when bad things happen to good contracts / 49 East 21 Street is back

[update 12.14.08: I have restored this post (below), as the reasons for having removed it in April no longer obtain]
I have removed the content of this blog post, as it comments about the current listing of another agent. For information about why, check out end of an era for Manhattan Loft Guy / a new day dawns? from April 9.
[The original post:]

not a board problem
Often, if you see a loft come back on the market in Manhattan 3 months after a contract was signed, you think Board Turn-down. But 49 East 21 Street is a condo, so that does not explain
#10B coming back to market this weekend.

cold feet?
Somebody changed their mind. If the seller, they would have taken it completely off the market if they decided not to sell; if the buyer, one assumes it is a change in life / job / family circumstances (some of those 8 million stories in the naked city, Anon).

The loft came to market in mid-November and had a signed contract within 4 weeks, so you would reasonably guess that the contract price was at or close to the $1.795mm asked. (Common charges and taxes are $1,815/mo. for "1,308 sq ft"). But the unit is back on the market at $1.75mm. [UPDATE 12.14.08: it finally got it done after a May 4 price drop to $1.695mm, with a contract as of may 21 and a deed filed on June 18 with a clearing price of $1.59mm]

Said to be both "stunning" and "triple mint", this corner loft is nearly square, with south exposures in the living room and master bedroom, and wests in the master and (small) 2d bedroom. The ‘state of the art’ kitchen is disproportionately large for the overall space, implying a heavy usage. This feels to me like the original finishes and details, from when this seller bought in December 2004 for $1.145mm.

2004 conversion
Overall. the floor plan is more "apartment" than "loft" — though the building is clearly a loft (it is the old UFT headquarters, converted in 2004 [building website
here], with high ceilings and big windows; the developer opted for layouts from 1,282 to 1,461 sq ft — none especially "spacious").

building history
#9A ("1,400 sq ft") sold in December for $1.9mm, finding a contract within four weeks and discounting $50k off the listing price. That listing description is similar to the current description for #10B, though that one was "barely … lived in". Property Shark says #4A ("1,375 sq ft") sold in October, but I don’t see a clearing price and our inter-firm listing history shows a January close, and a bumpy ride until then. The ask started at $1.895mm, dropped to $1.795mm after 4 weeks, then we show a pattern of 4 contracts out then back on the market, until the January update as Sold & Closed.

#8C ("1,461 sq ft") sold in July for $1,862,500, having found a contract within 2 weeks off an asking price of $1.925mm. That unit was marketed as having "the best floor-plan in the building"; if you can see it
here you will agree that the additional 150 sq ft over the "B" floor plan makes a huge difference in ‘space’ and efficiency.

All in, I don’t see anything about the recent building history that should make the #10B asking price a stretch. [UPDATE 12.14.08: with the trading price at $1.59mm in June, it is fair to say that The Market found $1.795mm to be a bit of a sretch, after all]

So .. what happened to this failed contract?

Aside: I can’t recall the last time I saw bedroom wallpaper in a loft.

© Sandy Mattingly 2008


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