thinking better of the price increase, 34 Laight Street loft sells

odd way to signal negotiability

The Manhattan loft on the 2nd floor of 34 Laight Street has a listing history you don’t see every day: to market at $1.895mm on November 5, price increase to $2.1mm on January 7, contract by March 7. There are not too many listing price increases these days, and fewer still that lead to contracts within a reasonable time (or, as in this case, within 60 days). But I left out the punchline: the deal was done (closed on May 10) at $1,627,500.

Read those numbers again.

The 11% asking price increase led to a contract that was (a) a 22.5% discount from the new price and (b) a 14% discount from the original asking price. The marketing campaign may have been odd, but it was successful: seller cashed out 6 months after coming to market.

open canvas at $740/ft
The broker babble dances around the fact that this is one primitive loft. It is a “2,200 sq ft” Long-and-Narrow that looks as though an extension was put on the back; I can’t recall another similarly-shaped loft building, with no back wall windows but side air shafts for the rear bedroom. Regardless of provenance, the footprint is essentially long-and-Narrow, with that skinny (single) bedroom at the back and plumbing on the long wall behind the elevator.

That shape, and the absence of other windows except in the front, make a second real bedroom problematic, if not impossible. The floor plan reeks of a very dated solution to the challenges of the footprint, as does the lack of bragging about finishes.

The building was converted to coop in 1995, but this space looks much older than that. The coop has made do with a freight elevator only, though there are said to be plans to change that elevator (“Enter your own private floor one floor up from the street or via a large freight elevator [soon to become a keyed elevator]”). I trust the buyer did all the diligence that was due, as our building notes show there were plans to convert the freight elevator way back in 1995.

park views include cars
This building sits in the middle of the block that is nearly surrounded by Holland Tunnel spillways, so those southern exposures are at the park that sits in the middle of the Symbionese Liberation Army-like exit routes from the tunnel. I don’t imagine the windows are open very often.

paging Frank Sinatra
I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the seller had been more patient 4 years ago. The second floor (called #2A then) was offered for sale only during April 2007, then asking $1.995mm. There was no dancing about the condition then: “designer ready” and “ample space to create the home of your dreams”, but also “priced to sell at $907 per square foot”. If only.

You’d think that in the middle of the year that shattered the Manhattan sales volume record, just a couple of quarters before The Peak, the second floor loft would have had a real chance to sell off of that $1.995mm. That ask was only 23% above the recent sale price.

Regrets? The seller may have a few. Or at least one.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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