414 W 51 in contract, but you say tom-ah-toe

I say toe-may-to
Greg Leveridge of JC DeNiro certainly knows his lofts, since he has been agent for many loft sales, including
one at 543 Broadway I blogged about a couple of times. So maybe that proves that one person’s “loft” is a Manhattan Loft Guy’s “not-loft” — while reasonable people may differ about what a “loft” is.

if “brownstone”, not a “loft”
Leveridge just had a “loft” listing go into contract at 414 West 51 Street #3, which caught my eye as a non-traditional loft neighborhood.

Here’s the oxymoron: “this fantastic full-floor Brownstone condo loft is a prefect blend of ….” One of my hallmarks for a true “loft” is a prior use of the building, re-purposed for residential use. A “brownstone” is (by definition) a residence – a row house using (or faking) a “brown stone” façade.

This “1,100 sq ft” floor-through is relatively large for a brownstone apartment (not for a loft) and has two ‘lofty’ elements: an open kitchen (hardly unique to lofts, these days) and a (relatively) open floor plan, with the 2 bedrooms as the only rooms. Based on that living room picture that includes the apartment door, the ceilings don’t look very high, the “high ceilings” description notwithstanding.

who cares?
Maybe this is an issue only for loft snobs like me. But it screws up my attempts to stay current on “loft” sales data when a listing that is (arguably) (to me, certainly) not a loft is carried in listings data as a loft. (See one form of my kvetching from November 26 New Listings + Sales of Manhattan lofts in last 7 days.)

I just don’t think (in this case) that anyone interested in buying a “loft” will be interested in a brownstone. I took a shot at defining “lofts” in a very early post (August 30, 2006: the Tao of Lofts / essential features), in which I snarked:

There must be many opinions on what makes a loft a “loft”, or where the line is between merely “loft-like” and a “true” loft. I know this because I see many listings for “lofts” that – to me – are not lofts at all, but “apartments”.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, of course. And everyone is entitled to mine, as well.
So there, you have it. That’s my story, and I am sticking to it. What’s yours?

© Sandy Mattingly 2007

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