psst! wanna see a million dollar renovation? 55 East 11 Street just closed


(more or less)
The Manhattan loft 55 East 11 Street #3 just closed (a week ago!) and will eventually be added to my cumulative list of lofts with paired resales (March 5, data dump: 14 Manhattan lofts sold in 2007 + recently). If I were to update that list of resales today from 14 to 15, this one would be at the top of the list, as the new price is 44% higher than the 2007 sale.

Given that this loft sold in 2007 as "an excellent opportunity to create [your] own space" and this year as "painstakingly renovated and transformed into a one-of-a-kind piece of art" it is a difficult puzzle to determine how much of that difference was due to the renovation and how much to general market change. In round numbers, it is possible that the 2007 buyers added a million dollars in value by renovating so painstakingly.

paging Burgess Meredith
I did not know there was a loft building in Manhattan called The Penguin House, but that is the name for 55 East 11 Street. (Where did that come from?, I wonder.) The 3rd floor was said to be "2,325 sq ft" when it sold on January 31, 2007, though with the 2009 listing Sothebys is typically close-mouthed about the size of a cooperative loft. As mentioned, it was sold then as a candidate for renovation and now, fully transformed, into that a "one-of-a-kind piece of art", and "real rustic splendor". Features include:  a "windowed gourmet chef’s kitchen [with] concrete counters, custom cabinetry and counter-top dining for 5"; a "double-size master suite … [with] stunning spa bath"; "custom steel and glass doors"; and central air. The highly experienced and very credible selling agent can’t contain her enthusiasm, concluding: "It doesn‘t get better than this. A truly special find."

March comes in like a lion (watch out for changing animals)
The loft closed on March 1 (a speedy deed filing for a Manhattan sale!) at $2.8mm. Using "2,325 sq ft", that’s $1,204/ft, compared to $839/ft when it sold January 31, 2007 for $1.95mm.

It is fascinating to wonder how much of that difference of $365/ft is due to the renovation, and how much is from an overall market change from One Year Before Peak to Two Years After Peak. Though one should not assume that every dollar of renovation cost generates a dollar of increased value, I would love to know what it cost to transform this space from " opportunity" to "rustic splendor" slash "one-of-a-kind piece of art" slash "truly special".

Whatever they spent, it is conceivable that they added nearly a million dollars in value to this loft in doing that renovation. Do yourself a favor and use that little magnifying glass thingy on the StreetEasy photos to get a good view of the pix.


© Sandy Mattingly 2010


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