$1,500/ft for 7 Bond Street loft with 4 windows, no bedrooms

The Bond Street effect in action

The problem for the "1,100 sq ft" Manhattan loft #2D at 7 Bond Street is obvious from the floor plan, and only slightly less obvious from the photos: the four great big windows at the front of the loft (facing north?) are the only windows in the relatively small space. It is not really long enough to be a classic Long-and-Narrow Manhattan loft layout, more like a short and really narrow, but the footprint dictates where you put the rooms. In this case, don’t buy it if you want another room of any kind, or a bedroom with windows, because you probably also will want a living room with windows. And a bedroom near a bathroom.

Uptown People won’t live this way, but lots of Downtown Loft People do: sleeping in the dark, whether the sun is up or not. Not to mention, paying $1,500/ft for the experience.

Given the placement of the kitchen and bathrooms on the #2D floor plan, there is no real flexibility in the "1,100 sq ft" layout. Perhaps you could double up interior sleeping areas / rooms along that west wall, but then you’d have to reconfigure the entrance to the (present) bedroom and then live with the inhabitants of the new bedroom traipsing through the ‘master’ to get to the shower and tub. No surprise that this layout is inflexible: the loft is laid out to maximize the public space, with its four windows and 14 foot ceilings, at the cost of a second (interior) bedroom. (Remember this point; we will come back to it, below.)

assume that the modesty is earned
Not that you are going to get a fantastic renovation of brag-worth finishes for that $1,500/ft. Although the loft is babbled as “spectacular” and “magnificent”, that “seamlessly combines classic charm with drama”, most of that bragging is about bones and location (“on Bond Street, one of NOHO’s hottest and most desirable cobblestone streets in a Landmark Cast-iron Building”; “soaring 14’ ceilings, excellent light through four oversized windows north facing windows”) rather than interior finishes. The finishes include a “ beautifully renovated bathroom”, french doors between living room and bedroom, and a “recently redone kitchen”. None of the typical broker babble about mints, materials or proper proper names.

All in all, nice, but not no-detail-overlooked. In a no frills condo with few amenities (basement storage and a common roof deck), commensurate with low taxes and common charges.

Notwithstanding this modesty and inflexibility, this is a $1,500/ft loft.

great price, but not a top for the building
As you can tell from the number of times you see “$1,500/ft” here, I am impressed that this loft sold at this price. The seller might not have been, as he started on January 10 asking $1.795mm before dropping to the $1.695mm on February 3 that got him his contract by March 11 at $1.65mm. But the seller should have been impressed (in my opinion), as the last loft to sell in the building before #2D was the slightly larger (at “1,200 sq ft”) but otherwise similar loft #4A, which sold on December 16 for $1.55mm, or only $1,292/ft.

It is hard to see why there is a 16% premium (on a $/ft basis) in favor of #2D as a May sale in direct comparison to #4A 5 months earlier. If anything, the condition of #4A was better than #2D, with “custom lighting, exquisite wood flooring throughout, … [m]aster bedroom closet of your dreams, custom kitchen with Diva induction drop in stove in large granite island …. 1.5 elegant impeccable modern bathrooms“ and the promise that “[w]ords cannot fully describe the beauty of this apartment, you must see in person”. The text and photos read as a more luxurious environment than #2D.

Yet #4A sold for only $1,292/ft. (It did not seem like only $1,292/ft when I hit this sale in my January 3, transformed 7 Bond Street loft sells 8% above 2007, in a post that mainly focused on the peculiar co-ownership of loft #4A and the one next door, and then riffed on some Conventional Wisdom dear to the heart of The Miller and the focus of a major VToy piece in the New York Times.)

But #2D at $1,500/ft is not the high for the building, though I think it is still the most impressive.

The “1,100 sq ft” loft #5D zoomed through the market (starting on April 5 at $1.695mm, in contract by April 20, closed on May 29 at $1.765mm, a substantial premium). That one has a significantly different layout in the same footprint as #2D, with the kitchen pushed toward the windows to fit a home office of 8’4” x  9’, a home office that could double as a second (interior) bedroom (there is a crib in pic #5). And note how enthusiastic the #5D broker babble is, especially compared to the muted #2D babble:

gut renovated to the highest standard and features two full baths, eleven foot ceilings, … a top of the line kitchen that will inspire any cook

The main listing photo for #5D suggests dramatically better views than 3 floors below. Loft #5D has greater utility than #2D, with that home office (nursery!). Loft #5D seems to have been renovated into better overall condition. That seller (is his dad the famous actor, Jason?) was looking for a slight premium over #2D when he brought it to market 3 weeks after the #2D contract, and provoked a bidding war that got a 7% premium over #2D ($1,604/ft).

As should be obvious by now, I think that the higher floor, higher quality, and greater utility of #5D over #2D should be worth more than $104/ft. The Market did not see it that way. I really hope the 32D seller was impressed with his price.

need to do research before asking this as a money-at-stake trivia question
How many streets have odd-numbered addresses on the south side of the street, besides Bond Street?

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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