last sponsor sale at 59 John Street / folding tent + closing wallet

the price of a  bath?
The Manhattan loft in the new development (well, it was new in 2007) Five Nine John Lofts, #PH2 at 59 John Street, closed on June 24 at the recently public price of $1.35mm. Billed as the "last sponsor unit", this "1,612 sq ft" loft (with "1,592 sq ft" wrap terrace) had been offered for sale originally in 2005 (well before the Andres Escobar conversion was completed), asking $2.55mm, so this is quite the come-down. (The last of seven price changes in the 3.5 years it took to get to contract was to $1.575mm, so the developer took another 14% off that much-reduced price to wash his hands of the project.)

But at least the sponsor can close the books (lick his wounds? metaphors abound!). The sales office has long since been closed; even the building website has been taken down. Happy or not about a clearing price that was 53% of the original ask, the developer must take some solace in selling the "last sponsor unit". Even if the other penthouse owners love living there, they are probably more … conflicted … over the new sale.

nearby comp, not very recent
As can happen with new developments in which original closings close over a wide space of months (years, in this case), the next door neighbors in #PH1 may be feeling some pangs over having new neighbors at that price. The #PH1 folks paid $2.4mm for their "1,856 sq ft" (plus  a much smaller wrap terrace — "471 sq ft ") when they closed in November 2007. In fact, if they are not feeling at least pangs, they must have the serenity of the Dalia Lama.

$837/ft vs. $1,293/ft, with free terraces
According to the listing history on StreetEasy, the #PH1 sellers did not rush into contract (18 months from listing  to contract), but they did pay the full ask of $2.4mm. At that price, they paid $1,293/ft (without taking into account the exterior space), compared to $837/ft by the new neighbors (ditto). Having paid 50% more than the new neighbors, the #PH1 buyers got a wrap terrace that is one-third the size of the new neighbors’ terrace. Paging the Dalai Lama ….

© Sandy Mattingly 2009

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