did Tribeca Summit loft get slammed for being second floor?

or, is there another explanation for breaking the comps at 415 Greenwich Street?

This looks pretty good at first blush: the “2,276 sq ft” Manhattan loft #2C at 415 Greenwich Street (the Tribeca Summit) sold on September 4 for $4.545mm, or $1,997/ft. Second blush is not bad either: just over 3 months to contract, needing a single price drop from $4.75mm. Further blushing raises some serious questions, however. In view of a consistent and recent string of very comparable sales in the building, did the sellers start at only $4.75mm in order to start a bidding war, and, of course, given that question, why did The Market not refuse to go to war, but to treat this loft so shabbily?

Let’s start with the charms of the space.

very enthusiastic Manhattan loft broker babbling is appropriate sometimes

The agents think the space is very charming:

Bright & Airy Loft perfection in Premier Full-Service Condo Building! Remarkably expansive, this state-of-the-art 2,279 square foot space is an architectural masterpiece featuring bamboo flooring, beamed ceilings, and oversized windows with both northern and western exposures. This loft showcases a Bulthaup b3 eat-in-kitchen with Viking cooktops, Miele oven, SubZero refrigerator and Bosch dishwasher. A flawless dreamloft wrapped in an elegant, landmarked TriBeCa full-service building.

The proper proper name check is limited to the kitchen, but the bath looks like it has proper materials, at least:

master bath with bath + walk-in shower, but not babble-worthy, alas (pic per Elliman)

That’s curious restraint for a bit of babbling that hits “perfection”, and “state-of-the-art”, and “architectural masterpiece”, not to mention “flawless dream loft”, but I suppose there are limits to everything. To me, however, the genius in the space is the floor plan:

3 good-sized bedrooms, each en suite, with that massive master bath, and a 500+ sq ft living room with corner exposures … nice!

That’s a great deal of utility in “2,276 sq ft”: three very good-sized bedrooms and three-and-a-half-baths. There are four west windows looking across Greenwich Street and four more north across Laight Street. The babble claims “bright and airy”, which seems right, given the corner location.

I can understand this footprint as a 3-bedroom layout, but I wonder how long it will be before someone in the “C” line reduces to 2 bedrooms. Just imagine the volume in the great room if you take out that second bedroom on the west wall. It wouldn’t be cheap, as you’d have to swing the kitchen around to fully recapture the bedroom space, but the result would be a nearly square great room of about 1,000 sq ft.

there used to be an efficient hyper-local loft market in the “C” line at Tribeca Summit

When #2C came to market on April 4, there were three “C” line neighbors in contract:

contract date closing price
#6C Jan 20 $4.93mm
#7C March 24* $5.15mm
#3C April 1 $4.93mm

* #7C fell out of contract 18 days later for reasons unknown, but went back into contract by May 5; note that it sold above ask.

So far as I can tell from the listings descriptions, photos and floor plans, these units are identical to #2C. The higher floors get better light and a have a west view, while loft #3C gets only gets better light but no better view, as the west windows don’t quite clear the building across the street, as is apparent in the main listing photo:

blue sky peaks out above the building across Greenwich Street from the 3rd floor (a Stribling photo)

Fans of the Efficient Market Theory love the spread between the 6th and 7th floor units, but are mildly confused by the 3rd floor parity with the 6th. Let’s just say that this trio is within ‘market noise’ range of each other.

did #2C simply run of out competing buyers?

I wonder if there is something about the second floor here that I can’t see and don’t know. But if you had asked me where to price #2C on April 4 (and if I knew the contract prices for the three neighbors), I’d have said $4.93mm. And I ‘d have been pretty confident that the clearing price would not be significantly discounted from that ask. Yet the sellers and agents went out at $4.75mm.

And sat.

I’d have thought there was a reasonable chance for a bidding war off that ask, as each of the three neighbors sold above ask. I’d have been wrong. It took a price drop to $4.675mm to finally sell #2C at $4.545mm.

I have a theory, but it is only a theory, and a backwards looking one, at that. (Again, if there’s something about the second floor invisible to me … well, I just don’t know what that might be.) There are limits to the depth of any buyer pool. In this case, the buyer pool for 3 bedroom lofts in high-amenity condos in northwest Tribeca had no trouble swallowing the three neighbors between January 20 and April 1 (May 5), but it choked at a fourth sale on this corner, at this price.

(Again: note how weird it is that the pool was deep enough to put #7C back into contract by May 5 above ask, after it fell out of contract the week after #2C came out. None of the disappointed suitors for #7C were willing to pay more than $4.545mm for #2C, which competed head-to-head with #7C at a lower price for almost a month.)

Any rational observer would have said on April 4 that #2C would sell near $4.93mm because that was what the comps said. Same building, same corner, same floor plan, same finishes, just a little bit closer to the sidewalk. Even though these four “C” line lofts are as close to commodities (when compared to each other) as the downtown Manhattan loft market is likely to present, #2C sold at an 8% discount to the 3rd floor (and 6th floor).

truth in aphorisms

It takes a willing buyer and a willing seller to set THE market price for a given loft. In this case, there simply was no willing buyer above $4.545mm. While I am merely disappointed (and confused) as an observer, these #2C sellers were all that, and about a half million bucks poorer. They have my sympathies.


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