$1,685/ft for 166 Duane Street loft, as it flies off shelf

Fall market was fast
Where to begin about the Manhattan loft 166 Duane Street #10B? First thing I noticed was velocity: to market on October 7, in contract by October 30, closed on December 3. (That is the third loft I have noticed in the last two weeks to earn the flies off the shelf award, along with my December 16, 250 Mercer Street small loft flies off shelf, above ask, above $1,000/ft, and my December 12 117 West 17 Street loft flies off the shelf, but was the terrace free?.) But even more impressive than the 56 days from market-to-bank is this number: $1,685/ft.

Okay, one more number: when it sold in the initial offering (September 1998) the price was $1.425mm.

Manhattan Loft Guy agrees with The Market (no dummy, he!) … The Duane Park Lofts condo is one of the great turn of the century new developments in Tribeca. It sits on one of the prime blocks of Tribeca and benefits from some geometric advantages. Duane Street splits around the park called Duane Park, so the condo called Duane Park sits at an angle to the buildings across the (same) street, providing an unusually open north view over the park and up Hudson Street. The nice and wide Hudson Street angles widely and nicely, with six-story buildings across the street to the east, so there is tremendous light on all but the lowest floors of Duane Park, the condo.

With only 30 units, the full-time doorman is an expensive amenity (common charges of $2,771/mo for the “2,670 sq ft” #10B). As a new-ish condo (1998), taxes are also relatively high ($2,014/mo for #10B) but neither of those numbers is much of a drag on market values. The much larger #11B (“4,208 sq ft”) sold a month ago at a level that I normally don’t pay attention to $6.85mm, which comes to a similarly robust $1,627/ft.

Lehman effects at the upper level of the loft market
The Duane Park condo is a terrific laboratory for seeing what happened to the lux loft market in Manhattan, from Peak, into the post-Lehman nuclear winter, to the current market, as there are multiple data points in each period. Here is a selection:

closing date   price $/ft
April 30, 2008 #8A $4.7mm $2,097
July 28 #9A $4.5mm $2,008
Dec 23 #8A $4.25mm $1,896*
Aug 18, 2009 #3C $1.625mm $996
Aug 20 #6B $3.85mm $1,441
May 18, 2010 #2B $5.4mm $1,303
Sept 3, #7C $3.8mm $1,644
Nov 29 #11B $6.85mm $1,627
Dec 3 #10B $4.5mm $1,685

That’s a lot of sales activity in a 30 unit condo. Market looks to be down 20% since The Peak (comparing #10B to #8A), but has recovered from a trough of being off by one-third (comparing #6B to peak #8A, while ignoring #3C as too small to be a comp).

Fascinating laboratory!

* Yes, #8A sold twice in 2008, once at The Peak; then in a weakening market (contract was signed 12 days before Lehman filed for bankruptcy), one of those eight million stories for those folks

© Sandy Mattingly 2010


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2 comments on “$1,685/ft for 166 Duane Street loft, as it flies off shelf
  1. Mr Robato says:

    You can’t compare the upper-floor A units to the B units in this building. the A units are two small bedrooms and a modest LR/DR/K, where as the B units have 3 large bedrooms, suitable for a family, and a LR/DR/K area that is almost the size of an A unit. So yes, on a dollar-by-dollar basis you’re analysis is correct, but its apples to oranges.

    Secondly, 166 Duane really is the best run building in the neighborhood with the best amenities, no doubt about it.

  2. Sandy Mattingly says:

    Fruit points well taken, Mr. R.

    I was making a quick generalization about different market phases, and was able to do sonly because there was a relatively great amount of activity n this small condo in the years in question. Had it been less rough a generalization, I hope I’d have looked more closely at the intra-building valuation variance.

    With your apples and oranges in mind, a (still rough) generalization would be that the hyper-local market at the end of 2010 was down considerably more than 20% since “The Peak” (1Q08) and had recovered since The Trough by much less than 33%, taking into account the salient fact that “B” values should exceed “A” values in any market.

    And, yup, I love the building. Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving a mark.

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