under $900/ft for a loft at the other (first) Ice House, 354 Broome Street UPDATED

are developers like thieves?
Yes! (But not in the sense you probably mean.)

Having talked yesterday about the ++ pricing at 27 N. Moore Street (the Ice House) (October 24, turn of the century Tribeca at $1,600/ft, again at 27 N. Moore Street), I am prompted to wonder about the naming conventions of condominium developments. I said yesterday that that Ice House in Tribeca was converted in 1999, but the Condo Declaration was actually filed December 31, 1998 (my bad). Although known as the “Ice House”, the legal name of the condominium association is the more prosaic “27 North Moore Street Condominium”. I assume that the boring name is because there has been an “Ice House Condominium” in Manhattan since the condo at 354 Broome Street was converted in 1991 (that Condo Dec is here). Needless to say, that condo had also been “an actual converted ice house” at an earlier time.

Doesn’t seem fair to me that the Tribeca building has adopted the popular name of an older condo in Nolita, but then (a) I don’t write the rules and (b) nobody cares anyway.

different ways to measure distance
Meanwhile, I am prompted to wonder about the naming conventions of condominium developments because I noted over the weekend the deed filed for the September 12 sale of the Manhattan loft #4C at 354 Broome Street (the Ice House) at $1.475mm or $896/ft, as well as yesterday’s 27 N. Moore Street loft sale at $1,640/ft in the other Ice House. Clearly, these two 1990s residential loft condo conversions are in different neighborhoods in more than geography. The are about a mile apart but in Manhattan residential real estate market terms the distance between them is measured better in $/ft.

two levels, but one singular sensation
There are some singular elements in the “1,646 sq ft” loft #4C floor plan that are challenging: the fact that there is only 1 bedroom is a biggie, but the major (negative) singularity about this loft is the window. No “s”. The window is very large, but baldly solo.

That singularlty all but dictates that the loft remain as open as possible, as any wall will cut off access to natural light. In other words, at 1,600+ sq ft, this loft has very little flexibility. But for the 18 foot ceilings, this would be a (1,000 sq ft??) mini-loft. As it is, there is a very large master suite up top, a suite with no aural privacy if there are two residents on different levels unless the media are all on headphones.

Of course The Market will value spaces like this in the Nolita Ice House differently than spaces at the Tribeca Ice House, even before considering differences in condition and finishes, or in neighborhoods.

Loft #4C is similar in scale, layout, condition and value to the other loft here that sold in 2011. Loft #6B has a den on the lower level but not the long wall of upper closets that #4C has, but is otherwise very similar. That one cleared at $1.599mm on May 3, or $920/ft for “1,727 sq ft”.

The building record seems to have been set by the sale of #5G on September 24, 2008 (did it really go to contract a week before closing? if so, the contract was a brave post-Lehman contract). That “triple mint” duplex with the same basic layout as the others cleared at $1.85mm, or $1,164/ft for “1,589 sq ft”. That seems to have been a very Peak price, even if in September 2008, as the prior sale before that was #5-I on August 8, 2007 at $1.5mm, or $971/ft for “1,544 sq ft”.

If #5-I is a fair pre-Peak sale and if #4C and #6B fairly represent post-Peak values, The Peak represented by #5G was dramatic: at least 20% up (and down). And (again) a far cry from values at the other Ice House.

about those feet…
The #4C listing claims “1,633 sq ft”, which would yield a $/ft calculation of $903/ft instead of the $896/ft that I got, using “1,646 sq ft”. I used that not because south of $900/ft is more dramatic than north, but because StreetEasy associates “1,646 sq ft” with the deed. I am not going to trace these numbers back to the offering documents (this time) as I have done in other instances, but will simply note that I consistently use the deed number that StreetEasy uses … just to be consistent. My understanding is that the StreetEasy deed number is based on whatever number is in ACRIS, though I cannot say that I have proven that.

In a case like this, the difference is so small to be essentially meaningless (unlike, say, with my October 13, rent v. buy, or buy then rent in the loft laboratory of 448 Greenwich Street, where the difference between Gross and Net square feet was significant) but here it does make the cosmetic difference between ‘under $900/ft’ and ‘over $900/ft’.

[UPDATE Nov 28: you read it here on Oct 25; NY Post "Just Sold!" readers read the basic sales data in Nov 24 print editions]

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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