is this a $625k renovation of a 1,200 sq ft loft at 720 Greenwich Street?

Manhattan Loft Guy report, you decide
The footprint of the “A” line of The Tower in the West Village at 720 Greenwich Street is pretty funky, as Manhattan lofts go. It winds around an obtuse corner (2 exposures!) with enough of some sort of common space at the center that it looks almost like the letter “C”, with the kitchen at the top end, the bathrooms at the bottom tip, and the living room and 2 bedrooms in between. Definitely funky. And, therefore, challenging to modify or renovate.

In the laboratory of the Manhattan loft market, there are two specimens in 720 Greenwich of interest. One sold in July 2009 for $1.075mm. Said to be “1,200 sq ft”, the key marketing factors for the interior of the loft were (a) “a fabulous floorplan” and (b) “Exposed Brick in every room”. I kid you not! Suffice it to say that the typically cynical buyer of Manhattan lofts would assume that this interior space lacks other charms, so may need to be upgraded, if not uprooted.

The other specimen has the same footprint but was coy about size when it sold ten days ago. It was certainly not coy about the many charms of its interior, dropping babble such as “Stunning”, “contemporary gem”, “totally renovated in XXX Mint Condition”, “maple hardwood floors, 9’ custom maple doors, slate window sills”, “honed granite countertops with top-of-the-line appliances and custom maple cabinetry”, “baths [with] travertine marble walls and floors, with a soaking tub and luxurious shower”, “Stereo wired throughout”. That’s a lot of babble for a “1,200 sq ft” loft, but who am I to quibble?

That gem sold for $1.7mm on November 12.

patience, Prudence, patience
(I will pause here while you scroll up to see what the other one sold for, in case you forgot.)

(Still waiting.)

I am highly confident that the seller of #6A did not put over $500/ft into the renovation (the two floor plans are still similar), but that $1.7mm sale price ($1,417/ft) knocks the clearing price of #7A on July 29, 2009 ($1.075mm, $895/ft) nearly back to the stone age.

timing isn’t everything, only part
Of course, this is not a strictly fair comparison because #7A came to market in December 2008 (after nuclear winter of the Manhattan real estate followed the fall of the House of Lehman) and probably did well just to be one of the few that found an April 2009 contract.

Do you think that timing deficit was worth about 10%? If so, #7A should have sold for around $1.2mm. Under that scenario, the implied renovation premium for #6A is only $500,000 ($417/ft). I am also highly confident that the #6A sellers did not pay $416/ft for that renovation.

no more calls, please; we have a winner
But The Market reacted as if they had. The Manhattan Loft Guy fictional award for Most Valuable Renovation this year goes to #6A at 720 Greenwich Street, because I can’t remember a similar implied renovation premium.

Congratulations! You’ve already cashed the prize check.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010


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