how does it measure up?
The folks who just bought the “763 sq ft” Manhattan (mini) loft #404 at 130 Barrow Street must be fans of steps. On a small foot print, you get a choice as you enter to take either of two sets of steps to go up, to the south (real) bedroom or to the north “sleeping room” (which has another step or two to get up to that bed), or to go down, where two steps get you from the kitchen to a seating platform and two more steps get you down from that platform to the living room. (The main listing photo on StreetEasy shows four of these changes in altitude.) Oh, and these buyers are big fans of steps, as they paid $1.285mm, a near building record dollar-per-foot for a non-penthouse loft.
That $1,684/ft compares well to the last mini-loft I hit in this former garage (the one that set the record at $1,776/ft) in my October 22, renowned designer created ‘masterpiece’ loft for himself at 130 Barrow Street, parts with it for money. That one (loft #309) was unrecognizable as a loft in this building; this one has the up-ing-and-down-ing that is more typical here, but finishes that takes it well outside the consistently lower range of values in this building. Indeed, at $1,684/ft is well above the other deluxe loft with deluxe value I comped loft #309 to in that October 22 post (“the ‘1,031 sq ft’ 2-bedroom loft #419, which sold  months ago at $1,454/ft after a complete renovation”).
fools rush in …
The marketing campaign for loft #404 was short, to the point, and (for the seller) very sweet: to market on September 1 at $1.295mm, in contract by September 25, and sold on November 16 at for a merely polite discount (that $1.285mm). Who would question a successful campaign like that? (Especially given the near-record result.) Yet, I find the (objectively successful) broker babble to be curiously muted. The guts are here:
Soaring … loft with extra character everywhere. … comfortably balanced living area with huge southern facing picture windows with peaceful skyline views. … beautiful separate master bedroom and an additional sleep area, with great storage. Hardwood floors, washer/dryer, Meile dishwasher, and flawless Poggen Pohl open kitchen w SubZero fridge. Marble bath features elegant fixtures, Japanese soaking tub w/ Jacuzzi jets, and a separate steam shower. Washer Dryer
(“[C]omfortably balanced” is a new one on me. Does that phrase even make sense?)
No boasting of a “meticulous” or “no detail spared” renovation, though the proper proper kitchen names are there, and the bath babble is rather detailed. (Despite the added utility of a tub and shower, this is an adult loft, as a Japanese soaking tub will be hard on the back of a parent bathing an infant; note that the crib in the bedroom picture is a hint for why the sellers have sold.) Nor is the loft babbled as “recently” renovated, since some of these same features were babbled about when the loft last sold, in April 2007 at $1.11mm. Indeed, no pictures survive in public from that listing, and StreetEasy has no babble or photos from the October 2002 sale at $795,000 but the descriptions and photos in our listing data-base show that this loft was last seriously upgraded before 2002.
Enough with the foolish quibbling! $1,684/ft is a very impressive value for a loft in this building that has not been renovated for at least 10 years. That it represents a 16% gain over its sale in April 2007 is also impressive. Together with the 2012 sales of #309 ($1,776/ft) and #419 ($1,454/ft), this sale shows there is a (surprising, to me) very robust market for tiny but well-dressed lofts in the extreme West Village.
Fans of Curbed (who isn’t?) may well wonder if that same energy exists for mini-lofts with maxi-stairs in other parts of Greenwich Village.
© Sandy Mattingly 2012