surprise: Jade loft re-sells +8% over 2007 purchase at 16 West 19 Street

small loft with a big pod
The “904 sq ft” Manhattan mini-loft #10C at 16 West 19 Street (Jade) just had a pretty successful resale, up 8.2% over the sponsor sale (with transfer fees) at the end of 2007. (Put aside for this discussion, please, that the recent seller paid nearly all of that 8.2% ‘gain’ in sales fees and transfer taxes on the way out.) The increase in market value of this small loft-with-famous-pod exceeds that of the other most recent sales in the building. So, props to the seller.

The Jade was a 2007 love-it-or-hate-it new development, highly visible and aggressively promoted for the provenance of the interior designer — and for the … er … rather unusual pods. I will let the broker-babble for #10C do its job, with the caution that I highly doubt that truth of the last sentence in this segment:

free standing centrally located Pod contains the kitchen, bathroom and closets, and appears as a polished jewel box when closed. When open, it reveals a modern kitchen with Miele appliances, a full-size Sub-Zero fridge, and beautifully appointed bath with glass mosaic tiles, two shower heads plus a hand-held faucet. The Pod’s Gold lacquer exterior and neutral interior could adapt to anyone’s design sensibilities.

Indulge me as I double-quote myself about Jade, from my last post about resales at 16 West 19 Street, which relied on my first post here, nearly 6 years ago (!):

I hit this as an “interesting” new development way back in my June 30, 2006, the newest new kitchen (in Flatiron, not Chelsea), with a little snark about boundary issues and a little positive commentary about the kitchen-as-pod concept:

Triple Mint nails the point about real Manhattan folk who will love these kitchens:

“As much as big chef’s kitchens have become de rigeur status symbols in the marketing of New York lofts these days, the truth is that most Manhattan-ites eat out six nights a week. On the seventh night they use their kitchen to soften a pint of ice cream. Face it, the most important kitchen appliance really isn’t the stove–it’s the corkscrew. These pods are a kind of tacit admission that many people in New York end up living like global nomads. It’s the condo as glorified hotel suite.”

These are Pullman kitchens for the new century, with the old accordian doors replaced by the laquered pods. Notice that there is very little counter space, so this would never be confused with a “chef’s” kitchen, even with the Miele appliances and full-size Sub-Zero fridge. (The StreetEasy listing has a maddeningly set of repeating photos, but if you start with the last set of five before clicking on the Click For Large Photos icon you will get right to the large format pix; the 3rd to last is the kitchen.)

The broker babble notes that loft #10C used to be a 1-bedroom, but it is hard to tell from the photos if the dotted line on the floor plan represents some kind of moveable divider or just shows where the old wall was. This layout is a very efficient small loft, enhanced by the nearly square shape and two exposures. With the wall down, the only way a couple could get privacy from each other would be to escape into the large bathroom in the pod. But full privacy in there would require closing the doors that visually open the back wall of the shower to the rest of the loft, and the north windows. That might be the weirdest thing about the pod.

making the (former) neighbors blush
It is a natural human impulse for sellers to focus on how their sales price compares to their purchase price. Neighbors have also been known to compare how they’ve done on a resale in relation to their neighbors. As I mentioned up top, the #10C sellers go the head of the class, even if their gain was nearly consumed by the big ticket expenses on the sale. Other sellers here must be jealous of this history:

Nov 27, 2007 sponsor sale $1,099,710
Nov 10, 2011 new to market $1.295mm
Mar 23, 2012 contract  
April 27 sold $1.19mm

As noted that is a gain of 8.2%, and a resale at $1,316/ft.

My last post in the building looked at 3 resales in August 2011 and 2 in May 2011, and included this comparison to the sponsor sales:

follow the bouncing pods

There have been 3 August sales of Manhattan lofts in that oh-so-stylish 2007 new development Jade at 16 West 19 Street, one just below the sponsor sale price and two just above. Caption the pod experiment as “almost holding its own, so far…”. Three lofts, 3 sizes, dancing (a very little) above and (rather more) below the original purchase:

#3B “881 sq ft” Aug 15, 2011 $880,000 Mar 13, 2008 $855,550 +2.86%
#11A “1,200 sq ft” Aug 5, 2011 $1,455,000 Sept 17, 2007 $1,425,550 +2.1%
#3A “460 sq ft” Aug 2, 2011 $520,000 Feb 1, 2008 $575,311 -9.61%

The prior two sales, both in May, had one close-to-original-but-not-quite sale, and one that got creamed worse than #3A:

#8B “653 sq ft” May 19, 2011 $720,000 June 28, 2007 $743,332 -3.14%
#7F “1,138 sq ft” May 6, 2011 $1,190,000 Dec 4, 2007 $1,360,000 -12.5%

For people who follow the building, it is interesting how each of the three August sales can be used to predict the likely clearing prices of similarly sized units in the building. (Note to self: watch the building to determine if that smug assertion is borne out.)

Are (two of) the August sales harbingers of a positive resale trend at Jade? Only time can tell….

As you see, #10C with a gain of 8.2% dwarfs these 5 resales. There have been two other resales in the building since those August 2011 sales. The “3,750 sq ft” loft #12BC with a large terrace sold on April 17 for $5.125mm, a price well below the sponsor sale at $5,600,375. But that sponsor sale was only in January 2011 so it is not an apples comparison to the others that the sponsor sold in 2007 and 2008. (Presumably, it had been rented out for a few years.) The even mini-er-mini-loft #5A (“460 sq ft”) is a better comp for this purpose: it was sold by the sponsor for $575,311 on November 28, 2007 and resold on November 17, 2011 at a very disappointing $535,000, a loss of 7%.

These data provide an unsatisfying answer to the question I posed in that August 28, 2011 post (“Are (two of) the August sales harbingers of a positive resale trend at Jade?”): not yet.

big feet, going how far?
You don’t need a calculator to see that loft #10C at $1,316/ft is far superior to any of the other resales on a dollar-per-foot basis. (Putting the terraced #12BC aside so that we don’t have to do any more riffing this week.) The highest resale on a dollar-per-foot basis other than #10C was #11A at $1,212/ft.

Of course, I have to (rhetorically) ask the pesky Manhattan Loft Guy question, and then provide the customary (if prosaic) answer:  is the May 2012 resale of loft #10C a harbinger of a positive sales trend at the Jade? Only time will tell … (sigh).

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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