“true artist’s loft” still exists at 19 Greene Street, but not for long

 there’s a sad majesty to these listing photos in Soho

For a loft snob, or for any who truly appreciates classic Manhattan lofts, seeing listing photos for a “true artist loft in Soho” might be like what an animal rights activist feels on seeing the “before” photos of a magnificent beast from a (shooting) safari: you just know this is going to end with the loss of something rare, something with a dignity that is all too fleeting in the modern age. As the broker babble for the “1,700 sq ft” Manhattan loft #2F at 19 Greene Street leads after that “true artist loft in Soho” headline:

Yes. It still exists.

(Or did, when the loft sold a month ago.) The babble has a nice coda, but precious few buyers could be expected to take the second opportunity rather than the first:

This is a rare opportunity to transform or preserve.

The new owners paid $2.385mm (a $135,000 premium over the ask) for the privilege of choosing Transformation or Preservation. Odds of Preservation are something less than 0.01%, I’d think.

Here’s an old lion of a loft, staggered by age, but graced:

the artist has a certain fondness for bold reds

Nothing quite says very old loft the way that varying heights along one kitchen wall do:

looks like 4 ascending levels L to R (did I mention RED??)

The babbling is pretty half-hearted about the preservation option, as there are no details other than ceiling height (15 ft) and brick (exposure, of course). Can’t be sure from the photos what the floor is (concrete?? it’s pretty polished) but those columns! They have to be cast iron, with all that detailing (flutes, finials, oh my!!).

raise your hand if you are a Manhattan loft snob with an “I Swoon For Columns” bumper sticker

The coolest thing about those columns? They imply that there is a beam above them, now masked by that oh-so-60s dropped ceiling. Imagine if the beam has character of the same level as the columns. (Swoon.)

a market that shatters records in its sleep

This is a small building at the bottom of Soho, with 7 units according to our listings system. (I think there are now only 6, as the guy who owned the rear loft on the 4th floor bought #4F in a private transaction in December 2011 for $1.8mm.) That unique seller probably drove a hard bargain with that unique buyer, as the prior sale in the building was the “meticulously renovated” and “1,700 sq ft” loft #3R in October 2009 also at $1.8mm, as The Market was coming out of The Thaw.

Before that, the “1,700 sq ft” loft #4R sold for $2.85mm in October 2007, leading into the quarter formerly known as The Peak. That one might not have been a meticulous renovation, but it boasted a “new top of the line kitchen and bath”, and a balcony. That’s quite a dollar spread between #4R leading into The Peak and #3R as the post-Lehman market stabilized. While there’s only a small dollar spread between #4R way back in October 2007 and #2F now, the spread favors the much more primitive #2F, which also lacks that balcony.

That’s quite a rude way to set a new building record. And $1,403/ft is a pretty penny (so to speak) for a loft that needs a total renovation, has little or no light, in a no-frills condop, on a not very charming (and rather heavily trafficked) block in lower Soho.

Majesty has its price. Even if The Market values it more for the create-your-dream-loft opportunity than for the majesty.

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