ultimate Soho loft with glass walls, stone floor sells at 117 Prince Street at $1,240/ft

breaking the modifier bank

It doesn’t get more classic Soho loft than the “2,500 sq ft” Manhattan loft #3C at 117 Prince Street: a classic Long-and-Narrow footprint with 2 bedrooms in back and plumbing on both long sides; “in a 19th century cast-iron front industrial building”; 15 foot ceilings; cast-iron columns; wooden beams; “over-sized” double-glazed windows; even “touches of brick”;  your modern touches of central air, Bang & Olufsen surround sound, and Lutron lighting; mid-block between Greene and Wooster Streets; all in all, a “comfortable serene quiet, yet airy retreat”. For kitchen fans, this one is 12 x 24 feet, outfitted by SieMatic with zinc countertops. I am confused about how you get “southern and western light flood[ing] the apartment” from windows only north and south, but maybe there is a trick I am missing that does that.


Am I the only one surprised that it sold for (only) $1,240/ft, or $3.1mm?


Probably not, as the sellers were asking $3.495mm (still a relatively modest $1,398/ft) through a co-exclusive listing; so that’s at least 4 more surprised people. You’d probably have to add the agents at the other firm that offered the loft for sale in the post-Lehman gloom at $4.2mm, so we are up to 6 more.


Fans of high-end loft design must go to that oh-so-late 2008 listing, as that is the only place I find the ‘click for large photo’ option. (… waiting …)


magazine quality surfaces, and more, for less

The current broker babble notes that the space is both “architecturally designed and published”, leading me to moan “published where?” (I really hate that omission; I bet there are more wonderful photos wherever that is, and possibly some colorful text. Sigh.)


Have you looked at those large format pictures yet? You will see some fancy choices: the grey and beige Chinese quartzite stone floor (all other lofts in the building were marketed with hardwood floors); “touches” of brick that include the long west wall and the rear east wall with white-painted brick and the public part of the east wall of rich red brick (mostly covered by the SieMatic cabinets, alas); and glass, glass and more glass. There are 15 foot glass walls separating the master from the second bedroom (“ingeniously supply[ing] acoustical privacy, but visual openness”, with drapes, per the 2008 babble; those walls must be thick), the master from the hallway, and the master bath from the hallway, plus a short stretch of glass from the kitchen to the main run of glass walls, providing more front-to-back exposure.


With all that glass, the loft is designed to be lived in very neatly (discreetly, even), otherwise any mess in the rear bedrooms will be visible from the public space. Discretion is the better part in the kitchen, at last as designed, as the “SieMatic chef’s kitchen discreetly hides appliances while maintaining clever efficiency and functionality”. As that 2008 babble put it, there is an “aesthetic of restraint reflected through the loft”. (Permit me one quibble, a very very minor one: the arrangement of books on the kitchen shelves visible in the 2nd [large!] 2008 pic is just a bit … unrestrained, isn’t it?)


Lest there be any doubt: I love this loft. That “aesthetic of restraint reflected through the loft” may not be for everyone (is not for everyone), but there are enough fans of wonderfully modernized classic lofts out there that I am truly surprised about the price.


The Market prefers what The Market prefers (but why oh why?)

The Flatiron loft that I hit in my March 13, if you want a spellbinding loft at 889 Broadway, it will cost ya, is a fascinating comp for loft #3C at 117 Prince Street. Both were billed as “2,500 sq ft”, with the Gorham loft having a tiny bit more utility (2 bedrooms plus den plus office-down-the-hall vs. 2 bedrooms plus den). Both have high-end designs, though the Gorham pivoting glass panels into the master suite are frosted. There’s nothing wrong with the design choices in the Gorham loft; in fact, I suspect they are appealing to just about all Manhattan loft lovers, snobs included. But to me the Prince Street loft has a level of sophistication about it (that I hope you also see, because I am unable to further describe it) that puts it in another class.


Where the Gorham has those floor to ceiling windows looking down Broadway (jaw-dropping views, especially from a 5th floor height), Prince Street has 15 foot ceilings and a sense of volume at the top of the scale.


As you know from that March 13 post, loft #5A at 889 Broadway sold for $3.3mm in a very quick sale (5 weeks to contract). Loft #3C at 117 Prince Street took nearly 4 months to find a contract at $3.1mm. Both started at $3.495mm. The Market preferred the view, etc. on Broadway at 19th Street to the restraint + volume, etc, on prime Prince by 6.4%, $200,000, a non-trivial difference that is a mild head scratcher for Manhattan Loft Guy.


How about this one? The “1,746 sq ft” loft #4C at 160 Wooster Street has similar utility to #3C at 117 Prince Street (short one den), is obviously smaller, has “incredible light and open views[ and h]igh ceilings and [a] wall of industrial scale oversized windows [that] give a sense of openness”, has a high-end (Valcucine) kitchen, and is in a new building on the north face of the block 117 Prince is on (i.e., not prime Soho). The Market needed less than 4 months to put a contract on this one at $2.575mm, or $1,475/ft and a 19% premium over Prince Street on a dollar/ft basis.


Meanwhile, back in prime Soho … the “1,995 sq ft” loft #5W at 43 Wooster Street is also one den short of the utility of 117 Prince Street and is described as triple mint. Sorry, but it seems to be nowhere near the class of #3C, even in the better photos on the PruDE site. Yes, it is a condo and has a doorman; and, yes, it sold at only a 4% premium to Prince Street ($2.575mm, or $1291/ft), and it took a million years to sell, but still….


One more, and I will make it brief: the “2,061 sq ft” loft I hit in my March 19, a question of views for gut renovated 29 Howard Street loft at $1,383/ft, is (again) one den short of 117 Prince Street and, while gut renovated, is nowhere near the class of Prince; it is a condo and has that magical view up Crosby Street from the other end of Soho, but … for crying out loud … it found a full price contract in 8 weeks at $1,383/ft. An 11.5% premium over #3C at 117 Prince Street on a dollar/ft basis.


Are there still only 7 of us surprised that #3C sold so low??


© Sandy Mattingly 2012




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