not buying the minimalism (yet) / 8 W 13 drops

#2F at 8 West 13 Street is a beauty that The Market has yet to appreciate enough to buy (or, that the seller has yet to appreciate that The Market is not as fond of this minimalist masterpiece as he is). They dropped the price a month ago to $1.45mm from $1.5mm and today down to $1.35mm. (The maintenance has gone up from $746/mo to $818/mo in the interim.)

loving the look
I hit it when it was new, essentially in a fan letter (July 9: min to the (small) max / new at 8 W 13), in which reader Jess contributed the name of the “renowned designer” who owns it and the dates of its Architectural Digest features.

major premium for building
As I noted in July, the last sale in the building then was #11F (with “tons more light, clearly”) for $1.1mm in January 2006. #4RW was then in contract (off an asking price of $1.095mm) for what is also said to be “1,100 sq ft”; it closed in August at $991,700.

So far, it is clear, The Market has not been willing to pay a 30+% premium for the low-floor-but-done #2F over the clearing price for #11F. The new price shrinks that premium to only $250k.

This is one of those lofts that earns the clichéd “unique”. With those finishes in a central Village location, I suspect that anyone who sees this place will love it; the question is how much will they love it?

other side of the coin
The entire 9th floor is for sale as a to-be-combined total gut job, as I noted on October 14 when it was so new there was new floor plan on the web (combo job at 8 W 13 needs answers). Now there is a floor plan for Unit "9FRW", so you can at least see where the plumbing risers are. They are asking $2.495mm for this one (maintenance was $1,505/mo but may have changed) for what should be about 2,200 sq ft.

#9FRW and #2F will attract different buyers because they are different sizes, of course, but a rational market should avoid paying over $1,100 a foot for the opportunity to spend another $200/ft (my new ballpark number for a decent gut renovation, as discussed in my December 10 post need renovation stories / a reader writes for help) to renovate #9FRW when the lovely #2F is available at only $1,268/ft.

Stay tuned.

© Sandy Mattingly 2007

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