love the neighbor on neighbor action, as expensive 55 Hudson Street loft wall should come down soon

little other action in this building since 2008
The folks who just bought the “1,000 sq ft” Manhattan loft #7C at 55 Hudson Street for $1.5mm live next door in #7D, which is why I expect the wall between these two lofts to come down soon. That nice round number purchase comes to $1,500/ft (d’oh), which is probably a building record on a dollar per foot basis apart from one giant combo sale in 2007. In other words, add this sale to the extortion side of the neighbor on neighbor action series; in other other news, that was a very expensive wall for the #7D owners to buy, but (as they say) all real estate is unique.

These #7C buyers bought #7D in 2007, in the midst of a very busy time in this (originally) 46-unit building. Their purchase was one of a trio of same-footprint lofts that I hit repeatedly back in the day when I would comment on active listings. Talk about a #Tribeca LoftLab!

As you see on the Streeteasy building page, the three “D” lofts closed within a 10 week period in early 2007 within a very narrow range of clearing prices, and that three other lofts in the building sold later in 2007 (one being a 3-unit combo at an astronomical $1,807/ft). That busy 2007 followed a busy 2006 (4 sales) and preceded a slow 2008 (1 sale), a dead 2009 (no sales), and a re-awakened 2010 (2 sales, one a combo).

tempted to combine
As I mentioned, one of the 2007 sales was a 2-unit combination and one in 2010 was a 2-unit combination. The sole 2008 sale was a private sale to the owners next door, who had only bought that unit 3 months earlier. With the November 13 private sale of #7C to the #7D owners, there are now 3 owners on the 7th floor, which had been converted with 6 lofts.

As a private sale, there is no public information about the current condition of #7C, but when it was bought in 2006 the broker babble was only somewhat enthusiastic, bragging about bones (“vaulted ceilings and arched oversized windows”) and some finishes (“California closets, top of the line appliances, renovated extra large bath and built ins”). It was valued in the frothy market of June 2006 at $1,150/ft, not too far from the home base of #7D, which was purchased at $1,233/ft in the still more frothy market of May 2007. The #7D babble from 2007 suggests that it had the better kitchen and (possibly) finishes (“recently renovated … architect designed with European kitchen and custom built-ins throughout”).

Apart from that monster combo sale at $1,807/ft, #7D at $1,233/ft on May 9, 2007 held the buidling record value for dollars per foot. That tells you that the #7D buyers in 2007 were very motivated to expand by buying #7C in 2012, as they just paid $1,500/ft for the opportunity to combine the two lofts in a renovation that will include (at a minimum) demolishing one brag-worthy kitchen. And (at least) one wall … a very expensive wall, one might say.

That looks to me like a premium for unique real estate of at least $200/ft, justified for these unique buyers because there is no real estate more unique than the loft next door, especially on a floor in which two other owners have already combined two other pairs of lofts.

Here is more context for this $1,500/ft neighborly sale: the last sale in the building was the in-need-of-TLC “1,290 sq ft” loft #3A, on November 29, 2010 at $1,211,000 ($939/ft), and before that the already combined “2,200 sq ft” loft #7EF on May 13, 2010 for $1.9mm. That one was a startling price ($864/ft) for a loft described this enthusiastically:

Innovative, architect-designed moveable walls, pivoting doors and built-in bookshelves maximize and complement classic loft details, from exposed brick to 10′ barrel-vaulted ceilings, iron columns, and pristine, warm oak floors. Open, well-thought out kitchen has soapstone countertops, custom cabinetry, 36-inch Viking stove with grill, Miele dishwasher and a SubZero refrigerator.

The #7D owners really wanted to buyer #7C, and the #7C seller … (how to put this gently??) … took advantage of that.

This form of … (how to put this plainly??) … neighborly extortion was a frequent theme on Manhattan Loft Guy since at least 2010. For some of that color, see my:

(Note to Self … there’s a summary blog post to be written about the difficulties of using neighborly sales as comps … maybe next year!)

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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