designer of renown will not be pleased that 114 Mercer Street loft sold for $989/ft

perhaps they won’t tell him

The broker babble for the “2,250 sq ft” Manhattan loft #4R at 114 Mercer Street calls Martin Raffone a “renowned New York designer” and the loft “ a warm, modern living environment- a quiet sanctuary away from the vibrant street scene below”, which has been “ featured on HGTV’s Top Ten Lofts and praised in many publications for Mr. Raffone’s sublime design which manages to combine the rough architecture of the original loft with elements of nature and modern day living”. Of course there are proper proper names throughout, of brands and materials (with a curiously frequent mention of poplar). This prime loft in prime Soho sold at $2.225mm, only $989/ft. Both the seller and the designer must have been disappointed by that, though one hit was only reputational.

Among the lofts of similar size in downtown Manhattan that sold recently at higher prices on a $/ft basis are:

Among the smaller lofts that sold recently at higher prices on a $/ft basis in downtown Manhattan are:

The loft #4R sale at $989/ft makes no sense. I assume the first official asking price was some kind of clerical error that took a few days to catch and fix, but the rest of the history makes sense (as far as it goes on StreetEasy):

Sept 16, 2011 new to market $2.295mm
Sept 21   $2.645mm
Nov 2   $2.529mm
Dec 5   $2.25mm
Jan 12, 2012 contract  

This is a history showing a motivated seller with some unhappy holidays. A six-figure price drop after 6 weeks was followed by a $279,000 price drop the week after Thanksgiving, which did not generate a signed contract until nearly two weeks into the new year. Auld Lang Syne, indeed.

comping is hard, but it should not be this hard
You have noticed that the StreetEasy listing page for loft #4R does not have the sales price linked to it. The reason is that both StreetEasy and the our data-base mistakenly link the #4R sale on April 4 at $2.225mm to a 4th loft in the same coop with the street address 543 Broadway. Follow me into the weeds a bit to work through this confusion.

Remember the discussion of the single coop with two entrances in my April 25, pushing slightly above the ask, as 140 Thompson Street loft sells on non-A.I.R. side of West Broadway Arches? At least in that coop there are unique letter designations for individual lofts, whether on the 140 Thompson Street side or the 468 Broadway side. The coop that includes #4R at 114 Mercer Street is one long building, with an entrance on Mercer and the main entrance at 543 Broadway; I don’t know if the two halves are joined in the basement or the roof level, but there is no crossing the residential floors 2-10 from one side to the other. If this were a condo there’d be little chance for confusion among units as each would have a unique tax lot, but in a coop the 4th floor unit at 543 Broadway just might be confused with the 4th floor unit at 114 Mercer Street. In this case, with very confusing results.

Note that StreetEasy has the deed record for a 4th floor loft sale at “543 Broadway” with a notice address for the seller of “114 Mercer Street”, but associates that deed record with a listing for a 4th floor loft at “543 Broadway” that went into contract on February 25. But that deed at $2.225mm makes no sense in light of the long sales history featuring 11 months to contract, 4 price drops, and a final asking price of $1.725mm. (More on that loft in a bit.)

Note that the StreetEasy listing history for #4R at 114 Mercer Street ends on March 15 (not coincidentally, the end of a 6-month listing period that began on September 16, 2011), with a hanging contract from January 12. That #4R listing history does link to the prior sale of this loft, on March 3, 2006 at $1,699,999, with a deed record that identifies the buyer as having a notice address of “114 Mercer Street 4R” and the same name as the seller on the April 4 deed record for the 4th floor loft sale at “543 Broadway”.

For proof that some sales in this coop reflect a notice address of “543 Broadway”, see the deed record for the 9th floor in October 2009, or the deed record for the November 2007 of “Two Front” at 543 Broadway.

I don’t know what StreetEasy is going to do when the 4th floor at 543 Broadway (in contract since February 25) closes. Perhaps that will be a “no listing associated with this sale” deed.

In a world with a real Multiple Listing Service, this kind of crap would never happen. The #4R sale would be linked to the #4R listing, as updated by the listing agent. The #4R sale would never be linked to the 4th floor pending contract by that listing agent. Sigh….

a personal lament
I started a blog draft today based on the 4th floor $1.725mm listing and the #4R sales price at $2.225mm. It took me a long time because it is such a bizarre history: imagine a loft that sells 29% above the last asking price after 11 months and 4 price drops. Unimaginable! But (apparently) true. Until it wasn’t.

It would have been one heck of a post, introducing a Manhattan Loft Guy Cabinet of Curiosities (aka Cabinet of Wonders, aka Wonder-Room) in which to place #4-#4R with the spread between the last asking price of $1.725mm and the closing price of $2.225mm. Note to Self … be attentive for other (real) cases that can fit in my Cabinet of Curiousities….

I praise the deities that I clicked around the Streeteasy building page for this coop looking for comps before finishing that draft post. I have now also fixed the Master List, but still have to find and fix some past posts that have referred to the 4th floor listing as selling at the #4R price.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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