“noted architect” will be disappointed that “incredible” 200 Mercer Street loft went for $939/ft

he’s not the only one
Start with “an amazing combination of genuine loft style and a top of the line renovation using only the best of modern materials” (“[d]esigned by [a] noted architect”). Add in 11 foot ceilings, classic brick, and a 24 foot wide Long-and-Narrow footprint with 3 windows on one long wall and plumbing in multiple places along the other long wall. Give it a Mercer Street address, and you might expect a sales price in the $1,200/ft range. In the case of the “2,400 sq ft” Manhattan loft #3F at 200 Mercer Street, you’d be wrong, as this history ending in a sale at $939/ft shows (omitting one 2-week hiatus; correcting dates as in the Corcoran system):

Sept 26, 2011 new to market $2.75mm
Oct 29   $2.695mm
Mar 22, 2012   $2.495mm
May 29 contract  
Aug 16 sold $2.253mm

That’s 8 months to contract at a price 18% off the original ask, 10% off the last ask. And $939/ft. At that dollar-per-foot value, loft #3F only barely exceeded the value of the slightly larger loft I hit on Monday (September 10, price discovery was long + hard for 144 West 27 Street loft with 2 kitchens, 3 dishwashers) that was really two lofts in need of integration. And it more handily beat the awkward layout (low mezzanine) loft that was marketed with an alternative floor plan that I hit in my June 20, more than 18 months to contract for 377 West 11 Street loft, though it did not beat a more recent sale in that building, also with an awkward layout and mezzanine, that was marketed without much bragging, let alone “designed by noted architect” bragging (that would be the “2,400 sq ft” Manhattan loft #3B at 377 West 11 Street, which sold on August 7 for $2,328,000, a transaction I have not gotten around to blogging about separately).

In other words, there is not a lot to brag about in the price at which loft #3F at 200 Mercer Street traded, noted architect bragging notwithstanding.

Loft #3F is better viewed in the large format photos available only on the Corcoran site. The photos (especially of the kitchen; love that kitchen) support the enthusiastic babble, with its noted architect and other proper proper names and materials. So $939/ft??

did purple people eat the value?
You smart folks already know that this is not the most charming block of Mercer Street; indeed, that it is on the wrong side of Houston Street to have charm. (If you click View On Google on the StreetEasy listing page you will see tennis courts on top of NYU’s Coles Sports Center directly across Mercer Street from this loft.

And you smart people already know that the NYU athletic center won’t survive in that form (or at that [low] height), if NYU gets approval for it plans to develop those super-blocks that run from Houston to Third Streets, directly across from 200 Mercer Street. Here is the New York Times on April 10 about negotiations between NYU and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, which notes:

A so-called zipper-shape dormitory and academic building, on top of the land where N.Y.U. now has its athletic center, would be set farther back so neighbors across Mercer Street would have more light.

In the rendering on Curbed April 11, that ”zipper building” is the set of green-topped roofs of various heights in the lower right corner of the NYU property (that is Houston Street at the bottom of the rendering, if you’d like help getting oriented). So the residents of 200 Mercer Street are facing the prospect of major construction directly across the street, even if that planned construction is part of a project the university calls “NYU2031”. On the one hand, those are plans (plans that are moving along the approval process), and plans that will not be fully realized (if at all) until 2031. On the other hand, that is a lot of construction for a long period of time, some of which is directly across the street.

however …
The data are such that you cannot prove that the recent controversy about NYU super block development has recently impacted values at 200 Mercer Street. It is possible that #3F would have sold for more without the NYU2031 plans across the street, but the presence of Coles and the long-existing environment have not been kind to values here. In fact, #3F at $939/ft is (for the time being) a building record for price per foot.

I don’t have sizes for all the lofts that have sold at 2oo Mercer Street, but the “2,350 sq ft” loft #2D seems to be the prior record-holder. That “recently renovated” “true jewel” loft almost certainly suffered in the nuclear winter of 2009, coming out 3 weeks before the Lehman bankruptcy at $3.2mm and holding on through 4 price drops before getting a November contract at $2.15mm that (finally!) closed on April 9, 2011.

I suppose you could say that the NYU2031 plans have been lurking over the Village for many years, but that just makes it harder to find data in support of an impact. That loft #2D also sold in 2006, at $2.1mm, probably a record for the building even then.

Net-net … loft #3F is a beautifully finished loft in a wonderfully convenient location that failed to get close to $1,000/ft. The building has historically been a drag on values, but this one surprises me. Purple people eaters, or no.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


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