the baths get a little crowded, as another South Star loft at 80 John Street clears below sponsor sale

possibly related to yesterday’s news
When I tweeted yesterday (@ManhattnLoftGuy, of course) about The Real Deal’s article about a relatively new condo suing its developer, I knew I had recently looked at past sales data in that building and noticed an unfortunate trend. But (so many lofts … so little time) I could not remember yesterday if I had already blogged about that trend in that condo. Turns out that the November 30 sale of the “1,000 sq ft” Manhattan loft #7G at 80 John Street (South Star) was still close to the top of my Blog Me pile of deed records, due to having been purchased by that recent $836,000 seller way back on August 30, 2007 for $928,389 (that funny-number deed price includes the New York City and State transfer taxes that the sponsor would otherwise have paid, of course).

A 10% loss since 2007 will get my attention. Looking back at 10 resales in 2012 on the StreetEasy building page (2 sales were of sponsor units) and finding only two 2012 deed prices above the 2007 deed prices will pique my interest. Reading yesterday’s TRD, John Street condo files $3M suit against developer, alleging construction defects, makes me wonder if due diligence done by buyer attorneys is doing to market prices in this building what an informed buyer pool is supposed to be doing.

Of course I have no idea of the facts alleged by the condo board, have never looked at any diligence materials for this building, and seem never to have even blogged about it before. But I have blogged before about the difficult issues facing condo or coop boards who know that if they air dirty laundry about the building condition or finances it will make it harder for owners to sell during the public controversy. I explored those issues in my March 22, 2011, when a condo board sues a developer, must resales die?, my June 3, 2010, suing, shaming + publicizing your problems / a fraught cost-benefit analysis, and my June 1, 2010, the politics, wisdom or inanity of airing dirty linen about your coop or condo.

Oh. And I also work for one of the defendants in this lawsuit, which declined to comment to TRD, which reported this:

The board of a Financial District condominium has filed a $3 million suit against developer WSA Equities — the parent company of the Gansevoort Hotel Group — over alleged construction defects. ….

The defects suit, filed Dec. 21 in New York State Supreme Court, alleges WSA and Corcoran Group committed breach of contract, breach of warranty and fraud in connection with the construction, sale and marketing of the South Star condominium at 80 John Street. The board of the 90-unit condominium is contending that the Stephen B. Jacobs Group, a design firm, and Ettinger Engineering Associates committed fraud and negligent misrepresentation in connection with architectural, engineering or consulting services at the property.

Sources familiar with the property said the condo is experiencing water infiltration, among other issues.

Knowing nothing, it is easy for me not to comment on the lawsuit. Knowing something about how this dynamic might impact sales at the South Star, I won’t say anything more than suggest you read those 3 Manhattan Loft Guy posts from 2010-11, and play around on the StreetEasy building page.

© Sandy Mattingly 2013

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