New York Post scoops ACRIS with 330 Spring Street loft sale

of all things: news in a newspaper!
Regular readers of Manhattan Loft Guy know that I never expect to be surprised when reading compilations like the New York Post’s regular Thursday feature, Just Sold!, or the New York Times Sunday feature, Residential Sales Around The Region, but Thursday night proved to be an exception. The Post has the news about the December 6 sale of the Manhattan loft #4D at 330 Spring Street (the fabled Urban Glass House) before StreetEasy or Property Shark, and apparently before it hit the city’s filing system.

SOHO $1,635,000

330 Spring St.

Two-bedroom, two-bath loft condo, 1,489 square feet, with open kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, bath with soaking tub and separate shower, washer/dryer and floor-to-ceiling windows; building features doorman and gym. Common charges $2,006, taxes $403. Asking price $1,675,000, on market 14 weeks. Brokers: Adrian Noriega, Core and Jackie Kurtz, Warburg Realty

Given the very public protests of some very celebrated neighbors about very nearby plans by the New York City Sanitation Department (if you need reminders, look here and here from 2007(!), here from June 2010, and here from July), it is some news that anything has sold in this very celebrated 2006 new development in the Greater Ear Inn micro-nabe that I will never be comfortable calling (west) Soho.

As of this morning, the deed still has not hit StreetEasy or Property Shark, but I will include it on the Master List of Manhattan Lofts Sold Since November 2008 when I do my weekly update today. So thank you New York Post!

facing east, less to lose
The principal exposure for loft #4D is east, so the sanitation situation has no impact whatever on views or light. That east ‘view’ will vary by floor, of course, as 330 Spring Street faces the Ear Inn at 326 Spring (per its website, in the “James Brown House … one of very few Federal houses left in the City … in largely original condition of 2 1/2 stories with dormers, double splayed keystone lintels, and a gambrel roof”) and the backs of the buildings on Greenwich Street, which vary in height. For those of you who can see photos on Property Shark, this building view of the 4-story 508 Greenwich Street provides a terrific sense of the east views from the Urban Glass House, with a shorter building north and a taller neighbor south; that building under construction to the rear is, of course, 330 Spring Street. The east side of Greenwich Street is a glass wall: the 14 story 505 Greenwich.

With that mix of building heights, the east-facing units at the Urban Glass House will have different light and views, depending on angles. The broker-babble for #4D does not talk about light or views, but it is evident from the photos that there is very good east light and (some, angled) views. See the 2nd and 4th pix, in zoom format, of course. The same unit on the 5th floor was poetically billed as having “magnificent light and an artfully urban view” before selling at $1.675mm this past June, but you can see from the bedroom pix that the 5th floor clears one building that the 4th does not. (Note the glass wall of 505 Greenwich looming in the not-very-great distance in the main picture in the #5D listing.)

That #5D sale at $1.675mm is a great comp for #4D at $1.635mm. The spread between them is both small and easily accounted for (at least in direction) by the different view and light. I take that as a (welcome) sign of a market behaving rationally.

down from sponsor buy in 2006
The recent #4D seller was a buyer from the sponsor on November 13, 2006 at $1,654,656, just a couple of months before the sanitation construction controversy blew up. This loft will be added to a still-in-draft spreadsheet for lofts that have sold in both 2011 and in 2006, precisely parallel to my September 27 post about 2011-2007 pairs, is the Manhattan loft market back to (up to) 2007? 61 repeat sales say “probably”, “a bit”. This one is down, but just 1.19%.

I trust this seller is, perhaps surprisingly, pleased with that result, having enjoyed the good fortune to have signed a contract with the sponsor earlier than, for example, the original #5D owner. Loft #5D is already on that 2011-2007 spreadsheet, as it closed originally on March 7, 2007 at … (wait for it) … (look again at the June 2011 sale and the #4D price in November 2006) … $1,858,306. That original #5D seller paid a significant price to discover the 2011 market clearing value for the “D” line, nearly 10%.

Given that this line looks away from the sanitation controversy, there should be little impact on market values because their neighbors who look (mostly) north and west will lose their river views. Loft #4D and loft #5D are currently valued by the market as within 2.2% of each other, or $40,000. The fact that the sponsor got someone to overpay for #5D compared to #4D is interesting, but should irrelevant going forward (to everyone except that original #5D owner).

Loft #2C also sold in 2006 and 2011, with similar (but more positive) results to #4D, being sold by the sponsor on November 13, 2006 at $1,970,313 and on June 3, 2011 at $1.995mm. With a west “view” that already faces into the ventilation duct building for the Holland Tunnel, #2C’s value should have nothing to do with the sanitation controversy.

On the other hand, buying in 2006 did not help #10C when it re-sold in 2011 on April 8: bought at $2,469,256, it sold this year for $1.7mm. Those wonderful “Statue of Liberty and Hudson River views” also have nothing to do with the sanitation project to the north, but this unit clearly got slammed on resale. I will not further digress by addressing the other resales in 2011, as #9C was originally bought in 2008 and #10A in 2007, other than to note that the 6 resales in 2011 (including #4D, not including the double deed when the relo company re-sold #9C) show that, blood in the water or not, the resale dam broke this year for the Urban Glass House, after only one resale between July 2008 and January 2011.

it must be props to media day
I started this post with a doff of the Manhattan Loft Guy cap to the New York Post. I realize I sometimes take a harsh tack against dead tree media (and other members of the Real Estate Industrial Complex), especially after a dialogue this week with a friend in the REIC. Basically, the friend was glad not to have written the travelogue piece I hit bashed STRIKE eviscerated in my December 3, Wall Street Journal flogs north Tribeca for no apparent reason. The friend did not want to get into the middle of a blogger v. journalist debate, despite my invitation to exactly that, privately.

Anyways … sorry to go all emo on ya, but my digging around for the links above about the back story about the sanitation garage controversy reminded me (as if!) that there are nuggets out there from the Manhattan media wing of the REIC.

I highly recommend that Josh Barbanel piece from 2007 in the New York Times (he has since moved on to the Wall Street Journal, of course) about Manhattan views not being “forever”, with a generous (fair) treatment of people who newly signed contracts to buy at the Urban Glass House and the broader needs for a sanitation facility.

Similarly, the S. Jhoanna Robledo piece from a July 2010 New York Magazine is a wonderful fact-based attempt to look for evidence that the sanitation mess impacted actual sales at the Urban Glass House compared to actual sales at other nearby buildings. On my best days, that article is the kind of thing I wish to emulate, without, you know, having to spend too much time away from My Day Job and without having to deal with pesky journo-things like professional editors.

Maybe I am just feeling the Christmas spirit, or perhaps I am simply taking an opportunity to express a (renewed) appreciation for the professionals in the Manhattan media wing of the REIC. A doff of the Manhattan Loft Guy cap to Josh and to S. Jhoanna (if I may be so familiar).

[UPDATE deed was filed December 21. Nice scoop!]

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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