NFL guy sells loft at 347 West 39 Street, Observer gets facts wrong (again)

preferring puns to fact-checking
If you are tired of Manhattan Loft Guy bashing The New York Observer for getting details wrong about Manhattan loft sales, don’t tell me; try this: Today’s bash is, as usual, from a link on The Real Deal, and concerns the July 6 sale of the Manhattan loft #10W at 347 West 39 Street by hard-headed John Riggins, late of the Washington football team with the unfortunate name. The good news is that The Observer scoops StreetEasy on the sale price; the bad news is that some details (both trivial and critical) are just wrong.

Don’t take any of this as gospel, until we talk:

Mr. Riggins’ 1,360-square-foot co-op sold for $1.05 million. The two-bedroom two-bath midtown loft at 347 West 39th Street is not lacking in amenities.

The property was put on the market briefly in 2009, but quickly taken down in the fumbling economy. When the place was re-listed in March of this year, [buyers] rushed in on the deal, entering contract just a month after the property hit the sale block.

The trivia? What they call “amenities” are what most people would call “features” (such as “Eleven foot ceilings, slate flooring, two winged bedrooms, private south facing terrace, and massive spa bathroom with Jacuzzi tub”; OK some might call the terrace an amenity, but most would use “amenities” to refer to building features such as doorman, gym, common roof deck, etc). And there is only one bath, not two, as is evident in the StreetEasy link, the Corcoran listing, and the dozens of places that feed off of the Corcoran listing.

The second paragraph above is as wrong as wriggins, regardless of how you feel about the football punning. The loft was on the market nearly continuously from July 2009 into 2011, with a 6-week breather before changing firms and getting that contract. Perhaps The Observer does not carry a StreetEasy subscription, but here’s what the missing fact-checker would have seen, had he come to work yesterday:

July 7, 2009 new to market $1.45mm
June 1, 2010   $1.295mm
Nov 22 contract  
Jan 27, 2011 back on market  
Jan 28   $1.195mm
Feb 3 off market  
Mar 23 change firms $1.15mm
April 25 contract  

Our listing data-base has some details and dates a bit different (it was our listing after the change in firms), including tantalizing news of an accepted offer within two months of coming to market in July 2009, but the essential contours are the same: the loft was offered for sale continuously for 17 months, then it was “in contract” for two months before that failed, then it was back for a week before a 7 week break when firms changed.

So yes, the buyers may have rushed in when the loft hit the sale block in March, but not after the loft had only been briefly exposed to the market in 2009. It had been fully exposed the entire second half of 2009 and nearly all of 2010, coming off the market only because a deal was struck.

Seriously: why do they get this basic history wrong?

$772/ft for views, finishes and a terrace!
Granted, this part of Big Sky Country is not a favored destination for Manhattan loft buyers, but Riggins had to agree to $1.05mm to sell this “1,360 sq ft” loft. At $772/ft, that’s pretty low for a finished loft with long south and west views that include the river (see the full screen pix on the Corcoran listing for how open that west view is). And the “100 sq ft” terrace is free at that price.

Those windows may need some repair (they did in another loft I saw in this building a few years ago) and it looks like it needs a paint job, but it features a “massive spa bathroom with Jacuzzi tub … custom cedar closets, Sub Zero appliances, [and] Miele washer and dryer”. One possibly off-putting feature is the slate floor, an unusual but hardly unprecedented flooring material in converted loft buildings.

The last sales in the building were around The Peak: #14E at $1.4mm on May 28, 2008 (which is probably this “1,360 sq ft” listing), and #13E at $1.24mm on October 15, 2007 (definitely this “1,400 sq ft” listing). The problem with the north “views” in this building (I saw #13E back in the day), I believe, is that there was a large tower going up; the south views, however, had an angled view of the river. That is two sales with no exterior space at $1,029/ft and $886/ft (if I am right about #14E at “1,360 sq ft”). With that context, #10W at $772/ft doesn’t look that bad.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply