why did 288 West Street lofts close with such a wide spread?

why would “gut” beat “restored”?
There is a puzzle about the last two Manhattan loft sales at 288 West Street at the extreme northwest corner of Tribeca that might be one of those always-easy-when-you-know-the-answer puzzles. Two lofts that sound the same and look the same closed within 9 days of each other last month, one at $1,045/ft, the other at $1,386/ft. But I don’t know the answer, so it looks like a trick to me. [Sept 20: be sure to read the comment below, from someone who knows The Trick.]

Let’s start with the broker babble. This (excerpted):

Rustic, romantic, poetic, … beautifully restored … with authentic architectural detail throughout. A gracious entrance foyer lined with closets and bookshelves, leads to a sun-drenched Living/Dining room with exposed brick walls, antique timber columns and beams, a wood-burning fireplace …. The state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen with center-island is open to the entertaining space and features granite countertops, endless custom cabinetry, a water filtration system, and top-of-the-line appliances including a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Viking professional stove, Viking convection oven, and a 36-bottle temperature controlled wine fridge. … Master Bedroom Suite, … featuring enormous walk-in closets and an oversized Master Bathroom clad in Carrara marble with double vanity, slate floors, a Toto Washlet Toilet, and a fabulous walk-in steam shower room. … Guest Bedroom with ample closets. … Guest Bathroom is beautifully appointed with custom tiled flooring, a marble vanity, and luxurious heated towel rail.

Compared to this (ditto):

Triple Mint gut renovated square loft. Thoughtful beautiful custom finishes throughout. Massive heart pine columns, beams exposed but fully insulated for sound protection, brick walls, and 12 foot ceilings. Seven custom bronze windows, hand made in Italy….

The views and light in both are brag-worthy, apparently:

sun-drenched Living/Dining room with … unobstructed Hudson River and Statue of Liberty views from enormous picture windows

The other one is, again, more pithy:

overlook the Hudson River and treetops. … Amazing light and views.

There is one (temporary?) difference in the utility of the two spaces: the first is now a 2-bedroom + 2 bath floor plan, while the second is almost completely open, with a “sleeping area” without windows, and only one bath.

The first has 4 windows south (including those “enormous picture windows”), 3 north and two east, while the second has but 6 windows west (over the river) and one south. You’d think it might matter that the east and north views in the first one include Canal Street heading to the Holland Tunnel, or that the west views in the second one have to cross West Street at the busy Canal Street intersection to see the river. (I’d think.)

the punch line awaits
You’d think (I’d think) that these two lofts would be priced similarly by The Market on a dollar-per-foot basis. You’d be wrong, and I’d be more wrong. Especially when I tell you that the disadvantaged loft is on a higher floor than the advantaged one, and that it is 22% bigger.

The “2,200 sq ft” loft #4E sold on August 24 at $1,045/ft in a relatively brief and successful campaign. The “1,800 sq ft” loft #2W sold on August 15 at $1,386/ft in a very quick and highly successful campaign. Details, details:

#4E   May 11 new to market $2.395mm
  #2W June 10 new to market $2.495mm
  #2W June 30 contract  
#4E   July 28 contract  
  #2W Aug 15 sold $2.495mm
#4E   Aug 24 sold $2.3mm

Did I mention that comping is hard?

Other people know the secret (I still don’t), if the current pricing for current listings (ssshhhh!) is any indication. Can somebody explain the one-third premium (!) for the smaller "W" side to this ignorant Manhattan Loft Guy?

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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  1. […] remember the views from this loft, as I hit it when it sold last time in my September 16, 2011, why did 288 West Street lofts close with such a wide spread? (in the new blog platform). Back in the day, my post was about the comparison between the sale of […]

  2. […] protected views of the Hudson River, because that issue was the crux of my September 16, 2011, why did 288 West Street lofts close with such a wide spread?. Of course, there are some hints that #2W enjoys protected views: it’s the “W” […]

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