Tribeca penthouse loft seller takes 30% off to sell

two half-million dollar price drops get it done

The owner of the “2,015 sq ft” loft #10D at 25 Murray Street (Tribeca Space) that sold on October 16 had a rather optimistic but decidedly disciplined approach to pricing this duplex penthouse loft with “315 sq ft” terrace, coming to market way high, but adjusting, and adjusting again, in big gulps:

April 25 new to market $3.995mm
June 6 $3.495mm
July 16 $2.999mm
Sept 4 contract
Oct 16 sold $2.75mm*

(*The deed has not yet been recorded, but many thanks to listing agent Anna Kahn of Halstead for sharing the closing price.)

Only the principal and the agent know what the strategy was, but this sequence implies that they understood they had started from a ‘reach’ level and were prepared to make a significant adjustment if the market reaction warranted (the first drop of $500,000 after six weeks equals 12.5% of the initial ask), with the next drop lined up quite soon thereafter, especially considering the late summer context ($496,000 after six more weeks, 14% off the second ask).

They remained responsive to market inputs, with the seller willing to take another quarter-million off the ask to get a contract, a final 8% discount.

That’s serious work: taking only four-and-a-half months to strike a deal $1.245mm off the first ask.

Which is not to say that it was easy. (Repeat after Manhattan Loft Guy: price discovery is hard.)

not a very loft-y loft

As the listing description says, Tribeca Space was “built in 1930 and converted to a full-service residential loft condominium in 2005”. Yeah, because it was converted from a prior non-residential use, but this photo doesn’t scream “classic New York loft” does it?

could be a new condo off Park Avenue, right? (photo: Halstead)

Ceilings look to be about 9 feet, and any prewar character has been scraped away, with the dropped ceilings (to fit recessed lighting) that loft snobs (I’m looking in the mirror, of course) despair over. (Other photos are in the Halstead listing; why does StreetEasy make it so hard to see photos??)

The floor plan is neither classically loft nor offensively cookie cutter:

more squat than a classic Long-and-Narrow loft, while brutally efficient

There’s no wasted space in this loft. Classic prewar apartments (such as Bing and Bings) use foyers and hallways as transitional spaces, but there’s none of that here.The downstairs bedrooms are two steps from the kitchen, and closer than that to each other. The salvation of the footprint (IMO, of course) is the corner location, with two long runs of windows.

Tribeca Space was hardly the most deluxe of Tribeca condos in the early ‘Oughts. The lack of ‘character’ in the photos is one proof of that, but there’s further proof in the allocation of space on this floor plan. Consider how much more luxurious this loft would be if the master bath (at least) were twice the size. But the developer chose to (relatively) oversize the bedrooms (the third bedroom is about 200 sq ft … with a single tiny closet), including putting in a master suite sitting area as big as many cookie cutters bedrooms. Strange choices.

One final cavil about this floor plan: I’ve never understood the charm of spiral stairs, or their utility in a large space that could otherwise support a stair-with-landing. Here, the developer stuck that prong next to the entry in this unit solely to put a spiral stair in, a cheap way to address the problem of getting from one level to the other. Particularly with a terrace up there, I’d get pretty tired of balancing a tray of glass and a bottle of wine round and round those steps to entertain on the roof.

Other units in the building are more loft-y. Consider the ceiling height and beams in the “1,557 sq ft” loft #3F, which sold five months ago for $2mm. Hmmm … that third floor loft sold for $1,284/ft, without the “spectacular views and light” of #10D, not to mention without the terrace up there, either. If the penthouse loft had the same interior value as its third floor neighbor, #10D would have been worth just under $2.6mm, implying that the “315 sq ft” roof terrace was worth only about $517/ft ($163,000), which seems a little low for relatively rare rooftop space in Tribeca. (I hit a previous attempt to sell in the building at an aggressive price in my November 17, 2014, The Market has its way with “above ask” Tribeca Space loft sale, as is its wont; vintage snark!)

I’d say the lack of loft character in the penthouse was a drag on market value, based on this simple same-building comp. But I digress ….

props to the seller and agent for dropping the anchor

I want to come back to the speed and scale of the (non) response of The Market to the offer to sell loft #10D at $3.995mm and then at $3.495mm, each for six weeks. Not every seller is willing to take a million dollars off, let alone so quickly.

I keep coming back to this insight by The Miller about seller expectations in a stagnating market (I’ve seen this same thought in many Miller places, methinks, but here’s the first place that came up in my Google search): “It takes them [sellers] 1-2 years to de-anchor and not feel like they haven’t left money on the table.”

Not this seller! Took her only six months.

speaking of stagnating markets, or worse …

Th extended listing history (in the StreetEasy link above, and aw heck, here) has two interesting data points. The loft was purchased in the original offering in August 2008 for $2,611,811 (the new development contract was signed the previous Fall, just before the market peaked) and that (unfortunate!) original owner sold it to the recent seller in September 2009 (as The Market was recovering, in fact) for (only!) $2.28mm.

That’s quite a hit on that first owner ($330k, before considering sales expenses) and still a gross gain for the recent seller of almost a half million bucks. Not what she had in mind, but The Market giveth and (etc, etc).

Nicely played, ma’am; nicely played.

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