developer’s remorse? Gansevoort loft sells +50% over 2009 sponsor sale at 325 West 13 Street

fill in the blank: timing is  …?

The title question is not quite a Philip K. Dick level inquiry, but I have to wonder if developers have feelings, after noting the resale of the “2,236 sq ft” duplex Manhattan loft #1 at 325 West 13 Street (the ground floor of The Gansevoort, a post-Peak new condominium loft development). Bad luck or construction delays, they did not start closing this 7-unit building until 9 weeks after Lehman fell, and the nuclear winter settled over the overall Manhattan residential real estate market. The ground floor duplex loft with “700 sq ft” garden was marketed by the sponsor at $2.595mm beginning in May 2008 before finally going into contract on May 12, 2009 and selling on July 20, 2009 for … (wait for it) … $1,527,375. Bad as that may be (bad as that was), developer tears would flow over the news that The Market loved the loft when it re-sold:

Mar 15 new to market $2.3mm
April 11 contract*  
May 17 sold $2.3mm

(*Contract date from the inter-firm data-base.)

In other words, the developer was not wrong about the market value of loft #1, but the timing could not have been worse.

it is much easier to move when you are flush
The deed record for loft #1 shows a notice address for the buyers a few blocks away in the West Village. Voyeur that I am, I wondered what kind of property they were moving from to the rather large duplex with garden. Good news in their life cycle, as they had been in a rather small 1-bedroom. Don’t tell anyone I told you, but they still have not sold that little unit. The fact that they have already closed on their new loft shows that the Manhattan real estate game is so much easier to play when you have the resources to buy before selling; it also explains the rather reasonable pricing (just pennies above their 2006 purchase price). After all, flush is nice, but turning a real estate asset that you no longer need into cash is also nice.

no honor among developers
The Gansevoort at 325 West 13 Street, a 7-unit newly constructed condominium in 2008, should not be confused with The Gansevoort at 321 West 13 Street, a 21-unit condominium conversion in a 7-story building built in 1907, although that is really really hard to do, given their proximity and nomenclature. I was certain that I had already posted about sales in 325 West 13 Street, but when I could not find it I realized that the post I had in mind (my September 7, 2011, comping is hard / the laboratory at 321 West 13 Street is rich) was about the other (original) Gansevoort, at 321 West 13 Street. That’s a great post, just not relevant to this one.

Seriously: how do developers get away with this?? Call me cold-hearted, but any sympathy I had for the developer of 325 West 13 Street is now gone.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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