Out and About: SoHo lofts come in plus sizes

One of the many fine buildings in SoHo, this one on Broadway.

Not only are some of the lofts in SoHo extraordinarily big, but they are unashamedly expensive.

Moreover, according to the listing broker for one of them, she is suddenly showing the gorgeously finished 3,000-sf condo repeatedly to prospective buyers tied to Wall Street after many quiet weeks since the place went on the market in April.  (She told me May, making me wonder about the veracity of her report.)

In a notable landmark building, the bright three-bedroom condo, which has no wasted space, features 11-foot barrel-vaulted ceilings, expensive Italian cabinetry, countertops and appliances in the kitchen, Miele washer/dryer, capacious closets, stunningly styled baths, an eye-catching fireplace and its surround, and computer-controlled lighting, temperature and entertainment settings.

With a 53-foot-long living/dining room, this apartment also has a huge private storage room in the basement.

Price: $5.75 million with common charges and real estate taxes totaling $4,360 per month.

Another SoHo loft, which shows its age, is astonishingly massive: 9,423 square feet that stretch an entire block to Broadway.

Currently used as a private art gallery with some very expensive works, the space is as wide as 70 feet and no fewer than 35 feet.  It boasts 12-foot ceilings, worn floors, merely three and a half baths, windows only on the short ends, a kitchen with plenty of laminated countertops and. . .  a rather impressive listing history.

The co-op went on the market last year, in June, with an asking price of $15 million! In April, a new broker listed the place for $10.25 million.  When I saw it last month, the price was $8.95 million, and the broker promised another reduction after Labor Day.  The price, she allowed, was “extremely negotiable;” The first digit could be a 7 or even a 6, she allowed.  Monthly maintenance is $9,117.

No wonder: Despite its size, the costs of renovated the space would be forbidding.  A big reduction certainly is indicated.

You'll find plenty of cobblestones in SoHo as on Wooster Street above and, unsurprisingly, few strollers.

The third loft I looked at one day has a price history that is hard to believe.  According to the broker database, OLR, it went on the market in 2007 for $11 million and seems to have languished until May 2009.  Then, finally, the price was dropped to $7.995 million.  That October, it went down to $6.995 million with monthly maintenance of $5,630. With a new broker, the price was reduced to $6.495 million, demonstrating that the seller is taking a step toward the current reality.

This co-op defines expansive, and that’s not always a good thing–unless seeming acres of useless space make your day.

The front half of the loft–which contains a handsomely renovated living/dining room with a wall of windows enjoying unobstructed views and a top-end open kitchen that has a dramatic countertop of Azul Lago granite, could not be more appealing.  Although an intimidating 47 feet wide and sparely furnished, the area is unusually inviting.

Among other of the co-op’s features are the wide-white-oak floors, stunning three and a half baths that have radiant floor heating, a home theater and central air conditions.

But there is an unforgivably broad hallway (gallery?) running through the rear half of this co-op.  Undeniably, it opens up the loft, but it’s extravagant to the extreme.  Calling attention to the layout’s defects are the three windowless “sleeping/studios” on one side. The sprawling master suite, which does have windows with courtyard views, accentuates what I have described as a flaw.  (Part of onewindows extends into the hallway.)

Still, I have no quarrel with any other elements of the design and finishes nor of the attention to details such as a pot-filler behind the eight-burner Viking stove.

I’m guessing that most buyers will discount what I personally view as wasted space to clinch a deal under $5 million, which otherwise sounds like a bargain.

Among other properties listed by various brokers that I’ve seen on the Upper West Side recently:

  • An inexpensively renovated co-op that has one bedroom, one kitchen and one living room that is little more than a glorified hallway in the middle.  This 487-sf apartment is for individuals with no more than $64,560 annual income, couples not exceeding $73,680 and anyone willing to hike up three very long flights of a stairs.  In a building with a likely former life as a tenement in the high 80s off Amsterdam Avenue that is gussied up, clean, quiet and free of odors, the unit has its entrance directly into the kitchen.  But the price of $315,000 with maintenance of $275 month isn’t going to work.
  • In the low 60s almost across from Lincoln Center, a bright and airy two-bedroom, three-bath condo in superb condition.  With three light and more-or-less open exposures in three directions, this balconied 1,380-sf apartment has engineered flooring, modern galley kitchen, washer/dryer, air conditioning, excellent closet space and many other pluses in a pet-friendly 1987 building that offers full service.  Listed in June for $1.9 million, the unit now has an asking price of $1.8 million, which remains unrealistic, with monthly common charges and taxes totaling $2, 897.
  • A pleasant one-bedroom corner co-op in the mid-70s east of Amsterdam Avenue with renovated bath, Pullman kitchen, ample closet space, lovely views of a brownstone garden and excellent light.  This smallish unit went on the market in June for $425,000 and will sell when the price is lowered below $400,000 with maintenance of $1,141 per month.
  • In the low 80s on an eastern corner of Broadway, a compact one-bedroom condo in a full-service pre-war building converted from rentals in 2007 and loaded with amenities.  With Cabreuva mahogany flooring, Viking appliances in the open kitchen at one end of the living room, bright courtyard views, clever built-ins and a stylish bath, the apartment is optimistically priced at $725,000 with current monthly costs of a mere $599.

If you would like to search all the listings being marketed by various brokers, please click on the link in the right-hand column or, better yet, contact me.  To keep up with a range of news and information about The Big Apple and beyond, do check out my additional  two posts today and most other Fridays.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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