what $50,000 worth of mahogany looks like: 260 Park Avenue South loft sells with 30 foot ceilings

for the imagination challenged, an example
You have probably never woken up in the middle of the night wondering “what does $50,000 worth of mahogany look like?” but this post will make sure that that never happens to you. The “1,662 sq ft” Manhattan mezzanined loft #2E at 260 Park Avenue South recently sold after a curiously elongated but quiet campaign that featured some standard things that agents babble about (“30 foot ceilings …. Top-of-the-line chef’s kitchen …. Spa level bathrooms all have Kohler fixtures, marble master bath has rain head shower along with double sinks” ) and at least one thing that agents usually don’t get this specific about: “over $50,000 in mahogany custom built-ins”. In this case, the pix support the prose, as there is may be at least some mahogany in each of the five photos, in four “rooms” (including a bath), with the largest piece being that 15 foot (?) high wall unit in the first two photos.

ran out of wood, dollars, or imagination?
With all that dark mahogany, I have to wonder: why not use the same material in the kitchen (island facing and cabinetry), or is that lightly finished mahogany? And why put a wine frig up against the wall unit?? Is that dining room table (pic #1) yet another light finish of mahogany???

This is what qualifies as a curiously elongated but quiet campaign looks like to me:

June 8, 2011 new to market $1.995mm
April 9, 2012 contract  
May 14 sold $1.875mm

That’s ten months to contract, without a price adjustment. And a deal at (only) a 6% discount to ask. I guess there are only so many buyers who must have mahogany, and that it is worthwhile to wait for them (him?) to show up. (Patience is, of course, a virtue.)

challenging floor plan is tall but very limited
The babble says “unique 1 bedroom … can easily be converted into 2 or 3 bedrooms” but I have to quibble. First, there is no “bedroom” (the floor plan shows a home office [no windows] on the lower level and a mezzanine upstairs, open to the lower level, 13 feet from the windows). Second, where would you put any (real) bedroom? With 30 foot ceilings in the open part of the loft there is certainly enough height to carry that upper mezzanine floor all the way to the window wall, but that is hardly a conventionally “easy” renovation (and would cut that biggest mahogany built-in down to size). That would yield no more than 2 bedrooms up stairs (with windows). Without extending the upper floor, the floor plan has zero bedrooms, and no place to put one without cutting the living room in half. Nothing “easy” here..

While I am wondering about the broker babble, I have never seen babble like “30 foot ceilings with wall-to-floor windows”; “wall” to floor? Aren’t all windows “wall-to-floor”? That’s just weird.

By the way, there are no direct photos, but it certainly looks in pic #1 that there are two level of windows, except at the stairway. The two levels of windows look as though they correspond to where the floor could be (not so easily) extended to the window wall.

The strangest part of the babble is this description of the terrace slightly visible in the first photo and evident on the floor plan: “  ”. That is not a typo: there is not a word in the babble about a feature of this loft that is often (always!) brag-worthy. That first photo shows a glass doorway to leave the living room, with the faint suggestion of a terrace behind the windows. And the floor plan shows a rectangle out there, with no tell-tale label. (Our data-base notes that loft #2E has “210 sq ft” of outdoor space.) I have never seen babble that did not talk up outdoor space, or a floor plan that so subtly suggests a terrace. Talk about a “quiet” campaign!

Contrast this “1,662 sq ft” challenging scheme to the floorplan of the “1,535 sq ft” loft #2A, which has (only) 14 foot ceilings but 2 (real) bedrooms. Did you notice the bragging in the #2E babble about that one being “over 300 square feet larger than most 2 bedrooms in the building”? #2E just got $1,128/ft for its (extra large, but challenging) “1,662 sq ft“ (before adjusting for the terrace), while #2A got $1,401/ft two months ago. (The #2A photos suggest that #2E has the sponsor issue woodwork in the kitchen island and cabinetry, and in the that one bathroom photo; perhaps all of the $50,000 worth of custom mahogany built-ins is in the living room.)

Loft #2E is over 300 square feet larger than the other 2 bedroom in the building that closed recently, the “1,281 sq ft” #6H. That real 2-bedroom sold on December 19 at $1.56mm, or $1,217/ft. #2E is certainly dramatic, with those 30 foot ceilings in the open part of the loft, and I will take it on faith that it is larger than most (real) 2-bedrooms, but it lacks even one real bedroom, and it has been valued by The Market at a lower dollar per foot than the last two (real) 2-bedroom sales, by 24% and 8%. Did I mention that the layout is challenging?

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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