what would Cass Gilbert think / 130 W 30 St challenges
great building! the block … not so much
There are few great loft buildings in Manhattan that separate the Prefer-Loft people from the Love-Lofts people the way The Cass Gilbert does, at 130 West 30th Street. Indeed, this building even separates the Merely-Love-Lofts people from the Love-Lofts-And-Authentic-Grit people, as only the latter should find their way through the Lincoln Tunnel exiting traffic and past the police station next door to #130.
Nothing pretty about this block. And not much that is pretty about any nearby blocks, either. (see digression, at bottom)
Yet there is a beautiful loft there, new to the market this week– that may be worth – to the right buyer — the $1,300/ft they are asking for it.
#17A at 130 W 30 St is newly offered by Susan Sears of Corcoran. It is 2,300 sq ft and is offered for $2.995mm (and an even $3,000/mo). In a world in which downtown lofts with more than 2,000 sq ft on less … gritty streets can be had under $3 million, Susan’s challenge will be in getting $3 million buyers to this block. Once there and up the elevator, there is a lot to like.
the plus factor is out the window
I will assume for this discussion that the finishes are as advertised – and worthy of this price range. What makes this unit stand out from others in the building, however, is the 17th floor views, including the Empire State Building. Many units in the building are well appointed, but their big windows look at nearby buildings. It appears as though the 17th floor is high enough to provide the sense of space that is the kind of “extra” a $3 million buyer could need on this block.
By way of contrast, see #7B offered by Tamir Shemish of PruDE. It is nearly the same size (2,150 sq ft) and “no expense [has been] spared” in tricking it out, but it is offered at only $1.95mm (and $2,411/mo). Granted, this layout does not have as many windows as #17A, but the north windows on the 7th floor are looking across the street – not four blocks to the Empire State Building. (Open House in #7B on Sunday from 2 – 4)
helpful comp next door, facing south
Height matters. #17B sold in August 2005 for $2.35mm – nearly $1,100/ft for its 1,987 sq ft. (These south views might actually be preferred by many to the Empire State Building views in #17A.) It is likely to be at least two full years between the closing of #17B in August 2005 and the completed sale of #17A — $1,300/ft is within a reasonable range as an asking price for #17A, IMO.
Final curio about marketing The Cass Gilbert: the listing descriptions for both #7B and #17B make lemonade out of the police station next door, by describing the locations as “the safest block in the city”. Well, I guess …. Nice try , for sure.
Open House in #17A on Sunday from 12 – 3
I thought about the Cass Gilbert this morning – before seeing the listing for #17A — when reading a NYT review of Of Mice And Men. (really) The review begins:
This is the 70th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s novella “Of Mice and Men,” and the play he adapted from it, also in 1937, is being honored in a tiny theater on a West Side street where drunks and derelicts roam.
That “tiny theater” is Urban Stages, at 259 W 30th St – one block closer to the Lincoln Tunnel than the Cass Gilbert, and the block that has a fire station to the Cass Gilbert’s police station. Can’t get much authentically grittier for a $3mm loft buyer than “where drunks and derelicts roam”. Bet those drunks and derelicts are safe, though.
© Sandy Mattingly 2007