very valuable terrace boosts 65 N. Moore Street loft sale, though at a loss since 2010

that plan did not work out
As you will see eventually, below, the “1,450 sq ft” duplex true-penthouse Manhattan loft #6A at 65 N. Moore Street just sold at $2.625mm with a huge premium for the (266 sq ft, approximately) terrace. Unadjusted for the outdoor space, that’s $1,810/ft in a small no-frills condo (8 units, key-lock elevator) on a prime Tribeca block. Granted the space is a beautiful combination of modern and classic elements, but that one-landing stairway eats up a non-trivial amount of space (given the overall scale) and the master bedroom is open to the lower level and is the transit area for the private roof deck.

The price is hardly unprecedented, as it is not quite exactly the same price as this curious LLC paid less than two years ago. (In this case, it is curious that the anonymity provided for bold-faced names is ruined in this case by a bold-faced trustee named on the deed record.) If you are as well-heeled an LLC as this one should be, buying at $2.68mm on September 24, 2010 and re-selling at $2.625mm may be a trivial economic matter (a loss of $260,000, just considering sales prices, commission, and transfer taxes), but I suspect that the original business plan did not involve leaving so quickly, or with so much money left behind. [Oopsie update: I don’t keep up with my bold-faced names: this was the marital abode of two very bold faces, for whom marriage did not bode so well; this Page Six entry from 2010 gives the opening scene; that explains a lot about the "plan" that did not work out.].

a space for loft lovers who love stairs
Some people like duplex lofts because of the physical and psychic separation afforded by two levels; others view the stairway as wasted space. (In this case, perhaps 200 sq ft wasted in a space that is only “1,450 sq ft” to begin with.) Being on the top floor helps this duplex floor plan, a lot, as there are only the 3 living room windows on the entire main floor. The second bedroom / study gets a skylight at the (otherwise) dark end of that floor, and light pours down the stairway in the middle of the loft from the upper level windows in the master. Without that upper level, the irregular floor plan is very challenging, indeed.

The wood columns, beams and joists are drool worthy, for those of us who get our keyboards wet. All that wood is echoed in the window frames and the cherry staircase, and complemented by two brick walls in the living room. I am not sure if that original wood column piercing the limestone kitchen counter is a jarring element or an adroit juxtaposition, but I am sure I could grow to like it.

let’s go riffing
Contrast the #6A floor plan, with all that extra light from the duplex and skylights, to the same main floor space on a lower floor (no bedroom, one bathroom floor plan, here; “1,012 sq ft” the last time it sold). That one was marketed as a “diamond in the rough”, so is likely to be a buy-and-gut. Just playing with numbers, that thing might be in contract as high as $1,235/ft (if full price), but I don’t think there can more than about $300/ft in renovation costs for the different condition of #6A and that one, implying that the #6A interior space was worth about $1,535/ft, leaving nearly exactly $400,000 of #6A’s value from the private terrace (if ballpark numbers can be “[anything] exactly”).

The ballpark logic is defensible, but that result is … odd. If the terrace is the “226 sq ft” the dimensions imply, the $400,000 exterior space was worth $1,770/ft, 15% more than the implied value of the interior space. Granted, this rooftop space has several seriously premium elements to it (direct access from the master suite, a scale that is nicely proportionate to the interior space, and it opens up panoramic views not available from the main level), but this adjustment exercise is so far out of The Miller’s general rubric of 25% – 50% as to raise eyebrows.

That’s why I titled this post with “very valuable terrace”, as my eyebrows are raised but stay raised after playing with the numbers. In order for this terrace to be worth as little as 50% of the interior space, the adjusted value of loft #6A would be $1,679/ft. When that lower floor “diamond in the rough” closes we will have a better idea of what unimproved interior space is worth in this small condo, but I will be surprised if the difference in condition between that diamond and this penthouse is anywhere near as much as $444/ft. After all, there is pretty restrained bragging about the #6A finishes (“fully appointed elegant limestone kitchen…. gracious Cherrywood staircase …. good closet space and a new bathroom”). Time will tell.

Tribeca is for views
That master suite and terrace are on top of a 6-story building in prime Tribeca. There are other Manhattan neighborhoods with low-scale buildings (Harlem, East Village, to name two) but only Soho is a prime Manhattan loft neighborhood with the possibility of views like from #6A in prime Tribeca at such a low height. Views from the 6ht (and 7th) floor are always a matter of angles, but these angles work out very well. Hardly unusual for Tribeca, and probably justifying a significant premium for the outdoor space. Not $1,770/ft necessarily, but still….

© Sandy Mattingly 2012
 

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