strong pricing hint on lovely loft for sale at 360 West 36 Street

exception to the rule (he’s begging me)
Most Manhattan Loft Guy readers understand why I haven’t commented on identifiable current listings for the past year and a half. I am going to make an exception for a loft (a) that I really like, and (b) whose listing agent is practically begging me to comment on it. The loft is #10S at 360 West 36 Street; the agent is master blogger / video pioneer Doug Heddings of True Gotham [reminder to DH: you promised to blog more frequently]; the begging is in a comment to my July 29 post, "How about that incredible 2000sf Loft at 360 West 36th Street that will likely trade around $1.25M or so.   That’s $625/sf!  Shameless marketing of my own property I know but thought it fit PERFECTLY in this piece." Since Doug’s blogging persona (and real life character) is strongly in favor of consumer information and real estate transparency I am confident that he will not mind me talking about his listing here — though it won’t be the same "shameless marketing" as he might do in support of his client the seller.

my opinions, not his
I wholeheartedly agree that this loft is a real opportunity for the right buyer at the price it can sell for ("around $1.25M or so" in Doug’s words), though I am somewhat less enthusiastic about some of the adjectives and adverbs he is using to sell it. The good news is that this is a very large loft for the price ("2,008 sq ft", now offered at $1.395mm, down from $1.695mm in January), with terrific light and some views, and a classic loft style. The layout enhances the sense of space, taking advantage of the long run of windows on the south wall (more "light" than "views") and leaving a very large dining area and a "living room" (sitting / media area). The master bedroom on the west looks far out to Jersey (sunsets!).

The overall ‘feel’ is more funk than sleek, featuring exposed piping and mechanicals, long runs of exposed (ancient) radiators, large steel-frame windows. The kitchen and baths are all modern and well-equipped (the master bath is particularly so). The layout includes a set of closets outside the master bedroom that provide a corridor to the master bath, and an interior room set up as gym and office (with a clever casement window into the living area).

this loft is not for everyone (neighborhood is love-it-or-hate-it)
I brought one buyer to see it and enthusiastically described it to a second. For both, the loft is not bid-worthy at nay price because they don’t love the neighborhood. Sitting nearly at Ninth Avenue on a very gritty commercial block, many people are going to be put off by the micro-nabe in which it sits. I can’t argue about anyone’s personal reaction to the sense of grit, but I definitely encourage anyone who likes that sort of thing to consider this loft. There is definitely some old-school Manhattan loft ‘charm’ to the grit, and the immediate neighborhood features small theater and arts groups and more food sources than choice restaurants.

The white-box 2003 loft conversion 315 West 36 Street is just down the block (I hit a sale there on June 23), as is some new (mid-scale) hotel, but the street level is dominated by non-residential uses. The 2003 luxe conversion Cass Gilbert at 130 West 30 Street did very well on a block that I find to be much more gritty than this. The Glass Farmhouse at 448 West 37 Street is even more remote than this block (I hit a new listing there way back on December 7, 2007, with some commentary on grit and that neighborhood). And the Cupcake Cafe is around the corner….

As configured, this loft is not set up for a family larger than 3. That gym/office can certainly be converted to an interior sleeping area, but the existing 2d bedroom is rather … tight. Not only is that 2d bedroom small, but it cannot be enlarged without major surgery (moving the kitchen). In other words, for a big loft the space is not very flexible very inexpensively.

searching for The Market
The #10S seller and very experienced professional agent have been searching for the market value of this loft since January. The current asking price is $1.395mm but the agent has signalled to Manhattan Loft Guy readers (and probably others 😉 that the seller will take at least 10% off that price. At around $625/ft, a sale at that price would be a large discount off the last sale in the building: the "1,250 sq ft" #8NW sold in May 2007 for $1.275mm, after selling in February 2005 at $1.095mm. The 2005 and 2007 sales pair for #8NW is interesting given my recent fixation on 2005 – 2009 pairs (that July 29 post) and because the last "S" unit to sell was #11S, which sold in April 2005 for $1.1mm. (StreetEasy has "no listing associated with this closing" but out system shows that that old Corcoran listing was sold more for its character than finishes ("designer" kitchen, jacuzzi and glass block shower aside; 1980s much??).

The #10S sellers and True Gotham hope that 2005 is not the correct market frame for measuring value here.

COUNTDOWN: 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 [oops] … 4 … 3 …

[Update 2 PM: sorry about the multiple posts of the same thing today; the platform was a little squirelly and I kept hitting "send" without being able to see that it had posted]

© Sandy Mattingly 2009

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