“recently renovated” 7 East 17 Street loft sells 18% over 2011 sale (as “newly renovated”)


there are no rules

Of course there are no rules about how many calendar pages can be torn off before a listing should no longer be described as “newly” or “recently” renovated. In the case of the “2,774 sq ft” Manhattan loft on the #5S at 7 East 17 Street, the loft sold on february 28 at $3.85mm as “recently renovated”, with babbled details such as an entire wall of “restored exposed brick”, a “state-of-the-art open Bulthaup kitchen with its premium appliances, Miele stovetop island”, a master “bath with his/her sinks, a soaking tub and separate steam shower”, and 2-zone central air conditioning.


When it sold on June 1, 2011 at $3,258,400 it was “newly renovated”, and you won’t be surprised to note that the 2011 babble bragged on “a gourmet Bulthaup Chef’s kitchen with a Miele stovetop island”, a “beautifully restored, exposed brick wall, “[s]olid wood plank walnut flooring, separate steam shower“, and two-zone central A/C. The photos in the two listings do not match, but I don’t see anything different in the structure in 2011 and 2013, including the glass wall in the master bath. The only difference in the floor plans of note is the addition of closets in the room behind the kitchen (then, now), with the apparent difference in kitchen layout not being borne out by the photos.


In other words, the same loft that sold as “newly renovated” in June 2011 for the funny number $3,258,400 just resold on February 28 at $3.85mm as “recently renovated”, but the only thing more “recent” than 2011 that I can see is the addition of 2 closets. Nicely played, sir LLC; nicely played.



a hyper-local nightmare of comps

This condo was a very odd new development beginning in 2008. From the StreetEasy building page you will see sponsor sales at ridiculously low number s between October 2008 and December 2010, which I have to guess involved insider deals with people who already lived there, and who may be owners in the sponsor LLC. The “S” units are at 7 East 17 Street and the “N” units at 10 East 18 Street. I addressed the fact that different floors have different splits between S and N in my February 27, tapered Flatiron project loft at 10 East 18 Street sells for $905/ft, in which I (slyly?) referred to the fact that loft #5S would soon sell, and that loft #5N has a very strange footprint.


You can see from StreetEasy that in 2011 The Market valued the #5S renovation as worth about seven figures more than similar raw space. The “2,678 sq ft” loft #3S sold as “flexible raw space” for $2.1mm ($784/ft) just days before the slightly larger #5S sold for $3,258,400 as “newly renovated” ($1,175/ft). That was a refreshingly rational pair of contemporaneous sales that differ only in condition, with the difference of almost $400/ft reasonably and refreshingly accounted for by a quality renovation.


Other sales at these twin addresses are not so easily reconciled. The two penthouses sold by the LLC sponsor last year requiring comp adjustment not only for condition (both were raw) but also for outdoor space (both had huge private rooftop space). I won’t riff with The Miller about this, as I suspect the spread between outdoor space values and improved interior space is different from the spread between outdoor space values and raw interior space, and I have no rubric for that bit of comping magic.



if geese are a gaggle …?

There’s an odd locution in the recent #5S broker babble that is both new to me and cute, in a good way. Not sure I will ever have the courage to use it, but the “[o]ther highlights include…” sentence lists “a generosity of closets” among those highlights. I could quibble about whether the number and scale of closets are truly generous for a space this large, but that “a generosity of closets” locution is endearing. I hope it was intentional, rather than a malapropism.


© Sandy Mattingly 2013



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