stunning Tribeca loft with great light sells for $1,037/ft but it’s on Chambers Street, and 4 flights up

more exploration of the bottom layers of the downtown Manhattan loft market

I’ve been hitting a bunch of (relatively) low-priced downtown Manhattan lofts lately (for the two of you who have forgotten how to scroll up: December 10, NoLIta neighbor buys neighbor’s modest loft at 225 Lafayette Street at a modest price, December 18, true artists’ loft goes under $1,000/ft in Soho, not the $1,250/ft they wanted, December 23, Chelsea loft at 233 West 26 Street with classic floor plan + Empire State views sells for (only) $1,087/ft, January 14, beautiful “turn key” Chelsea loft at 126 West 22 Street goes for (only) $1,189/ft; why?, and January 15, in a world unusual loft floor plans, this One Bed Wonder at 40 West 15 Street takes a cake). Let’s stay in that trough one more day, at least, and get back to that most classic of classic downtown Manhattan loft neighborhoods, my own TRIangleBElowCanal. You haven’t forgotten the headline yet, so you know that the Tribeca loft presented for your consideration today is the “1,350 sq ft” loft #5 at 126 Chambers Street, and you know that it sold at $1,037/ft in part because there are a great many stairs involved.

You know from the broker babble that this is the top floor and that there is no elevator (props to the sales agents for managing expectations on that crucial detail) and that the space is we’ll appointed in that classic-but-renovated manner:

former artist’s studio … renovated into a stunning full floor loft … on the top floor of a boutique coop built in the late 1800’s. … oversized windows and multiple skylights throughout, this walk up loft is streaming with light all day long. … expansive living room, dining area and an open chef’s kitchen. The custom kitchen comes with carrara marble counter tops and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. … incredibly spacious and flexible layout can easily accommodate an additional bedroom and bath. Separate storage and laundry room with LG washer and dryer. Dramatic features include dark stained hardwood floors, 11’+/- ceilings height and exposed brick walls.

The babbling about an “expansive” living room (my, how I hate that babbled locution) and “incredibly spacious … layout” obscures the fact not available publicly, as far as I can tell, but revealed to the trade (only) in our listings data-base: the loft is (as stated above) “1,350 sq ft”. Note that this is a delightfully reasonable “measurement” if one takes the interior room dimensions of the floor plan  (yeah yeah yeah: “for illustrative purposes only”; “consult your own architect”, etc, disclaimer, etc, disclaimer) as reasonable. I get a box 23 x 59 feet (= 1,357 sq ft) without discounting for the public stairwell or supplementing by the practice of measuring not from interior dimensions, but from the outside wall surface or the middle of the outside wall surface). Delightfully reasonable, indeed.

Did I mention that the entire package is worth (only) $1,037/ft? I guess I did….

let us count the downtown loft market deficits

Obviously, the loft suffers for being 4 flights of stairs up from the street (though some of that deficit is offset by the skylights pouring light into so many places in the loft). The loft also suffers by being oh-so-near-but-so-NOT-in-prime-Tribeca, with the street that the 4 flights connect to being the all-night traffic mess also known as Chambers Street. (The traffic will be a mess even when the water main project is done, of course.) In addition to buses and taxis and cars (oh my!) all day and night, this stretch of Chambers suffers from some down-market street retail. (With Exhibit A being The Patriot, I don’t think I need other exhibits.)

Long-time Manhattan Loft Guy readers know that I can quibble with the best of them. This footprint does not strike me as either spacious or flexible, particularly not “incredibly” so, but that’s the way the babble breaks. To me, this is exactly and forever a 1-bedroom loft, though you can add a second (interior) room opposite the kitchen (though that would split the big skylight awkwardly and squeeze the open kitchen and push the dining table closer to the front) or one could add a (real) bedroom in the front corner (at the cost of reducing ‘volume’ and light in the public space. Both choices are do-able; neither, to me, is optimal. But if you buy it, you can ‘ruin’ it any way you like ….

To review: lots of stairs off a busy street to get to a sunny classic Tribeca loft with limited flexibility. If you guessed that The Market would value this at $1,037/ft … come on down!

in loft marketing, might ladders be the new guitars?

Has anyone else noticed how many lofts are marketed with photos that include guitars? I had a series of downtown lofts to tour with a client a few months ago in which at least 3 of 5 lofts had guitars on display, in one case merely as display but in the others on stands, as if strummed often. And you see a lot of loft marketing photos in which guitars are featured. I hope these are all sincerely used guitars rather than staged accessories, but … what to make of the pair of wooden ladders leaning against the brick living room wall in loft #5?

The ladders are pictured in 3 of 7 listing photos, despite having little obvious utility at this end of the loft. We’re not talking about library ladders that slide along a track in front of a tall wall of books here, just 2 ladders leaning against an otherwise blank brick wall. Perhaps the shorter one would help accessing the top shelf books on the opposite wall, but a short step-stool in the laundry room would be closer and probably more sturdy than these ladders.

Sad to say, they look art-y to me, at least in the trying-to-be sense. I hope this is not a trend.

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