Soho (former) artist loft with (current) artist’s floor plan sells for $1,324/ft

finishes upgraded from ‘classic artist’s’ since 1970s; floor plan, not so much

Although the “1,850 sq ft” Manhattan loft #7C at 141 Wooster Street was marketed as an “Original Soho Artists loft available for the first time since the 1970s” and is likely a candidate for a complete renovation, it is not in completely primitive condition. Both the kitchen and the (single) bathroom look to be in a decent-or-better condition, and there are no obvious defects in floors, walls, or ceiling. There is no pictorial evidence of active artist use (aside from some large paintings leaning against the walls), but the floor plan is a classic for the loft of a working artist 40 or more years ago.

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There’s no light near the entry, so take advantage of the plumbing stacks by sticking the kitchen and bath there. The best light is from “Six oversized west-facing windows [that] bathe the loft in natural light”, so that essentially square space is 80% open, and entirely open closest to those windows-that-bathe. The built-in storage in the loft consists of that long closet by the door, a (small!) closet in the sole bedroom, and two rather large “storage” rooms, perfect for separating dry artist materials from wet artist materials, or for equipment from materials. In a purely residential loft with the same basic configuration, those two storage rooms would probably be part of a single walk-in closet, accessed directly from the bedroom.

Do you see that one creature comfort that is accessed directly from the bedroom? I’d love to see a photo of the sauna, to get an idea of how old it is. Very likely, it has been there since the early days, as a place for a working artist to chill relax after a long day’s work. In a purely residential loft with the same basic configuration, that would probably be a master bath (assuming there is a plumbing line there).

Back in the day, those “Six oversized west-facing windows [that] bathe the loft in natural light” were functional; now, they are aesthetic, providing “the most spectacular open views you have seen in Soho”. I suspect the same color palette has been in place since back in the day. There’s nothing like white walls and ceilings to avoid distracting the artist, and to reflect the light from those large west windows. In a purely residential loft with the same basic configuration, some of those “original details including exposed brick and cast-iron columns” would have remained (or be restored to) brick and cast iron in their natural colors, rather than painted white to disappear from view as much as possible. (Same point about that [42 foot?] magnificent beam on top of those columns; I’ll bet you a quarter it has a great deal of character, in its natural state, character that has been deliberately obscured by the white-on-white whiteness.)

 price discovery can be difficult

There has not been a public sale in this 28-unit coop since 2011, one of which was the nicely comparable loft #3C, only slightly smaller (at “1,760 sq ft”; note the shorter entry area) in much the same condition as loft #7C. Just a single bathroom but (if the floor plan is right) completely open otherwise. Maybe the flooring is in worse shape than four floors above. That one sold for $1.453mm three years before #7C at $2.45mm, or $826/ft then vs. $1,324/ft [sheesh $1,317/ft] now.

Fans of the StreetEasy Index would have projected from the #3C comp that #7C in 2014 would have been worth about $1.9mm (the Index is up 25% in the three years) before adjusting for the higher floor, with the light bathing and open views. It is not likely that fans of the Index would have added a half million bucks to the value of #7C over #3C due to the height, light, and views, but that’s what The Market did. But it took the sellers a while to figure out that’s what The Market wanted to do:

Feb 15 new to market $2.695mm
April 4 $2.85mm
June 16 in contract
Oct 8 sold $2.45mm

The sellers really gave it a shot didn’t they? (The seller seems actually to have been an estate, likely of the former artist or spouse of the former artist from back in the day, so it was folks acting in a fiduciary capacity who were trying to get every dollar The Market might offer.) They did a funny zig there, raising the price $155,000 after seven weeks, while The Market wanted to zag. They figured that out by mid-June, of course, striking the deal that closed last month at a significant premium to the value implied by the last most relevant public sale in the same building. All the beneficiaries should be happy.

Bet you a quarter the new owners strip the cast iron columns back to their former glory. Will they also reveal the beam??

 

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