interesting price history of 71 Murray Street loft bought by Famous Couple

newsworthy for a different reason
The Manhattan loft on the 10th floor at 71 Warren Street (the Hastings Building) made news when it sold on October 6 because the buyers are A Famous Couple (the New York Post mention is here, but it was widely reported), but it is more interesting to me because of the sequence of prices paid in 1999, 2005 and now 2010.

full floor on busier edge of Tribeca
The loft is said to be “4,002 sq ft” and the fairly squat footprint has 4 exposures, here providing “excellent” light. The 10th floor on this block (between West Broadway and Greenwich) is high enough to add “dramatic northern city views”, which leads me to wonder why the floor plan is backwards:  the conventional layout for a loft with “dramatic city views” is to put the living area where those views are; in this case, the views are available only in the second and third bedrooms. I wonder why they did that….

That backwards floor plan includes 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a ton of windows, and an odd miscellaneous space adjoining the 3rd bedroom. (Where is that bedroom door??) Not to mention, a fireplace and a (small) balcony off that 3rd bedroom. Whether frontwards or backwards, the babble is very excited about the condition of the 10th floor loft: “quite simply, one of the most luxurious spaces in all of Tribeca”.

The Hastings Building was a turn of the century conversion, with 9 of 11 condo units closing in 1999, one in December 2000, and the last in April 2001 (what was the delay there? I wonder). It is one of those rare small condo developments with full-time doorman, with taxes and common charges that are hardly out of line for that amenity ($3,588 and $2,287 per month, respectively, for #10; about $1.50/ft).

The sponsor offered these lofts as fully built out, or in spare “white box” condition, for buyers who wanted a custom layout. Original closing prices for single floor lofts ranged from $1.1mm to about $2.2mm, which strikes me as a huge premium as the floors increase. (A $275,000 spread between the original 5th floor sale and original 7th floor sale??)

With 101 Warren Street having finally opened up down the block in 2008, bringing a Whole Foods and a “private, elevated pine tree forest”, this southwest corner of Tribeca has changed dramatically since The Hastings was converted. The micro-nabe is no longer as dominated by Stuyvesant HS and BOMCC students and PS 234 parents as it had been.

my point was…?
To loop back to my start, the 10th floor has sold twice since the original offering, with this price history:

May 14, 1999 $2,036,500
May 31, 2005 $3,420,000
Oct 6, 2010 $3,900,000

The market value nearly doubled from 1999 to 2010, but about three-quarters of that gain was in place by 2005. Fascinating!

There were no sales in the building between the last two #10th floor sales, making the comp analysis a little more difficult. The recent trade was at a 13.2% discount from the asking price of $4.495mm, but it was hardly an unexpected price, given this listing history:

June 20, 2009 $4.5mm
July 17 $3.9mm
Dec 18 $4.495mm
July 28, 2010 contract
Oct 6 $3.9mm

I would love to know what the agent and owner said to each other to go from $4.5mm in the still chilly June 2009 market to a dramatic (if unsuccessful at the time) drop to $3.9mm within a month, but the even more interesting eavesdropping would have been the discussion to go back to the original level by year end. It obviously hadn’t worked over the last half of 2009, or even in the first half of 2010, except in the sense that it generated a contract this July at the year-old discounted asking price.

$1,000/ft … not!
One final comment about this 10th floor sale: yes, this bock block is close-to-but-NOT-in-Prime-Tribeca, but it is a condo with a doorman that is said to be “one of the most luxurious spaces in all of Tribeca”. After having been professionally exposed to The Market for a really long time, it sold for $26 under $1,000/ft. A thousand bucks sure goes a lot farther than it used to!

a fun fact about the Famous Couple
If you knew that the real first name of the Media Half of the Famous Couple is Almadale (see deed record, here), you are much better informed about media celebrities than I am.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010


Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply