tunnel living has its benefits, as 19 Beach Street loft sells up 22% over 2005

though 10% less than the seller wanted
This looks like a win to me: the “2,980 sq ft” Manhattan loft on the 5th floor at 19 Beach Street sold on December 7 at $3.595mm, apparently in the same condition as when it was bought by the recent seller in June 2005 at $2.95mm, in this built in 2001 modern loft building. $645,000 is a pretty healthy gain in six and a half years, unless one is overly concerned that the 2005 purchase was in cash (no mortgage shows on the Property Shark record for this condo until a $500,000 loan in 2010).

Like many sellers who love their lofts, this seller wanted more, starting out at $3.995mm. Unlike many sellers who love their lofts, this seller proved both motivated and nimble, dropping the price in 6-figure increments three times in the 5+ months it took to get a contract:

May 20 new to market $3.995mm
Aug 20   $3.895mm
Sept 9   $3.795mm
Oct 18   $3.595mm
Nov 1 contract  
Dec 7 sold $3.595mm

That last drop did the trick in a hurry, didn’t it?

the cars don’t bother me from here
I have often referred to other loft buildings on this super block as being on the Holland Tunnel spillways, intending to take some of the shine off broker babble you sometimes see about these buildings (on Varick facing west,on Beach facing north, on Hudson facing east, and on Laight facing south) as “overlooking St. John’s Park”. They do look over that park, of course, but the park is singularly afflicted by the Symbionese Liberation Army tangle of options for travelers from New Jersey to choose to enter the local streets of Tribeca.

I had never thought before in these terms, but seeing the corner views south and west from this loft immediately spurred the thoght that these are the best views of any of the spillway lofts. The long wall of windows facing west present a view anchored by the First Precinct on the cater-corner and the extremely handsome back of The Ice House, a prospect marred only by the tacky tower of 388 Greenwich, which has long since lost its giant bright red umbrella. The huge sky to the northwest is wonderful, but not my favorite angle from here.

The south view down Varick is wide and long, with a buffet-table of varying and classic Tribeca buildins including the Ghostbusters firehouse, the 5-story Walker’s building, perhaps the most handsome building in Tribeca at 140 Franklin, and the Woolworth Building; even the squat mass of the Western Union Building has its charms.

If anyone prefers a different view “overlooking St. John’s Park”, operators are standing by comments are open.

buyer’s dry cleaner might find out
The south view also includes The Atalanta, of course, that massive, not especially handsome, former refrigerated warehouse that did not have windows until converted as a residential loft condo at the turn of the century. It appears from the notice address in the deed record that the 5th floor sellers with those amazing views from 19 Beach Street decamped to a low floor duplex at the Atalanta with “amazing light and open views” that, amazing as they may be (east across Varick), just cannot compare to 19 Beach.

But the move seems not to have been made because of views. Nor for space, as the old place is nearly 3,000 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, while the new place is “3,419 sq ft” with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. Maybe for lifestyle, as the boutique at 19 Beach Street lacked amenities other than a common roof deck, while 25 N. Moore has a much higher roof deck (17 stories) and full time lobby coverage.

Nor did he move cross Varick and down one block to change any travel or commuting routes or distance. He can keep the same collection of take-out menus. And while he can use the same dry cleaner, now the dry cleaner can more easily pick up and deliver.

sitting out the market
More likely, the 5th floor 19 Beach Street seller is making a purely financial play, taking his money out of that loft and paying rent at 25 N. Moore instead. That’s putting about $3mm back in his pocket with that $645,000 gain from the 19 Beach 2005 purchase and 2011 sale, and holding onto the cash to pay (up to) $18,000/mo in rent.

This from a guy who in 2005 paid $2.95mm in cash to buy. Either this rental at the Atalanta is a short-term arrangement, with another move pending, or this guy is reallocating assets away from Manhattan residential real estate. Eight million stories in the naked city….

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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