so many incorrect prices finally sell 73 Worth Street penthouse loft above ask

don’t see many June sales with snow in Manhattan loft listing photos

It took four listing prices to sell the “1,997 sq ft” Manhattan penthouse loft #PHD at 73 Worth Street on June 26. One way to say it took a long time to sell is like this “188 Days on StreetEasy”. Here’s another way to show that a summer sale took a long time:

what’s that stuff on the terrace??

The four asking prices, incorrect as they were, were incorrect in different ways. As that cruel truth teller that is The Market proved, the first two prices were too high but the last two were too low.

Dec 2, 2014 new to market $4.695mm
Dec 8 $4.495mm
April 23, 2015   $4.195mm
May 13 $3.995mm
June 8 contract
June 26 sold $4.25mm

The table tells me that there may have been a disagreement between sellers and their agent about the right price at which to start (note the drop after 6 days), that the sellers were pretty stubborn about maintaining that second asking price but (once begun) not stubborn about further discounts. Indeed, apparently too quick to make the second and third price drops.

Comparison to the last 80 or so sales in my Master List of downtown Manhattan loft sales under $6 million confirms that this penthouse loft hardly sold quickly, even after the drop to $4.195mm, as about a quarter of the lofts sold since May 1 (as of now) took 30 days or less to go to contract. Penthouse D took 46 days after that price drop, and even 26 days after the drop below $4 million. Not a quick sale, by any measure, but starting the price with a “3” provoked at least two buyers to push the price above ask.

I’d love to know where those two buyers were before May 13. Maybe they weren’t yet in the market, or maybe they didn’t think they could make a deal at a reasonable number off of the $4.495mm ask. It seems pretty clear that either one of them could have bought the loft at $4.195mm right after April 23, and possibly lower into the middle of May.

Somewhere toward the end of May the second buyer emerged, and the two (or more) pushed the price back up above the third (April 23) asking price, within about 5% of the $4.495mm ask that had been unsuccessful for 4+ months.

It’s a funny business sometimes.

The Market did not love the new kitchen as much as the sellers did

The folks who just sold Penthouse D for $4.25mm paid $2.425mm to buy it in June 2012. They took what had been an “open gourmet kitchen finished with top of the line appliances, gorgeous granite countertops and Bisazza glass mosaic tile backsplashes [that] will make any chef happy” and they created a “newly renovated chef’s kitchen [that] boasts top of the line appliances, natural stone countertops, Bisazza glass mosaic tile backsplashes”; they added some “[o]ther enhancements to the first floor space[:] custom wall coverings, a built-in/ under-stair wine storage system, and an EcoSmart bioethanol fireplace”.

I wish the photos permitted a more direct view of the kitchens, by which to better guess how extensively renovated the new kitchen was:

this Bisazza is white (or clear) + cabinets don’t go to the ceiling


this Bisazza is dark (or highly reflective??), upper cabinets go the ceiling, but don’t the lower cabinets look familiar??

The photo angles are not quite the same, but the floor plans suggest the kitchen array is exactly the same in 2015 as it was in 2012, with the range and oven just out of frame in the 2015 kitchen photo. In other words, I doubt this was a completely new kitchen. The sellers thought that their improvements added significant value (the “newly renovated” kitchen, plus the “custom wall coverings, a built-in/ under-stair wine storage system, and an EcoSmart bioethanol fireplace”). It is impossible to know, but all too tempting to guesstimate, what the recent sellers spent in improve the loft after purchase in 2012.

Had they left it alone, the StreetEasy Manhattan Condo Index implies that the penthouse would have been worth something above $3 million this year (adding 26% to their June 2012 market price). Of course, they sold for $4.25mm, at least $1 million more than the StreetEasy Index implies.

What did it cost to re-do the kitchen, add custom wall treatments, build a storage system to fit under the stair, and add a gas fireplace? Something less than a half million bucks and, likely, much less than a half million bucks. In other words, these 2012 buyers crated significantly much more value than it cost them to re-do the kitchen, add custom wall treatments, build a storage system to fit under the stair, and add a gas fireplace.

I bet they created considerably more value than even the tasteful (and successful) sellers that I hit in my June 5 post, there are spectacular Manhattan loft renovations, then there’s this 54 East 11 Street loft renovation, and much more value than the sellers in my June 11,spectacular renovation of Village penthouse loft is not quite as well received as renovator hoped at 42 East 12 Street, and in my June 4, million dollar renovation at 144 West 27th Street?, three recent attempts to play Guess The Budget.

are you on LinkedIn?

If you are on that meet-up for professionals you might have seen my attempt to synthesize the Guess The Budget posts (above) and the classic Real Estate Industrial Complex media chestnut typified by “Small Renovations, Big Payoff” from the New York Times a while back. That was my June 26, Renovation Cost v. Resale Value: some real Manhattan loft stories, and I encourage you link with me on LinkedIn to see other to-be-written posts that build off of the blog posts here that tend to focus on one loft sale.

if it’s a Manhattan loft building, it should be a Manhattan loft

73 Worth Street is obviously a loft building, having been converted to residential condominiums from some prior commercial or industrial use. Penthouse D doesn’t look very loft-y, does it? Ceilings are not very high, there are no classic loft structural elements (columns, beams, exposed brick walls), though the floorpan is largely open (devoid of load-bearing elements). That’s because the duplex penthouses were added to the structure when it was converted, built on top of the roof (as proper penthouses are) and set back form the edges of the roof (hence the proper terraces).

You can see a typical loft interior in the building in my March 10, nice flip at 73 Worth Street, but why is a foundation doing that??, which also dealt with a kitchen upgrade from a lovely kitchen to (presumably) an even more lovely kitchen. If you don’t have the patience to click around for another blog post, note how different the kitchen of #2B appears than that of Penthouse D:

the column and ceiling height scream LOFT

In a more perfect world, I might not include Penthouse D as a “loft” sale, or I would at least more publicly agonize over whether loft buyers would be interested in such a space. Not today, boys and girls; not today.

and no riffing today, either

Relatedly, I am not going to try to figure out what these three (apparently lovely) terraces (“over 800 square feet”) are worth, in comparison to the interior space.

a great many places to play outdoors

Long-time Manhattan Loft Guy readers are familiar with my May 6, 2010, riffing with The Miller on the value of Manhattan terraces, decks + balconies, and maybe they can guess why I am not going to riff today.

As noted above, the interior space of Penthouse D is not very loft-like. Therefore, it is not directly comparable to the interior space in a loft such as #2B, linked above in that March 10 post. You simply cannot estimate the value on a dollar per foot basis of the Penthouse D interior by extrapolation from the observed value of the #2B interior … the spaces are too different.

This is the unusual instance in which the best comp for this penthouse at 73 Worth Street is probably another true (built on top) penthouse elsewhere in Tribeca instead of another loft at 73 Worth. (No penthouse at 73 Worth other than #PHD has sold since 2011, so that’s quite a while.) But I digress….

So I will stop. For today.

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  1. […] loft sales. Needless to say, that’s a great many days on this market (though there are no snowy listing photos for this one, the market campaign having started in the Fall instead of the winter), from start to […]

  2. […] aside, if only one of these had caught my eye I might have done a blog post like my July 14, 2015, so many incorrect prices finally sell 73 Worth Street penthouse loft above ask, or my February 17, 2015, challenging 474 Greenwich Street loft proves a challenging sale, not […]

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