Starck loft at 15 Broad Street with no bedrooms sells at $833/ft, for that reason


a theme emerges

The “1,470 sq ft” Manhattan loft #1926 at 15 Broad Street (Downtown by Starck) that sold on February 21 at $1.225mm is the third sale of a loft with no legal “bedroom” that I have hit in the last week (March 29, Lion’s Head no bedroom mezzanine loft at 121 West 19 Street closes up $25,000 since 2008, then April 2, ancient floor plan drives 43 Murray Street loft down to $864/ft). In this case, there is enough market activity in the building to say that the hyper-local market in a high-amenity condo loft at the heavily defended corner between George Washington and the New York Stock Exchange does, in fact, penalize a … er … crappy floor plan (to use a technical term). With #1926 clearing at $833/ft with this 2-window floor plan and the other public 2013 sales clearing at $1,021/ft (for “1,777 sq ft” with 3 real bedrooms) and $896/ft (for “1,174 sq ft”, also with no legal bedrooms), it is nice to see a demonstrably rational market response to layouts.


The premium went to a corner 3-bedroom layout, while Long-and-Narrow spaces with but one exposure sold for less, even if they squeezed two sleeping rooms into the space. Loft #1926 would have enough space for 2 bedrooms, if it were conventionally laid out (“1,470 sq ft”!), but it ain’t. It may be a “sophisticated and elegant loft in an unbeatable lifestyle building”, but the lifestyle in this loft (as lived in by the recent sellers) included parking two teenagers in raised “bedroom” sleeping area, while the older generation presumably sleeps in the oddly shaped “office”, with its oddly en suite bath and odd second entrance. (Loft #1904 is the “1,174 sq ft” “studio” that went for $896/ft with a kid’s room in the raised internal “bedroom”, an internal “master bedroom” without windows and only one bathroom; I have no idea why that traded at a premium to #1926 on a $/ft basis, so there are some limits to rational analysis on this corner.)


Look at the #1926 kitchen to see just how awkward this “1,470 sq ft” layout is: the kitchen is the narrow channel that must be passed to get to the living room, where the only two windows are. That channel is narrow because that raised teenager room sits opposite. With the teenagers occupying the space that might otherwise be an (oddly raised) dining area, you’ve got to walk a long way to get to the living/dining room with a bottle of wine taken from the frig. Or to set the casserole that just came out of the oven on the country dining table in pic #3.


The more I look at this floor plan, the more I see to hate it understand why The Market discounted it. The “office” was obviously used as the master suite by the sellers, with the bed squeezed into that stub at the extreme end of the unit. Did you notice that there is no closet in this room? You could do something along that wall near the separate entrance, but that entrance may be needed as a fire exit, so there are limits to how to use that corner. And the over large glass sliders take up a lot of real estate on the opposite wall. And did you notice that the other bathroom has double sinks? Monsieur Philippe apparently wanted the grown-ups to sleep in the raised “bedroom” (despite not having walls that go to the ceiling), then sharing the double sink bath with guests. (Phillippe is a weird guy.)


How do grown-ups entertain in this space if there are teenagers lurking in the raised “bedroom”?


For people not turned off by the layout, loft #1926 represents value on a money-for-space basis. For the buyer who wants the amenities in “an unbeatable lifestyle building” and likes the location, and who can live with one set of sleepers having no windows and another set of sleepers having walls that don’t touch the ceiling, “1,470 sq ft” for $1.225mm makes sense.


each sale is up

I have to admit that there has been a ready market for loft #1926, as it has now been purchased 4 times. It is nice to see successively higher prices at a pattern that conforms to the major trend lines in the overall Manhattan residential real estate market, from Froth to Peak to Nuclear Winter to Thaw to Precovery:


  • Oct 6, 2006 $590,585
  • May 29, 2009 $935,500
  • Oct 15, 2010 $1.15mm
  • Feb 21, 2013 $1.225mm

There is a buyer for every loft; for the right buyer this space makes sense (4 times!). Don’t take my sniffing over the layout as being anything other than an analysis of market response to a layout with limited appeal. I’d happily show this sort of space to buyer clients for whom this might match their criteria. At the right (discounted) price, of course.

© Sandy Mattingly 2013


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