one more loft visit to the corner of 18th Street in prime Flatiron
Regular readers of Manhattan Loft Guy don’t even need wonderful memories to know that I hit a loft with interesting ‘issues’ here in the Spring, which will be an interesting hook for considering the more recent sale of the “1,765 sq ft” Manhattan loft #6D at 105 Fifth Avenue at $2.5mm. But let’s start with the hook in the headline. For a loft footprint that large, with plumbing stacks near the (south) entry and along the east wall, there is precious little ‘flexibility’ to this loft. Blame the single (north) exposure, with its six windows split among four (!) rooms:
The broker babble is enthusiastic about the finishes, but I have to wonder about at least half of this fluffing:
Massive Living Room and Dining Room give you lots of space to spread out. Oversized Windows (each 9′ Tall) fill the home with light.
That “massive” space running from kitchen to windows zigs and zags a bit, but is rather large. The windows may well “fill the home” with light, but I’d have to see it in real life before conceding that much of that light gets very far into the massive space we were just talking about. Once you are about halfway into the loft, you get this view if you are standing along the east wall:
There are other ways to bring some light into the public space, and this array plays a few of those tricks. The second bedroom has a glass wall and an offset doorway (see the NE corner of the floor plan, and the 4th listing photo), allowing the living rom to have those two windows and allowing some light from the last window to seep into the public space through that glass wall. If you keep the door open in the (removable) study, as in the photo above, you get some of that light into the public space.
But you will see no windows on entering the loft until you clear the refrigerator corner, in yellow in this photo looking back toward the entry on an angle:
That yellow refrigerator corner is about 40 feet from the windows. And if you toggle back and forth among the various listing photos that show the round dining table and the floor plan, you will see how closely one passes that table to get to the rest of the public space (indeed, to get to the bedrooms or study), squeezing between the table and the built-ins or credenza on either side.
can this loft pass The TV Test?
Speaking of awkward layouts, look up at the floor plan again before looking at any photos. Where would you put a television? Alas, the floor plan artist gives you the answer (d’oh! “media” on the east wall after the last zag), but note that this is pretty much the only answer. The wall the two bathrooms are on won’t work, because that’s the natural dining room. The wall of the study might fit a screen, but then you’d have to awkwardly arrange furniture in front of the glass wall of the second bedroom.
Nope, “media” is it. And now note how well cropped this photo is:
So in that “massive” living room you pretty much are forced to put the television on this wall, leaving just a few dots on the rug to pass between the television and the couch. As I said, not a lot of flexibility here. (It may feel different in real life, of course, but it doesn’t appear to have the promised “lots of space to spread out”.)
One of the fun things about lofts is that owners can do pretty much anything they want to a loft. Including, as in this case, building a very long and narrow “study” and stick a small child in it. (The tiny bed featured in listing pic #7 is just visible in the first photo above.) There’s “flexibility” in that sense, even (especially) if you are willing to design (or repurpose) space within an inch of its life.
The recent sellers bought the loft in 2006, though StreetEasy lacks the listing from that era. Trust me: the photos and floor plan are in our listings system, and show the loft with the exact same configuration and elements except for that “study” (kid’s room) and some cosmetics. At some point, the recent sellers had the second child and (probably) kicked out Kid One from the second bedroom in favor of New Baby (Kid Two).
Without that “study”, here’s what the space looked like in 2006:
As the current floor plan says, that study is removable. (So are the other interior walls, of course, but they make a point about that wall for good reason, as in the 2006 photo just above.) Once removed, you can move the television seating back a foot or two (again, squint to see 2006). Once removed, you get the benefit of three full windows in the living room, plus the through-the-glass-wall light of the easternmost window.
meanwhile, up on the 7th floor, lofts were sold
I mentioned up top that we were here in the Spring. That was my May 19, what would have happened if they renovated the kitchen to sell 105 Fifth Avenue loft?, in which I contrasted the then-recent sale of the “1,522 sq ft” loft #7E for $2.05mm and the November 2014 sale of the “1,750 sq ft” loft #7B at $2.695mm. Check that post for listing photos, floor plans, and my review of the specific choice the #7E seller made to do a major renovation that left the kitchen in (apparently) somewhat primitive condition.
For present purposes, the dollars-per-foot for these 2BR+2bath lofts are what is most interesting: #7B at $1,540/ft in November 2014, followed by #7E at $1,347/ft in April, and ending with #6D at $1,416/ft in July. Loft #7E had the (major) deficit of a kitchen in need of being brought up to the quality of the rest of the space, while #6D has a far more awkward footprint than #7B, which also had two exposures. It is not likely that a difference in condition contributes to a difference in value of #7B and #6D, the two are almost exactly the same size (15 sq ft difference), and market conditions when #7B sold were marginally less strong than when #6D sold.
Yet #7B earned a premium of 9% over #6D on a dollar-per-foot basis unadjusted for time. That’s the power of an awkward footprint.