market for 150 Nassau Street lofts is en fuego, as another record falls

a reader writes with the back story
I am a lucky Manhattan Loft Guy, lucky to have readers who email not only with suggestions about future posts but who also include a behind the scenes back story. The late-breaking public news is the August 1 deed transferring the “1,798 sq ft” Manhattan loft #14C at 150 Nassau Street for $1.842mm that was filed this week; the inside story comes from a reader who had an accepted offer on the loft but got trumped by a higher offer. The angle familiar to other readers is that this sale trumps the former building dollar-per-foot record holder in this now definite Manhattan Loft Guy fave building, which I hit in my February 20, 150 Nassau Street loft sells for building record.

Let’s start with the loft, then the building, then the unlucky reader’s story.

mints + views + more, oh my
This is a heckuva loft, Brownie:

triple mint …. magnificent city views from its oversized windows, high 9’6 ceilings, an ideal layout with privacy for each bedroom and an open gourmet Chef and entertainer’s kitchen! The kitchen features top-of-the-line Viking/Subzero/Miele appliances, Calcutta Marble counters, and Boffi cabinets. The living/dining room captures the double exposures of this corner unit and is complete with a working gas fireplace and finished industrial beams

Sadly, and for reasons unknown, none of the photos survive on either Streeteasy or Sothebys. You’re going to have to take the agent’s word for the condition, and mine, as I can see interior photos in the inter-firm data-base. (There are some very bad photos in a 2008 listing, which mistakenly describes #14C as only 2 bedroom, 2 baths; weird.) The layout is much like that of loft #13C, as is the condition and view. As I said in that February 20 post: “[t]he nearly square footprint easily accommodates 3 bedrooms, with widely separate plumbing stacks and 3 widely separate bathrooms”.

Sellers are folks who also did not heed the Universal Stager Wisdom that bold idiosyncratic colors are unhelpful. As you see in the bad 2008 photos, there is at last one quite red wall in the living room, and the columns (I-beams; the “finished industrial beams” in the babble) that frame the kitchen match that red. You can’t see the other rooms, but there is a very blue wall in one bedroom.

Ladies and Gents, a new record-holder
Vibrant (jarring?) colors aside, loft #14C looks and sounds very much like #13C. The point of my February 20 post was that The Market loved that loft:

Both velocity and result (in the coveted green on the Master List of Manhattan Lofts Sold Since November 2008), The Market loved this loft:

Oct 24, 2011

new to market


Nov 17


Jan 31, 2012




That clearing price rounds to $963/ft, but is more precisely $962.71/ft. The prior record also rounds to $963/ft, July 25, 2007 when the “1,792 sq ft” #15A sold for $1.725mm, or $962.61/ft. In other words, there is a dime’s worth of difference between #15A leading in to The Peak and #13C a few weeks ago.

But The Market loved #14C even more: to market on May 8 at $1.875mm, in contract by June 7 at the $1.842mm that closed on August 1. That’s $1,024/ft, a new high for the building on a dollar-per-foot basis.

shopping an offer
As I said, my correspondent gave me the inside scoop on this sale from his unfortunate perspective. You can’t tell from the round number (discounted) price, but there was a bidding war over this loft. My correspondent saw the loft before the first open house and immediately made an offer. Within one week they negotiated a deal to $1.8mm, equivalent to a cash offer (no mortgage contingency). A week later, the diligence was done and a signed contract and deposit sent to sellers’ attorney. Then … crickets.

You probably know that a deal is not a deal until the contract is effective, which is typically stated as when the fully signed contract is delivered back to buyer’s attorney. Until that paperwork reaches the office, either party can back out without penalty.

Any competent agent will insist on continuing to market the listing until the contract is signed by the buyer (though some sellers prefer to avoid showings once a deal is done), and most agents will advise sellers to continue up until the very last moment. There is nothing unethical about that.

In this case, the buyer was told after he delivered the contract and check that sellers were out of town a few days. (Presumably that was true; I have no idea.) Within a couple of days, there was a higher offer at $1.842mm.

The buyer was conflicted: on the one hand, the new bid was only 2.3% more than he was already ready to spend; on the other, the buyer could not be certain that there was such an offer (or that it was solid) and the buyer felt a little abused in the process. Again: there is nothing unethical about all this, assuming that the agent was always truthful about what she said, and it always the listing agent’s job to get the seller the most money from the most highly qualified buyer.

We will never know what might have happened if the first bidder had matched at $1.842mm, as sellers would then have had the option to push either bidder for more money. The first bidder did not want to play that game, and the later bidder eventually signed that contract, and has now closed.

Good deal for the sellers, getting $112,000 more than the loft below got 7 months earlier. Nice job by the listing agent, getting her clients more money. Tough call by the bruised first bidder, to hold at $1.8mm and run the very real risk that the loft would be sold to someone else.

I wonder if the red and blue walls and columns will survive. I doubt it.

yes, a Manhattan Loft Guy fave
Add this post to my 150 Nassau Street series:

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

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