[UPDATED] yes, the sales dam is finally broken for Urban Glass House lofts at 330 Spring Street

[NOTE the updated info below; and thanks to Reader Tim for the insight]
The Market has established the clearing value for the building
Though it took a really long time, the “1,410 sq ft” Manhattan loft #7C at 330 Spring Street (the Urban Glass House, of course) has finally sold. And it sold comfortably within the new range of values in the building, pretty much right in line with the loft #4D sale that I hit in my December 17, New York Post scoops ACRIS with 330 Spring Street loft sale. That one got $1,098/ft, despite being on a lower floor and looking east.

That one was eventually a quick sale, to market on July 14 and in contract by October 21, although it had lingered during an earlier campaign for 18 months from May 2009. Loft #7C stuck on the market, without a hiatus, after starting in a stronger market than #4D started in (omitting one 2-week break in 2010):

Feb 18, 2010 new to market $1.795mm
May 25   $1.695mm
Feb 2, 2011 hiatus  
April 28 change firms $1.725mm
July 20   $1.675mm
Sept 7 contract  
Dec 6 sold $1.6mm

Part of my December 17 visit to “UGH” (thanks to the Curbed folk for that, now ironic, locution) skimmed over the market setting in favor of simply noting that the fact of significant sales activity here in 2011 was the story, after 30 barren months:

I will not further digress by addressing the other resales in 2011… other than to note that the 6 resales in 2011 show that …, blood in the water or not, the resale dam broke this year for the Urban Glass House, after only one resale between July 2008 and January 2011.

But now with 7 sales (again not including the double deed when the relo company re-sold #9C), the hyper-local market has gotten ruthlessly efficient:

  • #10C April 8 $1,205/ft
  • #9C May 26 $1,157/ft
  • #10A Jan 12 $1,134/ft
  • #7C Dec 6 $1,134/ft
  • #5D June 2 $1,124/ft
  • #2C June 3 $1,102/ft
  • #4D Dec 8 $1,098/ft

The highest value is only 9.7% above the low; the next highest is only 5.4% above the low. Again putting the #10C top aside as an outlier, the other 6 resales in 2011 form a pretty tight cluster, with the differences more likely to be simple market noise, though they might reflect a (very modest) higher floor premium.

To recap for the folks in the back row: #7C sold; at $1,134/ft it sold at the average of the 7 resales in 2011 that broke the UGH dam (okay … $2/ft lower than the precise average, but you get my point).

That’s the good news for #7C. Period, end.

even the west views now sell, though at a new balance
One exercise I went through in my December 17 visit to so-called ‘West Soho’ concerned views, and the differences between the east views in the “D” line (soon enough bumping into the 14 story glass mass of 505 Greenwich Street) and the west views in the “C” line (which will probably not soon include the much-protested Sanitation facility to the north and west). Today’s exercise in the bullets above establishes (to my satisfaction, at least) that The Market does not much reward the west views with a premium.

The bad news for the #7C sellers is that the current east-west C-D parity is new. When the sponsor started selling these units in 2006, there was no Sanitation facility publicly on the drawing board … although any prudent buyer should have wondered about those views. So the sponsor sold #7C back in the day for $1,919,401, 20% more than these folks were able to get in the post-trash-plan market. That’s a big hit, especially compared to the recent #4D sellers, who took only a 1.2% hit compared to their sponsor purchases.

one more bit of “good” news
Everything is relative, right? So perhaps the #7C will look more favorably on their 20% hit when they see what happened to the original #10C buyers.

Although #10C enjoyed the highest $/ft value in 2011 in the bullets above, the gap from the sponsor price for that loft is even more extreme: the April 2011 sellers at $1,205/ft had been December 2006 buyers at $1,751/ft ($2,469,256). That is a hit of 31% for you folks who did not bring calculators.

another crib sheet
This will be on the test, so let’s do this one more time:

The big news for the Urban Glass House is that there is a 2011 sales market at all, after 30 months without a sale.

The bad news for many owners is that the price level for that active market no longer rewards the west views C line with a significant premium. The original west owners paid a significant premium for views the current market does not pay.

The 2011 market values these lofts as worth, on avreage, $1,1136/ft, a figure that can be nudged up or down depending on floor height. But it may not be nudge-able very far, on the near term at least.

it is time for predictions, right?
I will break a long-standing Manhattan Loft Guy rule (never predict, especially about the future) because I think this upper floor east-west parity at 330 Spring Street is ridiculous. I think that this parity is fear-based and temporary, so here we go:

the top of the “C” line will recapture (some of) its lost view premium over the “D” line

It may take until that Sanitation Department garage is eventually built, but at some point The Market will recognize that the view from #9C and #10C is (a) pretty darn nice, notwithstanding, and (b) better than some rooftops and 505 Greenwich Street’s glass wall.

Have a happy new year celebration. We’ll talk again early in that oh-so-happy new year. Note to self: adjust the copyright date, below, for next time….

[UPDATE Jan 3: the helpful comment below from Reader Tim caused me to look again at the views from the "C" line, so I have changed some text above to reflect that the due west "views" in th "C" line are of the Holland Tunnel ventilation tower. This is seen most starkly in the "click for Large Photos" LR + BR pix from the #7C listing, direct shots of the ventilation.]


[But both #9C and #10C have windows on the long LR wall that #7C lacks. These lot-line windows (per Tim) have long and wet views that are, in fact, pretty darn nice (best seen in the PruDE pix for #9C, first and last). Obviously, the "C" views have nothing whatsoever to do with the Sanitation facility north and west of 330 Spring.]


[But note again the $/ft value spreads above: #7C sold with light but NO view in December within 3% of #9C in April with those Statue of Liberty views. And note that the value spread from 2007 to 2011 between #10C and #4D has shrunk. Again: values seem to be re-setting in the (newly) active market at UGH.


[Finally, this illustrates how views in Manhattan loft neighborhoods are so dependent on angles and neighbors, where the 7th v. 9th floor can make a huge difference. Thanks again, Tim.]

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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