is this 66 Leonard Street guy the savviest loft seller ever??

big premium, no marketing
I am scratching my head over the August 12 sale of Manhattan loft #12A at 66 Leonard Street (Textile Building) for $3.45mm. For one thing, the loft has been officially off the market for a year (i.e., there has been no marketing); for another thing, the (unsuccessful) January – June 2009 marketing had been at $3.695mm and $3.25mm, a chilly market indeed, but with a 70 days listing history 6% lower than the recent sales price; for yet another thing, the eventual sales price-per-foot exceeds two almost-as-recent (June) sales in the building by at least 25%.

I guess that second "thing" is not so unusual, given the Manhattan real estate history of 2010 sales at / above / near unsuccessful 2009 prices (once again, I know you don’t need them, but here are the basic loft links: July 7, 12 examples of the (rapid) velocity of the Manhattan loft market, and July 8, another sign that 2010 is not 2009, as 60 West 15 Street loft sells), but the first and third things generate a MLG WTF?

paging Warner Wolf
There are many funny numbers here. Let’s go the videotape (errr … data):

  cleared on "sq ft" $/ft last ask original to market prior sale for
#12A $3.45mm Aug 12 2,319 $1,487 $3.25mm $3.695mm 1/15/09 1/28/05 $2.95mm
#11C $3.15mm June 23 2,846 $1,106 $3.395mm $3.395mm Jan 4 11/15/05 $3.975mm
#6B $3.4mm June 1 2,813 $1,179 $3.35mm $3.6mm 5/29/09    

paging Mars Blackmon
I don’t read the listing descriptions, pix or floor plans as accounting for the huge premium of #12A over #11C and #6B, all of which are set up as 3 bedrooms (3.5 baths in #11C, 2.5 in the others). Could it be the views?


A bright, corner unit with high ceilings and two exposures, original cast-iron columns, custom-designed lighting and a gas burning fireplace offers serenity amidst awe-inspiring views including the Chrysler Building. Highest quality finishes, dark hardwood floors and custom mahogany cabinetry. Chef’s kitchen, with Subzero, six burner stove, mosaic back splash and limestone island/countertops. Wired Crestron audio throughout; two flat screen TVs. Luxurious master bedroom suite with huge walk-in closet.


soaring ceilings, original steel columns, beautiful wood floors, generous rooms, grand baths, chef’s open kitchen, abundant large closets, central air and heat, Crestron audio system, and washer/dryer. This mint high floor residence has a huge corner living room with fireplace and views south, west and east from 16 oversized, sun-flooded windows.


The "B" line is the best in the building with windows everywhere – 16 in all. A custom limestone fireplace anchors the living room and the dining area is simply huge. The kitchen is superb with Thermador (6 Burner), Sub-Zero, granite and cherry counters PLUS a walk-in climate controlled wine cellar. The luxe master suite features huge closets and an oversize bath with freestanding tub. Split bedrooms ensure maximum privacy. All in mint, pristine condition from end to end.

Maybe (just maybe) you take some points off #6B for only being "sun-flooded", without the 3 exposures of #11C or the single exposure but "awe-inspiring views including the Chrysler Building" in #12A. But

  • how then to account for the fact that #11C sold at 6.6% less than #6B on a price-per-foot basis? and
  • that does not impact the direct #12A vs. #11C comparison

Not even Walter Chrysler should (rationally) be willing to pay much more for a single exposure of an icon, compared to 3 sun-flooded exposures one floor down … let alone the price-per-foot premium of nearly 35%.

warning: don’t play poker with this guy
I don’t get it.

The #12A seller told the world in Spring 2009 that he would take $3.25mm for his relatively small 3-bedroom loft (compared to #11C and #6B) with its single-exposure Chrysler Building view. Not getting what would have been a 10% premium over his January 2005 entry price, he pulled it off the market.

Yet sometime after both neighbors in #11C and #6B went into contract (same day, on March 24), the #12A seller found someone so willing to buy his loft that the buyer paid:

  • 6% more than the last public asking price from July 2009
  • 26% more than #6B, on a price-per-foot basis
  • $300,000 and 34% more (on a price-per-foot basis) than for the much-larger #11C (23% larger, with one more bathroom)
  • 17% more than the 2005 price, compared to #11C selling at 20.7% less than its 2005 sale price

All this, without public marketing (very likely, without a brokerage commission). Talk about driving a hard bargain!

© Sandy Mattingly 2010



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