Observer observes 262 Mott Street loft sale without overlap

quote of the (snowy) day
The New York Observer posted a piece on-line last night about the  recent sale of the Manhattan loft #203 at 262 Mott Street, a pre-Civil War loft with an Olde New York view over Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral that had been cobbled together over the course of 15 years. There’s a terrific quote from the new owner in response to an inquiry from the Observer:

Isn’t this the area where the interests of the journalist and the interests of the private citizen will probably never overlap?

I guess there’s no overlap with bloggers, either.

an unusual loft
I saw this loft when it was first offered for sale, early in 2010. While it is obviously a real loft (having been re-purposed for residential uses in 1993 out of a pre-Civil War armory), with a classic loft Long-and-Narrow footprint, ceilings claimed to be 11 feet, and many classic elements (columns, brick, and especially the exposed wood beams), surprisingly, it does not ‘feel’ to me like a classic loft. It must be the fact that the beamed ceilings are so ‘heavy’ as to shrink the space, at least for me emotionally. Perhaps it is all the ‘heavy’ wood, and brick, that make it feel more dark. Maybe that is just me, but I don’t get that feel of volume that the dimensions would otherwise generate.

While I would not slay the language with the babble that this loft presents “a very unique experience”, I will say that it has a very different feel than any other loft I can now recall (presumably, other ‘finished’ loft sin the building are similar, but I’ve not seen any). I would say that this would appeal to a narrower buyer market than any ‘classic’ loft, and I believed after seeing it that it would have a very hard time selling. Especially as some of the design elements are funky in a charming-but-not-to-general-taste sense.

It was asking $4.25mm when I saw it, and it lingered long enough for that listing to expire; after two price drops into September, and a third when they changed firms in October, the closing price of $3.525mm was not only close to the last asking price of $3.795mm (a 7% discount), but not so radically far from the original price (a 17% discount). Count me as surprised.

are there feet hidden in the old walls?
Both listings described this loft as “3,200 sq ft”, which it might be. This space was originally 4 condo units, and — as reflected in Property Shark — still has four tax lots. These four lots (again, per The Shark) sum officially to “3,052 sq ft”, but there could easily be another 150 sq ft or so in the (now removed) walls that (used to) separate the four condo units (depending on exactly how the sponsor measured interior square feet). Just sayin’.

giving up the loft lifestyle
Trust me, short of moving to a farm, there are not many lifestyle changes as dramatic as moving from a large loft to a townhouse. These Mott Street December 2010 sellers were February 2009 buyers of a (really, really, handsome) 6,000+ sq ft townhouse in Brooklyn. The Observer quotes the sellers as saying they moved out of the loft last month, presumably after they finished the (apparently gut) renovation of their formerly 4-unit Brooklyn townhouse into a single-family residence over the last 22 months. Since they bought the house well before they sold the loft, these well-known (to Observer readers, perhaps) figures did not need the $3.525mm from the loft to buy or gut the house. No doubt, the loft proceeds help, though….

© Sandy Mattingly 2011

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