no thaw was good news for (eventual) penthouse loft seller at 347 West Broadway

playing with the calendar, for fun and profit

If the headline above makes sense to you, thanks for being a regular reader. (For the rest of you, thanks for stopping by; feel free to return.) The premise for the punchline involving the “2,200 sq ft” Manhattan penthouse loft at 347 West Broadway is revealed in the prior listing history, showing that the loft did not sell when offered at $3.995mm for nearly 8 months at the end of 2009 and at $3.795mm for nearly 3 months in the middle of 2010. By May 8, 2009 (when it was first offered), the overall Manhattan residential real estate market was entering the thaw that followed the nuclear winter that crashed after Lehman … er … crashed on September 15, 2008. But the loft did not attract a buyer then, or at $3.795mm in mid-2010, when the overall market was again active. You can guess the punchline by now, if not the detail: the loft just sold quickly (3 weeks to contract) after asking $4.65mm at an even $5mm. (I don’t know why StreetEasy calls this deed record “#3”, but you’ll see that same designation for obviously different units, with obviously different buyers and sellers, on the building page.)

The numbers are fascinating, and large: the recent sale was a 7.5% premium over ask; the recent asking price was a 22% premium over the unsuccessful ask of mid-2010; the recent sale was 32% above that 2010 ask.

not a lot of space until you climb the stairs

You are free to parse the two sets of broker babble, listing photos and floor plans, but take my word for it: the loft was in the identical condition when it did not sell in 2009 and 2010 as when it just sold. (The sole difference, other than the recent babble having more detail, is that the new floor plan includes the window in the den omitted in the old floor plan; hard to believe that the window was added in real life.) Of course the finishes are superb (the numbers told you that), but the loft is described as “like a romantic country cottage” as much for the (many) modestly sized rooms as much as for the country details. The master bedroom is less than 15 x 13 feet, the living room only 22 x 15 ft. A great many rooms, but not much ‘volume’ considering it is a “2,200 sq ft” Long-and-Narrow. Having the elevator in the front corner doesn’t help, and I suspect a buyer would be tempted to make that den part of the main room. (Check the photos and floor plan downstairs to see what the footprint looks like a little opened up.)

That nicely finished collection of rooms is not what drove the current market bonkers, however:

the crowning jewel of this amazing home [is] an extraordinary 1,500 square-foot private landscaped roof garden with specimen plantings, multi-level seating areas, an outdoor shower, full Summer kitchen + unobstructed views of the iconic midtown skyline

As downstairs, the space is broken up upstairs, with those multi-level seating areas, except for the obvious fact of being open to the sky (and the “unobstructed views of the iconic midtown skyline”). “1,500 sq ft” is a large terrace, of course, no matter how much broken up. So far, The Market thinks the roof terrace is worth more than $666/ft, as that neighbor (similar, without the terrace) hasn’t yet sold. It will be interesting to see what the market spread turns out to be.

© Sandy Mattingly 2013


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