“unspoiled” loft at 70 Thomas St sells for $511/ft

some agents don’t (always) babble
You’ve read a lot of broker-babble in the descriptions of Manhattan lofts for sale, and in this sense I mean "babble" as in drivel: those words that take up space but — especially when strung together — are more fluff than flavor, more dressy than descriptive. (I’ll leave examples to your imagination at this point, as I have used those words, and probably will again.)

a description to behold
So when I came across the listing description for the Manhattan loft #5 at 70 Thomas Street, which closed on January 20 (deed filed today!), I had to smile. No babble here … elegant! Language that is very positive, very evocative and extremely precise. No informed reader will expect anything different from what they see in the loft, and no one will be disappointed.

Authentic, light filled, and open spaced; the type of loft that motivated artists to seek out spaces in Tribeca originally. Unspoiled and in a self-managed coop, with original wood floors…

Granted, "authentic" is an over-used description of Manhattan lofts, but I have no problem with it unless it is used with an in-authentic loft. "[T]he type of loft that motivated artists to seek out spaces in Tribeca originally" is extremely evocative and extremely precise: open, raw (to repeat: raw). Since there are so few words so far, I can hardly begrudge the (not quite) redundancy beginning the next sentence: "Unspoiled and …".

I don’t think I have ever seen that word used in that way before, and right now I can’t think of a better word for the right loft. While all "unspoiled" lofts should be "authentic", not all "authentic" lofts are going to be "unspoiled". Many, many "authentic" lofts have been "spoiled" by middling renovations that don’t qualify (any longer, at least) as "improvements".

unusually efficient
"Unspoiled" just might be the most efficient word I have ever seen used in this context.

You don’t need a floor plan to realize that you have a little demolition to do before you build out a brand new loft, using (at most) the original wood floors and original brick walls. If you do look at the floor plan, you readily realize the few walls separating a "bedroom" are 60 feet from the lone bathroom. Nor do you need pictures to realize that the "kitchen" consists of appliances and cabinets hanging on one wall at the other windowed end.

"Unspoiled", indeed! That single word tells you that (if you are interested) you need only consider the light, the shape, the building (where can the new plumbing go?), and whether the windows, floors and walls need only a bit of sprucing up or a massive rehabilitation. You know you will build it out completely.

There are other ways to communicate that they entire space will be gutted (not much to gut, really) and built out, but none is as evocative as saying "the type of loft that motivated artists to seek out spaces in Tribeca originally" and none is as efficient as "unspoiled".  There is nothing wrong with the former listing description (prior firm):

This true artist’s loft is on a peaceful top floor with easy access to the roof. Original brick and wood flooring throughout. It has been used as an artist’s loft since the building was a factory…

Any informed reader would make the same assumptions about the space as from the other description. But — to me — this description doesn’t sing. Kudos to my favorite pair of married Halstead loft agents.

It is a good day … I learned (re-learned, I hope) something important about marketing.

This loft took a while to sell. As noted, there were two firms involved, the first listing it for $1.399mm last February and dropping once to $1.25mm in May. That Halstead couple picked up the listing in September, at $1.2mm and found a contract within 7 weeks. (Was it the "unspoiled" word that did the trick?) The clearing price was $1.15mm, for either "2,250 sq ft" (Halstead’s number), "2,000 sq ft" (as measured by the former firm), or [fill in the blank] (if your architect were to measure).

That’s either $575/ft, $511/ft, or some similar number. One important thing that bears on the value of a 5th floor loft that is missing from the "unspoiled" description: there’s no elevator, which might disappoint some people (nobody’s perfect).

© Sandy Mattingly 2010


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