third 307 West Broadway loft sells in 2012

a big jolt to the system

Small Manhattan loft buildings have fragile ecosystems, and the smaller the more fragile. Take as one example the 7-unit oh-so-classic loft building 307 West Broadway at the extreme southern edge of Soho. I hit it when the New York Times did a wonderful piece a year ago on a loft, the building, and the micr-nabe circa 1983 (at a time I lived nearby, across the moat that is Canal Street) (in my August 7, 2011, Soho in 1983: $211,000 for 3,300 sq ft; still an artist’s loft), and again when a long-time shareholder sold the 6th floor loft in very primitive condition (in my April 16, artist loft clears at $742/ft in south Soho, 307 West Broadway), and yet again when those people profiled in the NY times for their 1983 beachhead in the neighborhood sold the 7th floor (in pretty nice condition), in my May 8, ballyhooed artist loft with unique floor plan + top kitchen sells for $962/ft at 307 West Broadway. Last week the deed record transferring the 3rd floor loft hit the public record.

You don’t have to find the calculator on your smart phone to see that that is 3 of 7 lofts to change hands in 2012, all sold by long-time shareholders. (Get your calculator if you don’t see that is 43% turnover this year.) Yes, nothing stays the same. And, sometimes change happens quickly.

raw price is $2.45mm
Coincidence or not, the 3rd floor just sold for the exact price of the 6th floor, in similar condition but without the “Open View and excellent light”, including “partial river view”. The “3,200 sq ft” 3rd floor came out at $2.65mm on April 12 and found the contract by June 17 that closed on August 16 at $2.45mm. There are as many ways to describe a loft as primitive as their agents; this way is pretty clear: “has not been touched for 30 years”. Thus, it is all about the bones, including the risers:

north, south, east and west exposures, 16 windows, 2 plumbing risers, tin ceilings and 6 wood columns. Behind the existing tin ceiling there are wood beams. The loft has enough space to create 3-4 bedrooms and 2+ bathrooms

The 6th floor was in the same shape, stated less emphatically and more conventionally: “Artist’s Loft …. Create a masterpiece within this 36 x 90 ft full floor plan”. That one took a lot longer to find a buyer, perhaps as a reflection that there were no perfect comps for this sort of loft in this micr-nabe, coming out at June 1, 2011 at $2.8mm and finding the contract by December 7 that closed on April 2 at $2.45mm.

Having that raw price set by the 6th floor, the 3rd floor (probably) just fell into line.

I still am somewhat surprised that the spread between raw (at $2.45mm, now twice) and not mint (“move in condition” with a “top of the line” kitchen) (at $3.175mm) is not smaller. That $700,000 is $219/ft worth of renovation, without considering the time, headaches and risk that a renovation does not work out as planned. Perhaps these renovations are cheaper than I thought.

Are the 4th and 5th floor owners getting ideas?

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


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