memo to NY Times: that's a “loft”, not an “apartment”

and not in East Village
Check out the slide-show associated with the article in today’s NY Times, An East Village Apartment, Sleek and Childproof. Does that look like a "loft" or an "apartment" to you? Yeah, me too: that’s a loft. And it is not where I would call it the East Village, but there are probably different opinions on that. (It is just west of Broadway on 13th Street, with city addresses on both 13th Street and on Broadway; Central Village??.) Oh, and it’s a condo, not a coop. (Sheesh.)

"some" construction + demolition, at $227/ft

That is one lovely loft. This sentence from the Times today intrigued me:

The renovation, which included some construction and demolition, was completed last year for $425,000, plus $125,000 for the furniture.

That "some" is a tell: this was far from a gut renovation, yet it cost these folks $227/ft. And this is the second time that they have renovated this loft in 5 years.

from white box to split personality to unified, boy-proof loft

These folks bought this loft in 2005, when it was converted to a condo. The sponsor sold these things as white boxes: open space, open


, one bathroom. Sometime between their June 2005 purchase and the renovation in today’s Times, these folks hired and fired two architects, and created a space they


as schizo:

The back of their 1,800-square foot [our data base says "1,875 sq ft"] co-op [condo!] in the East Village was traditional — like a prewar apartment on the Upper West Side — with a long, narrow hallway that led to the three bedrooms and master bathroom. The front felt more like a loft, with one open living and dining space.

Thus, whatever else they did in Round One, they added those three bedrooms and the master bath (the original bathroom was in the middle of the loft, and probably remains). I wonder what that build-out (with two architects come and gone) cost….

bought at $764/ft, now worth under $1,250/ft?
It was not hard to figure out where these folks live. I will not give the address here, but will provide some interesting links from which one can find the building. They paid $1,431,965 in June 2005 (in white box condition, remember). Given their evident taste, they probably spent at least $100,000 for the master bathroom and 3 bedrooms, and any associated build-out, which would be roughly $60/ft. (Perhaps more.)

They’ve spent another $227/ft on this latest renovation, putting their net investment some where north of $1,050/ft. In strictly economic terms, their beautiful new loft has appreciated in value something under $200/ft. (They also paid $125,000 [$67/ft] for furniture, but they can take that with them when they leave, if they want.)

Their immediately upstairs neighbor paid $1,307/ft for the very un-white-box-like 3-bedroom + 2 bath "triple mint" space in July 2007 (note the ridiculously high ceilings), but evidently this is one building in which values are now lower than 2007 values. (Yes, that is another plug for the most popular Manhattan Loft Guy post of all time, the March 5, data dump: 27 Manhattan lofts sold in 2007 + recently.) Their immediately downstairs neighbor failed to sell in 2009 at a last asking price of $1,250/ft. (That space was also described as triple mint, with ‘only’ 14 foot ceilings.)

Beautiful loft, beautifully furnished. I wonder how much re-decorating they will do when the 5 and 7 year old boys stop leapfrogging onto the furniture and swinging foam bats at the mirrored wall. That will be Round Three for them.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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