some lofts still get hammered, as 554 Broome Street sale shows

on the other hand …
With all the talk on Manhattan Loft Guy (and elsewhere) about the 2010 market being a more active and deeper market than 2009 (for example, my July 7 post, 12 examples of the (rapid) velocity of the Manhattan loft market,  and my July 8 post, another sign that 2010 is not 2009, as 60 West 15 Street loft sells) there are always loft sales that did not get invited to that party. The Market is like that.

The "authentic" Manhattan loft on the 5th floor at 554 Broome Street had its nose pressed to the window of that party, as it has been offered for sale since November 2008 (brrrr) and finally closed on July 1 at $1.995mm, fully one-third off the original asking price, and 16% off the last ask.

This condo loft was marketed as a combination of classic Manhattan loft elements (exposed brick, original wood flooring, original metal door over the elevator; and look at those big windows!) and some deluxe modern elements (marble and glass walls in the master bath, black granite kitchen counter, central air, and proper proper names throughout): in short, "original details, design integrity and elegance".

Our data-base thinks this Long-and-Narrow loft (2 windows on the long east wall give 3 exposures) is "1,700 sq ft", Property Shark thinks "1,545 sq ft" and that the building footprint is 25 x 74 feet; the listing is silent about size and dimensions. (As is my custom, I went with the Property Shark sizing for a condominium on the Master List of Manhattan Lofts Sold Since November 2008.)

West Soho, red flags
Usually when I see a listing that claims "West Soho" I think it is west of Hudson, not really Soho on my personal map. But this one is clearly in anyone’s Soho, between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street. The good news: this far west, Watts Street picks up the outbound Holland Tunnel traffic, beginning at West Broadway; the bad news: Broome Street is often backed up late afternoons and evenings with enough tunnel traffic as to slow the whole darn thing.

pricing expectations, dashed
The Market priced this condo loft at $1,300/ft (using Property Shark’s "1,545 sq ft"), not too shabby for a no-amenities building outside of prime Soho converted in 2000. But my "not too shabby" is not what the seller wanted.

The seller first offered the loft for sale on November 14, 2008 (9 weeks after The fall of The House of Lehman) at … (wait for it) … $2.995mm, or $1,938/ft. It is hard to get invited to a party that way….

Give the guy some credit: the seller reacted to The Market quickly, if not sufficiently (with one obvious hiccup):

December 5, 2008 $2,625,000
January 11, 2009 $2,450,000
February 10 $2,290,000
April 1 $2,390,000

stubborn is as stubborn does
One wonders what he was thinking on April Fool’s Day in 2009, but it didn’t help to move opposite to The Market. One thing he must have been thinking was that was going to hold there (at $2.39mm) and wait. Because he did wait … 13 months to get a contract at $1.995mm, a further 16% discount.

comping is hard
"Unique" is over-used in the Real Estate Industrial Complex, of course. But this building is on such a small block that has two pretty hard boundaries that it is its own micro-nabe that it is hard to figure what adjustments to make for geography in looking for comps. (It is almost an island, given the difficulties of getting in front in a cab.)

The building is no help, as the two prior sales were both too removed in time (2006) and too different (the first floor is duplexed with the basement; the 6th floor is a penthouse with 1,000 sq ft of terrace).  The only other residential buildings on this block of Broome are tenement-style rentals. Comping is hard!

cluck, cluck
If memory serves, there was a live poultry store on this (very short) block in the early 1980s. Easier to sell a $1,300/ft condo without that.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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