251 West 19 Street gets contract for birthday, but are they laughing?

funny thing about starting at the right price
Unlike the 80 Chambers Street loft that I hit on Monday after it closed after its first birthday, but had a contract just before the birthday, the Manhattan loft #3A at 151 West 19 Street had to wait for its birthday before signing the contract that closed on March 22 at $1,589,371. You’d expect that there’d be nothing funny about a loft that takes 53 weeks to find a contract, but then you don’t share a Manhattan Loft Guy “sense of humor”: that funny number clearing price was just pennies off the original asking price (if I can use “pennies” as a metaphor for really, really close):

Feb 5, 2010 new to market $1.595mm
April 15   $1.775mm
Jan 7, 2011   $1.695mm
Feb 15 contract  
Mar 22 sold $1,589,371

One gets the sense that they might have sold at (near) $1,589,371 had they not taken that leap to $1.775mm on Tax Day a year ago (you know this year’s Tax Day is April 18, right?). Would have saved carrying charges, not to mention the invitations, balloons and cake for the first birthday party.

new reno
Loft #3A is said to be “1,653 sq ft” with a new “amazing very high end designer renovation”, apparently after the sponsor regained control of the unit (prior rental tenant left?). After a conversion to residential condominiums in 2002, perhaps the sponsor was playing with House Money, but it is interesting the decisions they made about pricing (specifically, the decision to raise the price last April). They paid attention to details in the renovation, as I especially like the windows: “[b]rand new high-end kitchen, oversized new large tilt and turn windows, central A/C and two new spa bathrooms”.

wrong lesson learned from neighbor’s sale?
When the sponsor brought #3A to market at $965/ft 14 months ago, #4D had been for sale for quite a while (note the contract date, compared to the sponsor’s decision to jump the #3A price):

April 15, 2009 new to market $1.999mm
Aug 21   $1.899mm
Oct 15   $1.85mm
Feb 16, 2010 hiatus  
Feb 27 change firms $1.825mm
April 28 contract  
June 18 sold $1.7mm

The condition of #4D was equal to the newly-dressed-for-the-ball #3A, if not its superior based on the babble. #4D is slightly larger, at “1,777 sq ft”. I have to wonder if the sponsor was distracted by the $957/ft that #4D got after chilling through the nuclear winter, and fighting through 3 price drops. The dates don’t line up right, but are close enough for me to wonder if the April 28, 2010 contract for #4D at $957/ft may have had something to do with the sponsor raising the price of #3A from $965/ft on April 15, 2010 to $1,074/ft.

Whatever the reason, that business decision did not work out for the sponsor, as the #3A clearing price 3 weeks ago was $961/ft, essentially where they had started 14 months ago.

new lobby (finally!)
If the last photo (rendering) is accurate, this building finally has a new lobby. Congratulations! This building is definitely a MLG fave, although it was a few years between posts; note the dialogue with a reader about that (formerly) ‘dated’ lobby in the September 12, 2007 post:

Seriously, do you think the sponsor is smiling about getting $961/ft for an "amazing" renovation, after the white box soldin January for $847/ft? Definitely not laughing (nor am I).

© Sandy Mattingly 2011


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