542 LaGuardia Place sale from February is news to New York Times readers

putting the lame in the LSM
We’ve been here before: I still assume there are people who still spend some quality weekend time poring over the Sunday New York Times real estate feature Residential Sales Around The Region to see what’s new. Those who did it this weekend noticed a Manhattan loft sale on LaGuardia Place that I considered so noteworthy that I blogged about it twice.

In March.

$800/ft for outdoor space? yup
The sale was of the Manhattan loft #5B at 542 LaGuardia Place, which is noteworthy, first, for generating a bidding war and taking “one week” to find a contract (depending on how you round weeks), having been offered at $2.35mm and closing at $2.461mm. The Times has that. The Times also notes there is a roof terrace, which is the second noteworthy thing about this loft sale. In my initial post about the sale (March 15, 542 LaGuardia Place loft zooms through market, with a very expensive roof deck) I concluded that the buyer probably paid more than $800/ft for the roof deck, based (among other things) on a past sale of a no-terrace loft in the same building. (Read the whole post for the analysis, and alternative ways to value the “850 sq ft” roof deck of #5B.)

few views in Manhattan are ‘forever views’
The third noteworthy thing about this loft sale has to do with the views east, over the low bank building pretty far away but directly across LaGuardia Place from this loft. In my second post about this sale (March 25, about the views from that LaGuardia Place loft that zoomed through the market…) I hit the NYU expansion plans into that super-block across from 542 LaGuardia Place, and how those open east views are at serious risk. Perhaps 15 years down the line, but still, at risk.

I made a point there about the importance of due diligence for any potential loft sale that has significant premium value because of a view; one that bears repeating:

My point is that any discussion of views (such as mine about #5B at 542 LaGuardia Place) needs to take into account future development possibilities (recall that I figured that the east-facing roof deck added roughly $725,000 in value to #5B). In the case of NYU and the super-blocks, relevant plans have been under public consideration for some time now. While I overlooked those plans in talking about that loft, no seller or buyer should have. These plans are so massive, so public, and so controversial, not a lot of “diligence” should have been required to ‘discover’ them; for other lofts for which light and views are premium items, the necessary diligence may be more intense but no less important.

There you have it. Regular Manhattan Loft Guy readers know that the word “recent” is an intentional omission from the New York Times feature “Residential Sales Around The Region”, but even regular readers may be surprised to see 120 day old closings featured as “news” in the Old Grey Lady. If those regular readers noted the Times report of a Manhattan loft sale, I hope they remembered that we have been here before.

This is for the rest of you.

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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