comping out is hard to do / new at 64 West 15 Street

they say that…
I will take William Grant and Russell Miller of BHS at their word at this point, that #2W at 64 West 15 Street is an “airy loft [that] masterfully combines beautiful prewar details with today’s’ contemporary amenities”, as they provide a host of detail and description in support. (No pix or floor plan yet, but that is probably a temporary issue only).

New to market today, they are asking $2.7mm for an undisclosed number of coop feet (probably 2,000) set up as 3 bedrooms + 3 baths, with maintenance of $2,332/mo.

will they be blue?
I am intrigued because there are no good comps in the building, as the only sale in the building since 2005 was a ground floor triplex unit and the only 2005 sale (of #5W, with “2,000 sq ft”) was off an asking price of $1.495mm and took a year and 3 price drops to sell, though it ended up at $1.501mm — higher than the last ask.

If #2W and #5W are the same footprint in this 6-story 2-lofts-per-floro building, then the new #2W listing is asking $1,350/ft in a building that has never seen anywhere near $1,000/ft.

That first floor triplex closed 2 months ago just under $1.1mm for what was said to be “1,650 sq ft”. That layout makes it a poor comp for #2W under any circumstances, but the price certainly does not encourage one to think this building commends a premium.

Even if #2W is a much better 2,000 sq ft renovation than #5W, it is hard to project a $200,000 renovation and 30 months of market appreciation onto $1.5mm and reach $2.7mm.

give the comps another try
I don’t see that values on the block are way up in the last few years, even with the imminent completion of The Oculus at 50 West 15 Street. Next door to #2W at 60 West 15 Street, there is a much larger loft that had been available, though in a much different condition. The 4th floor at 60 West 15 Street had been offered through the Rob Gross group at PruDE since August, but is now off their website but not yet communicated through the inter-firm system as off the market. They had been asking $2.95mm and $2,035/mo for “3,100 sq ft” that seemed in relatively primitive condition. Point is, it did not sell under $1,000/ft.

One more building east, the 2d floor at 58 West 15 Street had been marketed for nearly 6 months ending last April for $3.25mm of (probably) 2,300 sq ft in “magnificent” condition. That didn’t work, either.

We’ll look at one more, still heading east. At 42 West 15 Street there was a sale last August at $1.9mm for the “2,300 sq ft” 5th floor of “well designed” space with a bling-bling kitchen, and the 2d floor is on the market (Tom Cooper of Sothebys thinks the full floors here are only “2,000 sq ft”, but that’s another story) for $1.799mm.

Bottom line is that nothing at this end of the block has sold in recent years above $1,000/ft. Seems to me that the #2W renovation will have to be awfully impressive to drive values to the level of $1,350/ft.

#2W sits on the corner of 15th Street and 6th Avenue. I love how they’ve dealt with that: “90 linear feet of corner window frontage provide a wealth of open skies and exciting city views up Sixth Avenue.With 13 foot ceilings and 10 foot windows, that is a lot of excitement up 6th Avenue! (The windows are double insulated and tilt-and-turn, but the former trait is probably more important than the latter.)

Looking forward to pix, floor plan and any first hand reports on this one!

© Sandy Mattingly 2008

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