turn of the century Tribeca at $1,600/ft, again at 27 N. Moore Street

turn of last century
Ranking Tribeca loft buildings can be as imprecise as figuring out which angels are seraphim, cherubim or archangels, but it is hard not to put 27 N. Moore Street (the Ice House) in the first rank of the generation from the last century. I mean, of course, the 20th century, as this former refrigerated building was converted to residential condominiums with first sales in 1999 and the building dates ‘only’ from the earliest years of that century. The recent sale of the Manhattan loft #5A at the Ice House above $1,600/ft is only the most recent sale in the building above that exalted level.

it’s not about the view
What is interesting about the “2134 sq ft” loft #5A is that it sold at $1,640/ft ($3.5mm) on October 3 without having a view. The footprint is basically a Long-and-Narrow with the front living area facing the 9- and 7-story buildings across N. Moore Street, and the back (bedrooms) facing into the light well that was dug out of the structure to make residential loft sized spaces. The value here is all about (a) the space and (b) the building.

The floor plan works as a 2-bedroom, with little flexibility to add a third with a window (there’s more space than windows). That front room has great volume, with high barrel vault ceilings (nearly 11 feet), a front wall of 28 feet that is nearly all windows, and nearly 40 feet of depth. Adding a bedroom in the front left (southeast) corner would destroy the ‘volume’; adding one opposite the kitchen would preserve the volume at the cost of a window-less ‘bedroom’. As I said, the space works very well as a 2-bedroom, so we see that there is a market for a $3.5mm 2-bedroom loft in Tribeca, just as I noted last week the market (next door!) for a $3mm 1-bedroom loft in my October 20, is there a market for a $3mm 1-bedroom loft in Tribeca? (yup: at 25 N. Moore Street).

The Ice House has a doorman and concierge, like the other former refrigerated building next door, but unlike the Atalanta at 25 N. Moore Street (which was converted just a few years after the Ice House), the Ice House has a gym and garage. I am not saying that the gym and garage drive the higher values here than next door, but I am saying that the entire package at the Ice House of space, finishes and amenities makes the Ice House a higher order of angel tan the Atalanta.

in May, same, with a view
The last sale in the building boasted greater utility (as a ‘real’ 3-bedroom), higher ceilings, and spectacular views (“soaring views of Manhattan’s downtown skyline and views of the Empire State Building”), yet the duplexed “2,868 sq ft” #10B at the top of the original building sold for (only) $4.695mm, or $1,367/ft, on May 24, a tiny bit less than #5A far below.

I usually do not traffic in the ultra-lofts of the above-$5mm category, but will note only two things about the last sale at the Ice House prior to #10B: the “3,884 sq ft” Penthouse E sold at a significant penthouse premium on April 20, no matter how you value the 35’ x 15’6” terrace, but that $8.6mm clearing value was a long time in the making (the loft was offered continuously from September 2007 until the sale 7 months ago).

in January, same, with no view
The only other sale in the building in 2011 was another low-floor 2-bedroom. Loft #4B is a smaller version of the #5A floor plan, with (only) “1,690 sq ft” and the same no-view orientation of living room facing N. Moore Street and bedrooms into the light well in back. Despite these (relative) deficits, #4B proved to be the alpha dog of the litter, not the runt, closing at $1,686/ft ($2.85mm) on January 14.

More impressive still, this loft sold at a 10% premium to its prior sale at The Peak (April 30, 2008, at $2.595mm). While that premium is driven in part by being “recently gut renovated to the most exacting standards”, this is the first “gut renovation” I have noticed in which the location of the walls and fixtures seem to be exactly the same bother Before and After.

Regardless of that #4B renovation, the fact that the only three 2011 non-penthouse sales at 27 N. Moore Street were at $1,686/ft, $1,636/ft and $1,640/ft is compelling testimony that The Market prefers the Ice House to a degree unusual for 10+ year old condos in Tribeca. Seraphim and Cherubim rejoice!

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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