sidewalk sale at 130 Watts Street comps very, very strongly to Peak loft sale
is street access a plus or minus?
You see some fancy-schmancy Tribeca loft conversions that include a “townhouse” component, one or more (usually more) duplex or triplex units with direct access from the sidewalk, often in addition to direct access from a full-service condo lobby. (E.g., Tribeca Summit at 415 Greenwich Street, the Fairchild at 55 Vestry Street, [a little farther afield] Soho Mews at 311 West Broadway, and [much farther afield] Superior Ink at 400 West 12 Street.) These are high-end or very high-end full-service condo conversions.
The ground floor “1,439 sq ft” Manhattan loft #1S at 130 Watts Street that sold on January 30 for $1.375mm is not one of those; instead, it is an old school loft in an old school no-amenities loft building that happens to have an entrance from the building lobby and a separate entrance directly from the sidewalk.
The ceiling is only 12 feet, but they manage to squeeze a lofted area above the (single) bedroom in the classically Long-and-Narrow footprint that benefits from 9-foot windows on one narrow and one long side. There are no dimensions in the floor plan (boo!) but the footprint has few uninterrupted walls; in that sense, the windows and the dual entrances make the space a little less flexible than it might be.
It is hard to know how unusual layouts will play in The Market; I know more than a few buyers who wanted no part of a ground floor loft — especially one with a doorway directly to the sidewalk. (YMMV) Obviously, the mileage of these buyers did vary, as they paid $955/ft for space that was marketed with absolutely no bragging about its condition.
But what really intrigues me about this sale is that it compares very well to the other ground floor loft in the building, achieved in rather different market conditions.
head scratching ensues
The “1,998 sq ft” Manhattan loft next door at #1N at 130 Watts Street is not quite a perfect comp for loft #1S, but it is close: it is bigger, with less light (fewer windows, skylights rather than windows in back), but in much better condition ( “stunning … a great renovated loft space. …well appointed chefs kitchen with cooks island & abundant cabinets in great condition… 2nd newly renovated bathroom”), it also has lobby and sidewalk dual entrances. (The floor plan is available on the old Corcoran listing, here, as are more and better interior photos, here.) Trading off the more flexible floor plan in #1N plus the much better condition for the light in #1S, I’d expect #1N to trade higher under similar market conditions; wouldn’t you?
If I told you that #1N traded at The Peak (contract date January 25, 2008, closing March 10, 2008) you’d expect that #1N traded well above #1S 2 weeks ago, except that you’d suspect you were being set up by this oh-so-long introduction. Busted! If you peaked at the listing history you already know that #1N sold for $1,887,500 while everything around it (and in the rest of the overall residential real estate market in Manhattan) was trading at all-time high values. That is only $945/ft … a hair lower than the dollar-per-foot price for #1S 2 weeks ago.
Did I mention that comping is hard?
© Sandy Mattingly 2012