8 Warren Street loft buyer completes 2nd floor set at record prices

2011 at $1,302/ft, 2012 at $1,395/ft, with (probably) no change in market conditions
There is a very simple reason the “1,932 sq ft” Manhattan loft #2E at 8 Warren Street (Trinity Stewart Condominium) sold quickly at the full asking price, and it does not have to do with the asking price (at least, not directly). When #2E came to market on May 10 at $2.695mm, the guy next door did not want a new neighbor, so he signed a contract by May 29 that closed on July 11 at that ask.

The guy just paid $1,395/ft to expand his second story empire, after buying the first piece (the “2,074 sq ft” #2W) on June 8, 2011 at $2.7mm, or $1,302/ft. In so doing, he just broker the dollar-per-foot (original) building record he set a year ago. He really did not want a new neighbor.

on memory lane, the class of 2008
I hit the 2008 new development Trinity Stewart Condominium when it had its first resale, in my December 4, 2010, loft at 8-10 Warren Street is first resale of 2008 new development, but is still smiling. That post has a description of the project (“a five-story base of two existing loft building converted into 2 residential lofts on each floor above the street, and a new tier of five floors slightly set back from the street-side curtain wall, with full-floor lofts on each”) and an analysis promoting the idea that this project was probably the single most successful new development of Manhattan lofts in the Froth-Peak-Trough era, in that it sold a high percentage of the built-out lofts about as close to Peak pricing as one could reasonably have anticipated.

(Seriously, read that post.)

If you look at the building page on StreetEasy, you will see that the only sales in the building higher than these two second floor lofts were the sponsor sales in mid 2008 of full-floor lofts in the newly constructed upper floors of the building, all above $3mm; lofts that not only were entirely new, on higher floors, but that came with very large front and back terraces (one floor plan, here).

The only four resales in the building have all exceeded their 2008 sponsor sales (in addition to the two on the second floor and #3W in that December 4, 2010 post, there has been #4W on December 7, 2010 at $2.69mm, or $1,297/ft); none by more than the two on the second floor.

was this really a market transaction?
Loft #2E was exposed to the overall market (briefly, but that happens sometimes, to happy sellers) and an obviously willing buyer stepped up and signed a contract at the asking price, with no sign of gun play. But for the address of the buyer, this would obviously be a market transaction, an entirely valid comp for all purposes.

I don’t use punctuation on the spreadsheet Master List of Manhattan Lofts Sold Since November 2008, but I will try to mentally carry this sale as a provisional market sale, and look forward to another resale in this small building to see if the  price holds. Because while the buyer was willing, he was also unique.

And we have seen some strange things happen with neighbors selling to neighbors, sometimes at (what might crudely be termed) extortionate terms.

I last touched on this in my February 14, did neighbor overpay for 381 Broome Street mini-loft due to light, or was it extortion?, where I collected a few other candidates and offered another (sigh) Note To Self …:

Unless someone produces a photo, I have to believe that the penthouse owners at 381 Broome Street willingly overpaid for #6F, for them the most unique piece of real estate in Manhattan, whose location location location could not be beat.


But I do wonder in a case like this (obvious over-payment) how hard a bargain the seller drove, or whether the buyers started at a simple can’t-refuse number. As I said up top, this phenomenon happens in different ways.


In my December 14, 2011, private sale of 150 Nassau Street loft with high-floor premium or neighborly extortion, I eventually concluded that the upstairs neighbor had not really overpaid. The Manhattan Loft Guy tag “extortion” has been applied to neighbor-to-neighbor sales since late 2010, and this collection includes 6 such examples, from Flatiron, Cheslea and Tribeca. I should edit this November 9, 2010, another neighbor extorted, as Queer Eye tires of "Soho", leaves 505 Greenwich Street loft for Chelsea, because that Queer Eye guy definitely squeezed by his neighbor. That post linked to another example, in my November 1, 2010, no listing, but VERY motivated buyer for O’Neill loft at 655 Sixth Avenue greases a move to Tribeca.


Note to self: collect all such posts (one day).

another day, another artistic buyer in Tribeca
Among all that guessing I did yesterday about the upstairs-downstairs loft sales at the American Thread Company condo (August 21 22 [oops], did American Thread loft at 260 West Broadway sell on a formula in private sale?), I closed by taking a stab at a buyer’s identity.

Today’s buyer (and now full second floor owner) is easier, both because of having a very distinctive (Google-friendly) name, and because notice addresses on his two deeds line up nicely with other Google Juice about him. He’s this half-Finnish+half-Lebanese guy who blogs about Middle Eastern Art. Not that the key factor in him paying $5.4mm in the last 15 months is that he is a blogger (be still, my heart!), unless there is a great deal more money in art world blogging than in Manhattan loft bogging; just that sometimes it is easy to find out who these people are.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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