was the terrace free at 38 Warren Street?


of course not! (but there’s more)
The Manhattan loft #9B at 38 Warren Street (Keystone Building) closed on February 5 at $2.3mm, which at first looked like a healthy-for-2010 $1,152/ft, especially when compared to #8A, which cleared in January 2008 (very, very close to The Top of The Market!) at $1,282/ft. But #9B has a private terrace that is more than one-third the size of the interior space, and more than half of #8A’s interior. How did The Market value that terrace?

turn of the century conversion
The Keystone Building is one of those multi-building conversions that almost justifies being referred to with the irritating multi-address that even some listings use (38-44). (There’s only one entrance, so I call it 38 Warren Street, our listing data-base be damned.) A developer combined four 5-story buildings, and added four stories, with the first sales in June 2001. (Only 6 of 24 units had closed by September 11 that year, then only another 5 closed in 2002.)  Typical for the size (only 24 units) and for Tribeca then (before the uber-lofts), the building has no amenities other than a roof deck.

I hit it in 2007 when #8A went into contract (back in the day when I hit then-current listings, Nov 28, 2007, 38 Warren finds agent + contract), where I noted that the 6th and 9th floor units had terraces. #8A had not yet closed, but I concluded that the "current #8A contract reflects current high-floor-no-terrace values." As it turned out, #8A sold for a $50,000 premium over the asking price (contract in 4 weeks) but that premium essentially matched the $1.595mm price that the owner had been asking in the six weeks he had gone FSBO before listing with an agent. (That is an interesting story in itself, for another day … The Market liked the FSBO price but not when it was FSBO; would the owner had gotten the same price that Brown Harris got for him, if he had only been more patient??)

my kingdom for a terrace
#8A and #9B are an interesting comparison. Although they are both 2 bedroom layouts, #9B (at "1,995 sq ft") is half again as large as #8A (at "1,248 sq ft"). They both have amazing views (another digression: are there any uptown buildings with these kind of views from the 8th and 9th floors?? they are common in Tribeca) but #9B has that terrace.

Playing with numbers here … using a rough notion that values here were off 20% to 25% from The Peak, and assuming that #8A closed in January 2008 very close to The Peak, and ignoring the possibility that the per-foot value of a 2 bedroom loft of 1,995 sq ft might be different from the per-foot value of a 2 bedroom loft of 1,248 sq ft …

#9B closed at $1,152/ft on Feb 5 2010
#8A closed at $1,282/ft on Jan 17, 2008 …

if The Market is down 20% since The Peak:

80% of #8A/ft = $1,025/ft, so interior of #9B would be $2.046mm at The Peak, with terrace as balance of $254k (about $362/ft)

if The Market is down 25%:

75% of #8A $/ft = $961/ft, so interior of #9B would be $1.918mm at The Peak, with terrace as balance of $382k (about $546/ft)

Just playing, you understand ….

what happened in 2007?
The 2010 seller at $2.3mm was interested in being a 2007 seller, but only for a few weeks. The listing history shows the first showing was an open house on March 25, 2007, but it was off the market by April 9. They were then asking $2.895mm, which might well have been close enough to The (then-current) Market to have generated a sale around 20% more than they got this year (or, $2.76mm), or even very close to that Ask (about 25% above the 2010 $2.3mm close). 

I wonder what made them change their minds. I wonder if they regret sticking around for another few  years. Just wondering, you understand ….


© Sandy Mattingly 2010



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