huge raw space at 17 West 17 Street off 25% from peak

not a surprise, but interesting
The last time Manhattan Loft Guy visited the mongrel building 17 West 17 Street was way back on May 22, 2007, is 4,600 sq ft enough? 2 chances at 17 W 17 St, it was evident that this 11-story building was going through a late-in-life change of major proportions. There were then two (recently, three) massive full-floor that had housed a variety of defunct businesses, one of which (the 5th floor) was marketed with the rhetorical question Where else can you find this kind of space in Manhattan?Rude as can be, I volleyed the rhetoric back that "this kind of space" could also be had on the 11th floor ("PH"), with better light and much better views (and a higher price).

another long intro
Which is a long way to go to note that the 10th floor just closed, on March 11 at $2.895mm. Here’s the spin on this one: "perhaps the last of the great full floor raw lofts in a distinguished pre-war building in a fabulous location". The ‘perhaps’ is critical, as it looks as though there is one floor that has not been sold since this industrial loft building started its transformation about five years ago (one floor had been a design studio, one might have been the last local tool-and-die shop, another showed signs of having housed many very heavy machines).

Last chance or not, the 10th floor provides an interesting comparison to the 11th floor.

then vs. now
The 11th floor looks like one of those listings that needed the market to catch up to it … on the way up. First offered in March 2006 it found a contract that stuck in April 2008, without ever changing the asking price, and getting the asking price of $3.95mm when it closed in July 2008. In other words, it was over-priced at $3.95mm for nearly two years, then found a buyer in the new (current) (frothy) market. ("A rising tide …", etc, etc.) In contrast, the 10th floor just got $2.895mm in the same condition, without having an easy time of it.

The 10th floor came to market in February 2009 at $3.475mm, about a 13% discount from the 11th floor 8 months earlier. When that hadn’t worked by July they dropped a big one, coming down to $3.095mm, where they held until attracting a Christmas contract at the $2.895mm price that just closed this month. The 11th floor had other advantages over the 10th (higher ceilings, one more exposure, skylights, and a view of the Empire State Building that the 10th floor is either missing or shy about), but the main advantage was the calendar, and what it did to The Market.

I wonder if the 10th floor buyer will also experience the advantage of lower renovation costs, compared to the July 2008 buyer on the 11th floor. I have seen nothing definitive about this, but anecdotes suggest that contractors have been more flexible about costs in the last year than during 2007-2008.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010



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