in a world unusual loft floor plans, this One Bed Wonder at 40 West 15 Street takes a cake

a floor plan for every Manhattan loft buyer, a buyer for every floor plan

Maybe the people who just paid $2.1mm for the “2,000 sq ft” Manhattan loft #4B at 40 West 15 Street in the busy bottom left corner of Flatiron like it just the way the long-time owners had it: no (legal) bedroom, no interior walls that touch the ceiling apart from closets and bathrooms, and the two bathrooms both inside what passes for a bedroom. But I doubt it. The floor plan is odd enough, but when you see on the listing photos that the funky curved wall in the “bedroom” and the walls that mark the office in front of that bedroom don’t quite reach the ceiling … well, that’s just weird. Or, to be less judgmental (New Year’s resolutions still being fresh), you could say the the space is optimized for however many people sleep in that bedroom; with no walls that completely close off that room, everyone will hear if someone is playing that piano, or watching television, or clicking on a keyboard in that office. And, anyone needing to use a bathroom will have to come into the bedroom to do so.

I will bet you a quarter that the new owners will erase those lines on the floor plan and start over. Or (if I lose) a dime that they will push the bedroom walls to the ceiling and straighten that curved wall so that someone can get to that first bathroom without entering the bedroom.

I will bet you another full quarter that the loft has had this configuration however long these recent sellers have owned the space. (At least since 1996, which is the earliest mention of them in a spotty set of coop records on Property Shark.) Note that the broker babble has but a single word describing any of the finishes positively:

true loft details- approximately 10’ ceilings, huge windows, and open space. Currently configured as a 1 bedroom with a windowed office, but the open floor plan can be easliy be converted as one’s needs demand. There are 2 full marble baths and great closets, including a huge walk in. The open kitchen and large island will appeal to any home cook and the large open space suits in home entertaining as well. Additional features include a private deck as well as a washer and dryer in the apartment.

(That word is “marble”, in case it slid by.) I can’t get a good enough look at the kitchen to be sure, but I see nothing in the babble or in the photos to suggest that there is anything deluxe, let alone “meticulously” or otherwise renovated, in the loft other than the marble in the two baths. No custom this, or built-in that; no proper proper names of appliances, fixtures or materials (marble aside). The babble damns with the faintest of praise, calling the office “windowed”, the closets “great” or “walk in”, the kitchen “open”. There’s a private deck in the babble that is the 60 (or so) sq ft balcony on the floor plan, but there’s no photo of that amenity and no claim about light, there or in the loft generally.

Obviously, I think there is nothing special about this space, including specifically about how it is laid out and finished. I suppose the surprise (for me, at least) is that it just sold for $1,050/ft in a coop that is one common roof deck and one bike storage room from being a no-frills coop. The sellers were profligate with the space, using it all to benefit the denizen(s) of the single bedroom. But the “open floor plan” is, as they say, “easily … converted” (to one real and one interior bedroom, with minimal changes; to three sleep areas, with a little more figuring).

 the neighbors are indifferent to this loft sale

Of course no one is going to brag about a downtown Manhattan loft sale at $1,050/ft, not even the buyers if the loft has as many blah points as this one. The sellers could not have been too disappointed, in that the clearing price seems to have met their reasonable expectations, given that they started on August 26 at $2.25mm and were in contract within 2 months less than 7% off the ask. Maybe the former neighbors who sold the “2,000 sq ft” loft #2A 18 months earlier at an even $2mm were pleased to see #4B went for (only) $2.1mm, given that the overall market is up 11% from July 2012 to December 2013 (per ‘the feel’ provided by the StreetEasy Manhattan Condo Index, of course) and that lower floor loft was babbled as faintly as #4B, with a single exposure, no true bedrooms, and a series of walls too shy to touch the ceiling.

The most recent sale in the building is not as directly comparable to #4B as is #2A, because the “1,500 sq ft” loft #1A is not only smaller but has a mezzanine with sleep loft. By now you will have no trouble appreciating the lack of enthusiasm in that broker babble, and will not be surprised that it sold on September 26 at $1.61mm, or $1,073/ft. Pretty much on par with #4B three months later, for a loft in pretty much the same condition with a (different) set of single exposure layout issues.

There are some lovely lofts in lovely loft buildings on this block (like at 60 West 15 Street, without even considering newly built or being built condos down the block). Lofts at 40 West 15 Street have not sold like them. I’d love to see what The Market would do with a loft here after it has been minted. Until then, we pretty much know the story.

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