, there is no necessary conflict between “bring your vision and your architect” and “the apartment you’ve been waiting for”; it is just that they sell different things.

If you love loft #8F exactly as it is, then (Q.E.D.!) it is “the apartment you’ve been waiting for”; if it is not exactly what you’ve been looking for, put on your vision and partner with your architect. Whatever … it worked. Even with only two interior photos, and none of the kitchen or bath. You can’t argue that is is a successful campaign:

Oct 25, 2011 new to market $719,000
Nov 18 contract  
Feb 10, 2012 sold $700,000

That is a contract within 4 weeks within 97% of the ask. You can’t (shouldn’t) ask more for a marketing campaign. Even if the accomplishment is modest, the loft having last sold on July 12, 2004 for $608,000. That is a mere 15% appreciation in 7+ years, measured from a sale that was almost 4 years before The Peak.

then, now
I can say with a high degree of confidence that nothing material has changed in this loft from 2004 to 2012. You can’t see the listing photos from 2004, but they show the same shelves and lower cabinet in the living room then, as now; the same shelves in the upper office then, as now; and the same shelves and light fixtures in the bedroom then, as now. (The books look new.) Granted there are now before-and-after kitchen or bath photos, but what are the chances?

Everything about this loft and sale is modest. Except the windows, babbled here as “western light pouring through the giant original industrial windows and breathtaking sunsets”; babbled then as “13 foot ceilings… [g]reat light and views, watch the sunset over Grace church from a wall of 10 Foot windows!”. The windows alone might make loft #8E the apartment you’ve been waiting for; if you have the right vision. Or architect.

other sales, other posts
In the course of having a one-sided argument about something else with The Miller and with Vivian Toy of the New York Times (one-sided in the way that a blog post in response to a NY Times article rarely generates a response, in turn), I mentioned 10 other 2010-2011 sales in the building of small lofts in my October 12, 2011, 111 Fourth Avenue combination loft closes after 19 months at 30% off original ask. Looking at the table of 10 sales, I can’t remember where I got the size data for #6F, which sold last August in a private sale to the next door neighbors, but iI did not use the “725 sq ft” that our data-base has for #8F.

I also have no idea how the then-#6F owner and the neighbor in #6G decided on the sale price for #6F, but someone should be very happy that it matches the fully-exposed-to-market value of #8F last month.

My May 23, 2011, 111 Fourth Avenue lofted loft gains 12% since 2007 sale, dealt with one of those sales in more detail. The key take-away for present purposes is loft #6B sold in April 2011 at a 12% premium to a near-Peak prior sale (in October 2007), compared to #8F selling +15% over a much older prior sale.

a mind is a terrible thing to waste
It is good to have seen that #6B post again, because it reminds me of an interesting thing I used to not know, then learned, then forgot: that 111 Fourth Avenue has a name: International Tailoring Company Building. Note to self: try to remember….

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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