plusses and minuses evident as 249 Church Street penthouse loft sells above 3rd floor, at par with 4th floor

primitive loft with roof rights will do that
The “1,588 sq ft” Manhattan loft on the 5th floor (“penthouse”) at 249 Church Street that sold on December 4 at $2.15mm, is a study of the power of “on the other hand …”. On the one hand, the broker babble promises between the lines that there is a renovation ahead of the buyer; on the other hand, the bones are terrific, including 16 foot ceilings and roof rights, so there is a lot to work with. The Market found this combination of opportunities to be worth $150,000 more than the well-dressed 3rd floor loft that sold nearly 3 months ago, which I hit in my November 16, "quintessential" 249 Church Street loft has quintessential Tribeca sales history, and the exact same as the 4th floor 17 months ago, which I hit in my July 27, 2011, scion sells strong, as 249 Church Street loft gains 35% over 2005. One has to believe that the 5th floor unit needs much more work than the 3rd or 4th floors, but the other hand holds those roof rights. And one has to admit that The Market had little difficulty swallowing this loft, taking 4 weeks to get a contract at a nominal discount.

I had trouble distinguishing the 3rd and 4th floor lofts in that July 27, 2011 post, noting

Both lofts offer 2 bedrooms plus an interior den or third bedroom, and two full baths. The 3rd floor floor plan has some angled walls and traded a smaller 3rd bedroom for larger other bedrooms, compared to the right-angled floor plan on the 4th floor. I don’t read the respective babble as there being much difference in the finishes in the two spaces, though the 4th floor emphasized the steel + glass wall in the interior room while the 3rd floor bragged about “full mint Waterworks baths”.

And then noting that both those lofts sold in 2005, with the 3rd floor then being the more highly valued by The Market, while in 2008 the 3rd floor did not sell, despite being then offered (eventually) at less than the 4th floor clearing price in 2011. I took refuge, after failing to reconcile those past sale and non-sale data points, in that trusty canard, The Market is not rational.

While the recent 5th floor sale cannot be used to reconcile those past data, it does make sense hand to hand. All the bragging is about bones, and the future:

11 windows surrounding and soaring 16′-17′ ceilings. Currently a 1 bedroom with a second bedroom / sleeping loft and one full bath. This residence Includes a section of the roof and has the use of the roof and its roof deck. A traditional loft space as-is or create a 2-3 bedroom with standing mezzanines and internal stairwell to roof deck

The label “traditional loft space as-is” is a broad hint that this space has not been updated in quite a while, as is the (lack of) functionality in having a single bathroom. Not many ‘modern’ lofts with “1,588 sq ft” and such high ceilings have only a single bathroom.

There’s no data about the size of the roof to which the rights attach, and no floor plan from which even to guess, so there’s no principled way to even ballpark values between indoor and outdoor space for the 5th floor loft. (Sigh.) And with the 3rd floor sale this past October and the 4th floor sale in June 2011 providing such variable data about the value of well-dressed lofts on this busy northeast Tribeca corner, the targets move too much even for Manhattan Loft Guy to take a shot at allocating values here.

That pains me to admit, so I should just stop typing….

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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