66 Crosby Street loft sells for $868/ft as a very tall project

how much for just the ceilings and the windows?
The second floor in many classic Manhattan loft buildings is like the parlor floor in a brownstone: the ceilings are disproportionately high. In the case of the Manhattan loft #2CD at 66 Crosby Street, which sold on March 21 for $2.95mm, the main attraction was the 16 foot ceilings and 12 foot windows (12 foot windows!!) in a large square-ish space that has been a live-work photography studio and seems largely unchanged over the years.

This loft is a bit of a time machine. Ignore the new kitchen (with Bertazzoni stove), new guest bath, and central air, and you are looking at a space that has been largely untouched since the building was converted to a coop about 30 years ago, at least. The main floor was for working, clearly, while upstairs there are “sleeping quarters” (how quaint!) and a master bath. This level is open to the rest of the space, and with 16 feet ceilings, this arrangement is more like a true duplex than the mere mezzanine you would have with even 14 foot ceilings. The guest bath and darkroom are behind the kitchen on the back wall, and there are no other walls in the space apart from the master bath upstairs and a lateral divider, again upstairs. Talk about volume!

On the one hand, there are only five windows, all along the east wall. On the other hand, they are 12 feet high and take up well more than half of that 40 foot wall.

The Market swallowed it easily
The footprint poses many challenges, among them whether to break up that long tall wall of windows with a real bedroom, and whether to keep the upstairs/downstairs arrangement on the opposite wall. We show this loft as “3,400 sq ft” in our data-base, which includes the upstairs space because of the high ceilings. As built, it is a very large One Bed Wonder (scroll down to the oldest post for the definition); I wonder if it will stay that way.

The Market did not find these challenges particularly daunting, as it came to market on October 28 at $3.175mm and left, contract in hand, by December 8, closing March 21 at a spare 7% discount to ask.

With ceilings not quite as high, this footprint is “2,300 sq ft”, as you will see in the floor plan of #4CD (missing from StreetEasy, but still up on Corcoran) when it sold for $2.255mm on September 13, 2006. That floor plan is very similar to #2CD, with “sleeping areas” set on the back (dark) wall, winging the kitchen and two baths. With ‘only’ 14 foot ceilings, those sellers did not think to double up the space, though the buyers may have. The massive windows on the 4th floor are, indeed, massive, but at 10 feet can’t compare to the 2nd floor giants (but probably get better light at this height).

are you smarter than a 4th-grader? (I’m not)
Two other things of interest about #2CD and #4CD: the columns and the prices. We might need a 4th-grader to settle this, but it is pretty likely that the original columns in the building were all one style, meaning that either the “Doric” columns on the 4th floor are really Corinthian, or the “Corinthian” columns on the 2nd floor are Doric; or maybe they are both Ionic.

These two lofts with the same footprint were in roughly the same condition (as the #4CD babble put it, “move-in, condition; but priced so that you can bring your architect, and your imagination with you”) but significantly differently configured, with that upper level in the 16 foot 2nd floor. You’d think that the current market is no worse than flat to September 2009, but the 4th floor traded 13% higher on a dollar-per-foot basis (#2CD at $868/ft last month, and #4CD at $980/ft 4.5 years ago). Either that upper level on the 2nd floor really represents an expense (demolition cost) more than a benefit, or The Market is not buying it as full-valued space, even with 8 foot ceilings up there.

You have to believe that both buyers planned to put a lot of money into the lofts after purchase. Would love to see pix of that, but that (almost) never happens. Sigh.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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

Leave a Reply