pricing right to (yes!) sell quickly at 55 Liberty Street

how tall is that eye candy in the window?
When I was playing around yesterday in Tribeca, at the "intersection" of West Broadway at N. Moore and White Streets, Tribeca’s crowded townhouse corner: West Broadway at N. Moore + White, I clicked on some architect websites. Indeed, I gave a (subtle?) compliment to Joseph Pell Lombardi, in favorably contrasting his work at The Fairchild and Pearline Soap to the new facade planned for One N. Moore Street. Although that is yesterday’s news, Lombardi came up again when I noticed the August 18 sale of #5B at 55 Liberty Street, as Liberty Tower was a very early financial district residential loft conversion (1980) done by Lombardi. First, the numbers; then, the building.

How quick is "quick"? In the case of #5B, "quick" is coming to market on May 11, finding a contract by June 16, and closing on August 18. Q U I C K.

Consistent with this velocity, The Market generated a full price sale of this one-bedroom coop at $509k. The BHS listing is typically coy about the size of this coop, but our data-base shows #5B as being "650 sq ft". That translates to a modest $783/ft, though in this case Modesty Is Rewarded.

How modest is "modest"? In the case of #5B offered (and sold!) at $783/ft, that May 11 asking price followed the sale of a slightly larger one bedroom (#11D, "750 sq ft", in contract on March 25, closed on May 21) at $803/ft. M O D E S T. [UPDATE: I neglected to mention that i hit #11D when it closed, on May 28, 55 Liberty Street closes as if 2007, progress of a sort]

One problem with many lofts in the financial district canyons is that views are often very limited. After all, it is a "canyon" because many buildings are tall and the streets are narrow. So I was intrigued by the #5B listing description bragging on "four oversized loft windows with eye candy architectural views", even from this low floor. Sadly, none of those views are evident in the listing photos. It didn’t seem to hurt, but I don’t get that….

beautiful tower
Unless you have no soft spot in your heart for classic New York commercial architecture, you should at least appreciate (if not adore) Liberty Tower. It was for a short time the tallest building in the world (from 1909 until the 1913 Woolworth building), and had been headquarters for the Sinclair Oil and Refining Corporation (was that Dino the dinosaur??) . I was wondering whether the style was Gothic, until I read that answer in the #5B babble, in which even the language is Gothic [archaic?]:  "the 380 foot high building was designed in modified Gothic style, adorned with carved stone eagles perched thereon". Thereon???

As I mentioned up top, I visited the architect’s website yesterday and complimented his new-but-classic-Tribeca design for two new condos. I was reminded yesterday that he also did the Liberty Tower residential conversion in 1980, but I am disappointed to see that there is not much information about that project on his website. Darn.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010


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