romance sold the loft at 430 Greenwich Street, but it took a while

as Conventional Wisdom takes another hit
One hopes that Conventional Wisdom has enough self-confidence to shrug off the many times that people just ignore it. Sales like that of the Manhattan loft #5W at 430 Greenwich Street might cause an insecure person to doubt themselves, after that loft found a buyer at a tiny discount from ask after sitting on the market for 6 months at the same price. (Conventional Wisdom, of course, is that a loft that has been professionally exposed to The Market for a few months needs a price change to attract a buyer.)

But the “rare and romantic 1,700 sq ft” loft #5W held at $1.85mm from December 22 to a contract on June 25 at $1.8mm, closing on September 16. Persistence requires faith; perhaps romance helps also.

The broker babble is alive with modifiers that are hardly typical of the genre:

[the] loft captures the true spirit and essence of historic Tribeca! …. high ceilings, exposed brick walls, rough-hewn timber beams, original cast-iron columns and light from oversized wood-framed windows. The country-french kitchen …. Hand-carved wooden doors lead to the interior Master Bedroom, a pin drop quiet sanctuary with enormous walk-in closet. … a classic Provence-inspired bathroom replete with limestone floors, double glass-enclosed shower, and a poetic window seat ideal for quiet reflection. A soulful retreat just steps from ….

in for a penny, in for a pound
Personally, he had me smiling along with the prose until the “poetic window seat”, even before noting on the floor plan exactly where that poetry is read. But one person’s over-the-top is another person’s successful marketing campaign, so YMMV. And … it worked.

Eventually, the right buyer for the space found it, and bought it.

the floor plan lacks romance flexibility
The main challenge to the loft (even for a romantic buyer) is that the not-quite-square footprint has windows on only one side, other than that bathroom window. So the master ‘bedroom’ (a “pin drop quiet sanctuary”) is so quiet because there is no window into which the outside world can bleed sound. The ‘sleeping area’ wedged between the foyer and the plumbing lacks a window, as well as lacking volume (it is 9’7” x 8’10”). Moving the bedroom up the wall to capture a window would probably reduce the ‘volume’ dramatically, but I bet some buyers were tempted to do that.

The challenges posed by the floor plan and the market value for #5W at 430 Greenwich Street have interesting parallels to the (also inflexible) floor plan and market value (higher) of yesterday’s bought-then-rented 4th floor loft at 448 Greenwich Street, just up the block. (October 13, rent v. buy, or buy then rent in the loft laboratory of 448 Greenwich Street.)

In that loft the main challenge was that second room (even smaller than in #5W) was wedged between the kitchen and the bath, with no possibility of gaining even a square inch without a radical renovation of space that is already beautifully finished. Yet that loft sold for $1,123/ft (if the loft is really “1,300 sq ft”) or $1,271/ft (if the loft is really “1,148 sq ft”). As I said, those finishes are nice, but the 448 Greenwich loft lacks the ‘romance’ of 430 Greenwich, even though 430 Greenwich sold for (only) $1,058/ft.

I would guess that the same people who saw one of these neighboring lofts saw the other, in the period in which they were both available (from April 16, when 448 Greenwich came to market, to the June 25 contract for 430 Greenwich). Their utility is similar (both have a single ‘bedroom’ and a small other room) and they are only a block apart. 430 Greenwich has more space; 448 Greenwich has more light. I have only seen one of them, but they probably feel very different.

The Market thought that 430 Greenwich was worth $1.8mm, but only $1,053 ft, and that 448 Greenwich was worth only $1.46mm, but as much as $1,271/ft.

Did romance really win? Or just slap the Conventional Wisdom around??

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply