330 Spring Street loft sells near par from 2006 (an improvement)


celeb buyer does the deed

Don’t you get tired of this relentless seller’s market stuff, with lofts closing higher, higher, and higher? My buyers certainly do! So this post is for them (and, perhaps, you), recounting the details of the “1,722 sq ft” Manhattan loft #8A at 330 Spring Street (the troubled Urban Glass House), which was recently sold for $2.65mm by the folks who paid $2,698,362 to buy it from the developer way back on December 12, 2006. I say “the troubled Urban Glass House” because the resale market has been brutal for this Philip Johnson designed “ultra-modern luxury condominium”, apparently because people drawn to the charm (and grit) of The Greater Ear Inn Micro-Nabe (TGEIMN) were surprised (nay … disappointed) that the charm (and grit) might include necessary municipal services. (Of course, I am looking at you, Tony Soprano.)

Let’s look at the present before casting back.

Not only has the “Urban Glass House [been] brought to life [!] by internationally-acclaimed architect Philip Johnson … [but it has] luxurious interiors by Annabelle Selldorf.” The broker babble is enthusiastic (as that “brought to life” poetry suggests):

exquisite finishes and long distance views of Soho and Greenwich Village …. meticulous 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath apartment with a home office is a truly stunning example of its simple elegance. … panoramic views day or night. Floor-to-ceiling windows, 10′ ceilings, French white-oak flooring, thoughtfully-placed pocket doors and a Bosch washer/dryer …. kitchen … with its Bulthaup stainless steel backsplash, black granite counters, anthracite linoleum cabinetry, convenient island with an integrated sink and premium appliances like a Kuppersbusch 5-burner cook top, oven and hood, Sub-Zero fridge and freezer, Miele dishwasher and Viking wine cooler. Kota Blue limestone and custom vanities adorn both bathrooms, with a Zuma tub, separate shower, Grohe Atrio polished chrome fittings and radiant heat floors in the master.

Believe it or not, I took out a bunch of the sales-y modifiers and intensifiers; one I just had to leave in is too hard to avoid snarking about: “thoughtfully-placed pocket doors” is a new one on me. I am struggling (failing) with figuring out what was so thoughtful about the placement of the pocket doors … they go where other (conventional) doors would have gone, no? I get the utility of using them for the office and in the large (new) entrance to the master form the living room, as precious floor space is saved from doors that would otherwise need room to swing open; but that (original) entrance to the master from the foyer seems gratuitously pocket (it is not as though there is any value to keeping the floor at that entry clear by avoiding a conventionally swing door).

(This transaction isn’t “news” any longer; Curbed was on it the day the deed was filed 3 weeks ago, outing the celebrity buyer; as usual with a Curbed comment thread, peruse at your own risk.)

a long time coming

The seller was nothing if not persistent. No … add stubborn to that, as well. He started at $2.8mm two years ago, and budged, but not much more, on his way to closing only 5% off, a delightfully round 50 months later:

Feb 4, 2011 new to market $2.8mm
April 5 hiatus  
April 27 back on market  
June 29, 2012   $2.7mm
Sept 21   $2.6mm
Feb 14, 2013


April 4 sold $2.65mm

Persistent = 2 years of constant marketing, less 3 weeks. Stubborn = maintaining a price the market did not like for 17 months into mid-2012. But that is not the strangest part of the marketing sequence.

It is something of an aphorism of mine that The Market Will Correct A Too-Steep Price Cut (here’s my most recent usage: February 25, market corrects too-low price drop at Chelsea Mercantile, just as it’s supposed to), but this is ridiculous. The “too-steep” cut was from $2.7mm to $2.6mm nearly 5 months before contract. And, that $2.65mm clearing price should have been available off of the $2.7mm ask, shouldn’t it have been?

Nearly two years into a campaign that had generated no bid at an appropriate level, this loft must have found two bidders willing to pay at least the (5-month old) ask. That’s almost as weird as sitting in a museum for hours on end as the exhibit.

(mostly) looking away from trouble

Remember those brag-worthy “long distance views of Soho and Greenwich Village”? Maybe that is an acknowledgment that, like Manhattan Loft Guy, the selling agent does not consider this far-west TGEIMN a part of (real) Soho. Or maybe it is an attempt to make lemonade out of distance views that can be problematic, especially the near north view. My Tony Soprano reference should have reminded you of the controversy over (and celebrity protesters of) the Sanitation Department garage on the horizon. The almost 3 year old article from New York Magazine, Garbage In, Garbage Out, shows the degree to which the resale market in this building had evaporated. (Not just slowed, but died, as of that time.) It is a good read, and a nice bit of data-based real world reporting, so rare in the Manhattan media division of the Real Estate Industrial Complex. (Of course it quotes The Miller.)

If you are standing at the master bedroom window (as in pic #3), you’d look just a little to your left to see the other side of this view from a June 2011 Curbed feature about views at 330 Spring and the Sanitation Department. But that’s an oblique view from this unit; others have a more direct view, especially from the lower floors at 330 Spring.

With so few resales (as recapped by S. Jhoanna Robledo in NYMag), it is no surprise that I have only hit this building once. The very pleasant surprise in that December 17, 2011, New York Post scoops ACRIS with 330 Spring Street loft sale, is that I was as snobbish then about Real vs. West “Soho” and that I even then referred to this immediate area as “the Greater Ear Inn micro-nabe that I will never be comfortable calling (west) Soho”. Maybe it means I have yet to mature evolve, but I like to think of it as serendipitous consistency (not to be confused with any hobgoblins, if I may over-gild that lily).

in which Meryl Streep, meets Sally Field

In finding (again) a link to the celebrity opposition to the Sanitation Department garage, I was struck by this 2009 quote from The Villager (linked above) about the “celebrity thing … really exploding”, meaning the PR value of high profile people who oppose a municipal plan. This bit of (in retrospect, overly optimistic) celebrity celebration made me smile:

“Meryl Streep hit the roof — she didn’t even know about this.”

That is one to quit on….

© Sandy Mattingly 2013


Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply