moving to Atalanta loft from WAY uptown

distance is not the only measure
I could play around a bit about the price at which the Manhattan loft #12C at 25 N. Moore Street (the 2001 conversion-with-much-punching-out-of-windows Atalanta) sold for in a private transaction on May 26 ($2.5mm for “1,883 sq ft”), but not before first playing around with Manhattan social geography. What fascinates me about this sale (apart from wondering if the buyers and sellers knew each other before) is the social distance between this loft at the corner of Varick Street, with its corner windows overlooking the mounted police stables, the First Precinct, and the Ghostbuster’s firehouse, and Park Avenue at 77th Street.

It is possible that the #12C buyers will use that loft as a pied-a-tierre. At this location and height, the northeast corner of the Atalanta will get great light and views, and the “1,883 sq ft” footprint was set up as a 2-bedroom + library with 2 baths the last time it appeared in our listings data-base (2003). I wonder about the pied-a-tierre because these buyers are used to much much much more space. Through the miracle of the < Search by Owner > function on Property Shark, I found that the loft #12C buyers are the owners of a (ahem) rather large apartment in a Park Avenue coop that is so tony that it is one of the early coops. Not early in Tribeca terms (which would be mid-1970s), but early in Manhattan terms, as in 1920.

The apartment would have been 18 rooms, but the original owners had it built as 12, leading to this broker babble:

an 18 into 12 room duplex on the 11th and 12th floors of a much sought after white glove pre-war cooperative. It was designed as a duplex for the Bloomingdale family when the building was constructed and is not a combination of two apartments. The result is a wonderful sprawling layout, enhanced for today’s style of living. Entrance is from a double elevator landing into an oversized gallery ….

If there’s babble there is (or has been) a listing. These folks obviously did not need to close the sale of that 18-into-12 to buy a mere “1,883 sq ft” in Tribeca, as their sale is pending. Details are here, but suffice to say that it appears to have been the price drop that generated the contract … a price drop from eight figures to seven figures.

That datum, and the fact that they have been paying monthly maintenance of $10,502, suggest that they may be slumming it in Tribeca. Assuming they are going to live at the Atalanta.

playing with the price
How to assess the $2.5mm private sale of #12C at $1,318/ft? I am not the only one who thinks that it is not easy to gauge market interest here.

There has been only one public sale in this 60-unit condo since Thanksgiving 2009. The only other 2011 sale so far was #17A, which took a year to sell at a 24% discount from the original ask, at a size (“4,519 sq ft” of interior space, with 2 roof decks totalling “1,200 sq ft”), with views (“staggering” north views, “exceptional” south views, and “spectacular” west views) and a level of finishes that take it out of the comp analysis for most neighboring lofts. Clearing at $11,210,000 on February 1, 2011, that computes to about an adjusted $2,200/ft using a 50% discount factor and The Miller’s rubrics for valuing outdoor space. In short, #17A is not a very useful comp for #12C.

StreetEasy fans will note the listing history of the “5,142 sq ft” duplex #3A, but will be disappointed to know that our listings data-base tells a different story leading up to the sale on August 10, 2010 at $5,600,375. From our data-base, it does not appear that this loft was publicly exposed to The Market for at least 9 months before closing, and I do not have a lot of confidence that what we show is accurate: that the last of 5 price drops (in March 2009) resulted in a contract 8 months later that closed after another 9 months. Regardless of the details, note that the sale price was 18% below the original asking price, that the loft was offered for sale for 3 months at The Peak, and then brought back (with a first price drop) 10 weeks after Lehman filed for bankruptcy. Net-net, #3A is not a simple comp to apply.

I wonder if the #12C buyers and sellers were so rigorous as to look back at the August 20, 2009 sale of the similar-sized loft next door to set a 2011 price for #12C. The #12B sale may have need only a time adjustment to be used as a comp for #12C. At “2,150 sq ft” and 2-bedrooms and 2 baths, it has a similar functionality to #12C and is only 14% larger; the babble suggests it is (also?) still in its original 2000 conversion-era condition; it is also a 12th floor corner loft with many windows, facing east and south where #12C faces east and north. #12B probably was a victim of timing (the sellers would certainly argue that): coming to market less than 3 weeks before Lehman on August 27, 2008 at $3.5mm it took 2 price drops to $2.995mm and $2.82mm to get a contract by July 10 at a steeper discount still: $2.492mm.

That August 20, 2010 clearing price was at a 12% discount to the last ask and a 29% discount to the original (pre-Lehman) ask. #12B could be a poster child for the frost-bite afflicting many lofts during that nuclear winter. As I said, I wonder if they applied that $1,159/ft for #12B under those circumstances to #12C for a private 2011 sale at $1,328/ft. The spread is almost a 15% premium for #12C now vs. #12B then … a very reasonable premium to apply.

If that is what they did. Of course, they may have had another way to divine a #12C sale at $2.5mm. I’m juts playing with numbers here. The real fun, for Manhattan Loft Guy, is to speculate about the social distance in Manhattan between a 1,883 sq ft Tribeca loft essentially on top of a police stable and a Park Avenue coop as white glove as only a 1920s coop charging $10,000/mo maintenance can be.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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