27 N. Moore Street loft at (the other) Ice House cracks $1,800/ft

if it had merely sold at ask…
The sellers of the “2,134 sq ft” Manhattan loft #6A at 27 N. Moore Street (Ice House) priced their loft aggressively when they came to market at $3.75mm, given that #5A had sold a year earlier at $3.5mm. In fact, that ask was the exact price of the reigning Ice House record holder (non-penthouse division) on a dollar per foot basis, as the “2,125 sq ft” #8A sold at $3.75mm on November 29, 2007 (a very near-Peak sale date). I didn’t give you the math (yet), but my title and sub-head contain broad hints: when #6A sold on November 26 $100,000 above the ask it broke $1,800/ft, setting a new Ice House record (non-penthouse division) on a dollar per foot basis.

the problem with “rare” and “unique” babbling
I don’t see any significant difference between #5A (sold for $3.5mm on October 3, 2011) and #6A (sold for $3.85mm on November 29, 2012) in the photos or the descriptions. Loft #6A boasts “ample custom cabinetry”, a “chef’s kitchen [with] granite countertops, maple cabinets and top of the line professional appliances”, and this:

The second bath is a unique design that works as two separate spaces (creating a bath and powder room) and it too is newly renovated and beautifully finished.

Overall, the loft offering is described as “a rare opportunity to own this 2134sf loft in the highly coveted ICE HOUSE”, which is literally true, as the recent sellers had owned #6A for 20 years.

But compare the babbling for #5A last year:

There is (some, but not ample??) custom cabinetry and the kitchen is described as “large” rather than “chef’s” though it has “Sub Zero and Viking appliances (vented hood), and granite counters”. Maybe the kitchen is one set of maple cabinets short of “chef’s”, though the photos otherwise look like identical kitchens. The second bath is not babbled as newly renovated, but has the same “unique” design (bath and shower room, with 2 entrances) as in #6A (compare the floor plans: #5A here, #6A here). “Unique” should be, like, there’s-not-another-one-like-it, rather than there’s-not-another-one-like-it-except-for-the-neighbors.

And yes, it too was “a rare opportunity to own this 2134sf 2 (conv3) bedroom, 2 (plus) bath loft in Tribeca’s highly coveted Ice House”.

Rare just ain’t what it used to be.

The main difference in the two floor plans is a few hundred dollars in carpentry, as #6A has a “den / [3rd] bedroom” immediately to the left of the entry, somewhat breaking up the front public space. Without that wall, loft #5A used the same space for the same purpose (watching television), resulting in a larger room and a more open view. Some people want a 3rd bedroom, others prefer more public space. Either loft could accommodate either preference, pretty easily.

The listing histories suggest that, yes Virginia, The Market (at least for downtown lofts) in Manhattan is stronger now than a year ago:

Mar 19, 2011 new to market $3.595mm
April 26 contract  
Oct 3 sold $3.5mm
Sept 28, 2012 new to market $3.75mm
Oct 19 contract  
Nov 29 sold $3.85mm

I just don’t see $350,000 worth of improvements in #6A over #5A, not for maple cabinets, one den wall, and a newly renovated second bath.

In setting this new Ice House record (non-penthouse division) on a dollar per foot basis, #6A bested #8A, which (as noted) cleared very close to The Peak, at $1,764/ft. There’s no floor plan surviving in public to show why #8A is a smidge smaller than #6A or #5A, but the surviving babble mentions a very valuable feature that neither of the lower floor lofts have:

southern and western exposures making for a wonderful flow of light throughout the day as well as great views of the skyline of the financial district (it is one of only two units in this tier that has western exposures)

(You can see how much sky is visible from #8A in the sole listing photo.) With this difference (more significant than some cabinetry or a renovated second bath, to me), the fact that #6A just beat #8A (by 2.2% on a $/ft basis, but stil) is pretty darn impressive.

downsizing, of a sort
I mentioned that the #6A sellers had owned that loft for 20 years. I guess they were done with the loft lifestyle, at least in Tribeca, as the deed record for their sale shows they bought in Boerum Hill (that’s in Brooklyn, for you parochial folks). They may have thought of it as downsizing, as the living space in the bottom a wide but not very deep row house is slightly smaller than their old loft.

Interesting trade: full service condo in Tribeca for walking up the stoop to a house in Boerum Hill, where they will happily while away the hours in their “1,175 sq ft” private patio and garden. Having cleared 7-figures in the trade.

Even the downtown Manhattan loft snob that I am, I bet a lot of people who have lived in Tribeca for 20 years would make that trade, for a million bucks, or less.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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