155 Franklin Street crashes past 2006 to close up 28% (since 2000)

off a million, or so
The Manhattan loft #3S at 155 Franklin Street (the Sugar Loaf) was one of only five lofts in Tribeca that closed in June, per recent articles in The Real Deal Trouble in Tribeca. For a seller who started so far from The Market in October, these folks caught up pretty fast, closing in an awfully thin market.

They came to market in October, evidently not too worried about whether That Whole Lehman, etc Thing would impact The Market, as they were asking $3.55mm for "2,450 sq ft of luxury" in a classic loft setting dominated by the open beam ceiling. (More on that, later.) By October — even without Lehman, etc — the turn in The market was pretty evident in the rear view mirror (though closer that it appeared, to abuse that metaphor), so they had to have had some suspicion that the $3.55mm ask was a tad aggressive. Especially as they had paid ‘only’ $3.05mm in June 2006.

Suspicious or not, they gave it a shot through the balance of the year but dropped a big number in mid-January, to $2.995mm (that’s 16% for those without a calculator handy or insider access to StreetEasy). Then they held there, and held, and held, into the spring. Interesting that with all that holding they were able to generate a serious negotiation (where did that bidding start??) and the contract in May that closed in June. That serious negotiation resulted in a serious ‘discount’ of $420k (14%) to $2.575mm.

While I have the calculator still out, that clearing price is 28% off the original price of October and 16% off their June 2006 purchase price. That 2006 trade, by the way, was a 5% premium over the 2006 asking price. Back then the loft was sold as "triple mint", with chef’s kitchen and that custom "in floor" lighting. More trajectory: the neighbors in #5N sold their much larger loft ("3,750 sq ft") at a much larger price ($5.025mm) in August 2007, within 3 months of coming to (that very different) market at $4.9mm (a small bidding war??). Still more: going back all the way to 2000, #3S was a very hot property. Apparently in essentially the same triple mint condition as recently ("exquisite, state of the art furnishings"), #3S was offered in April 2000 at $1.75mm and closed in September at (wait for it) $2mm (a large bidding war??).

2000 to 2009 = 28%
I don’t often have Manhattan loft sales data that (relatively) old. Obviously, the #3S sales graph is hardly a straight line, but the June 2009 clearing price of $2.575mm was a 28% gain over the September 2000 price of $2mm. In the interim, the graph peaked (as far as data points) with the June 2006 price of $3.05mm, which was then a gain of 50% over 2000.

columns, joists + beams, oh my

All the lofts I have seen marketed in this building preserve the open joist, beam and column look (no dropped ceilings here). This is a very different look-and-feel than concrete, brick or plaster loft ceilings (even very authentic loft concrete, brick or plaster loft ceilings) — almost more rustic than industrial (to my eye).

One oddity: the columns in #3S and #4N (which sold in June 2007) are clearly cast-iron; in #5N the structure is supported by "rough-hewn cedar pillars with steel capitals". I can’t imagine why this building would have been built way-back-when with two different styles of columns; nor can I imagine why an individual loft owner would change the columns.

(Manhattan Loft Guy note to Manhattan Loft Guy: revisit that Real Deal piece.)

© Sandy Mattingly 2009

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