366 Broadway loft sells up 10% over 2004 but flat to 2007

almost prize-winning seller wins by selling at almost his purchase price
Sticking with that theme from last week of how is the Manhattan loft market niche doing compared to 2007?, the Manhattan loft #7B at 366 Broadway (the Collect Pond House) adds a pretty emphatic meh! to the data mix. The “1,850 sq ft” loft #7B sold on September 16 for $1.795mm, just pennies off from its market value as of April 17, 2007 ($1.8mm, so really 500,000 pennies; I exaggerated…).

No comfort to the 2007-buyer-turned-2011-seller that the loft is up 10% since the last sale before that, on December 17, 2004 at $1.625mm, but at least it sold. Just as it can be a ‘win’ just to be nominated for an award (in his case, best performance by a leading actor in a musical, at the 60th Tony Awards), it can be a ‘win’ for a loft to sell at all, even at a $5,000 loss since 2007.

challenging floor plan, dated finishes
You would not know it from the broker babble, but a close read of the pictures (and what is not pictured) gives the (correct) impression that loft #7B has a new-ish kitchen (with ‘modern’ appliances) but that the loft is otherwise dated. Note the floor in the living room, for example. Note that there are many building photos, but no photos of either bath. Or of either bedroom. Note also that the “master bedroom” (the only one with an en suite bath and a closet) is half the size of the other bedroom.

I can’t be certain, but I think that curved wall in the master bath is glass brick, perhaps even glass brick that had been painted. To my mind, nothing says early 1980s quite as bluntly as glass brick. My impression is that no one has moved anything in the loft at least since the early 1980s, but that the kitchen and second bath have been upgraded in that (long) interval.

In short, the floor plan works as-is for a single person or couple, for whom a small bedroom is not a deal-breaker, and for whom the rest of the (vast) open space provides elbow room. I suspect that a lot of potential buyers did the mental math on the cost of re-doing the ‘master’ bath, at a minimum, as my buyers did.

I am also pretty sure that the master’s walk-in closet has very interesting tile work, suggesting that that space had been reclaimed from common hall space when the (former office?) building was converted to residential space. The tile is nice enough for someone to be tempted to think of how to expose it to the life of the loft, instead of hiding it in a closet … a job that would require a pretty significant reconfiguration. So much potential, so much money!

I am not that plugged in to popular culture
I claim no special ability to recognize Tony-nominated actors by name (especially a name as not-so-distinctive as Stephen Lynch), but the guy had his nomination certificate framed on the wall when I saw it with my buyers. If memory serves, that’s the closest I’ve been to a Tony since seeing Betty Buckley’s statue from Cats during an Upper West Side open house tour years ago. I could tell you about the time I saw Ingrid Bergman’s Oscar, but that would be a digression too far (at least one).

fun fact
Over its ‘career’, loft #7B is up 298%: the oldest sale price I can see is the February 7, 1997 $535,000. That does the current seller (or buyer) no good, but it is a legacy fact. Not a bad return over 14 years….

more fun: gangs (and water) of New York
The coop is named Collect Pond House, for the pond that used to be just (down the hill?) to the east, which was filled in the early 19th century. Per the Bowery Boys website (terrific source re old New York), the pond provided fresh water for the island’s earliest inhabitants.

This map shows where the pond was (and a smaller connecting pond, and associated streams) and the streets that eventually were built on top, just about a quarter mile north of City Hall. If you remember the Scorcese film, the Five Points slum in which all the action took place was on the “soggy land and noxious odors” (per the Bowery Boys) around the old Collect Pond. (If you have the patience for a 10 minute video, this one on YouTube by Dan Kowalski focuses on the pond; very cool. Very; including how the springs that fed the pond still bedevil the surface.)

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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