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Pioneering Soho Penthouse Can't Meet Lofty Asking Price

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Look up "Soho loft" in the dictionary and you won't find a picture of anything, because it's not in the dictionary. But if it was, then this 4,200-square-foot behemoth at 80 Wooster Street would be a good reference guide candidate. Full-floor, wide-open space? Check. Direct elevator access? Yup. Original cast-iron columns and exposed brick? Duh! And check out this little bonus: 3,800 square feet of private rooftop space. The asking price on this slice of neighborhood pride is $5.95 million, per the new Sotheby's listing, and we'd call it a hot-ticket item, but we'd be wrong. This one's a PriceChopper veteran!

Before it was 80 Wooster Street #7, it was 80 Wooster Street #PH, which Halstead listed last March for $7.85 million. It was then chopped to $6.5 million and $6.2 million, before being taken off the market in September. A bumpy road, and no way to treat a legend! When 80 Wooster Street was converted from a warehouse building in 1967, it was a pioneering artists' co-op, helping to lay the groundwork for the neighborhood's emergence as a vibrant cultural center (and eventual tourist trap/shopping mall). Entire floors were sold for $8,000 a piece, and as recently as this 1992 New York Times story, they were still occupied by "no movie stars, no big-time art dealers, just regular artists."

Well, times change, and according to a rather limited paper trail, it looks like this "penthouse" (we're not sure those Soho pioneers would have called it that) is currently owned by a hedge fund type. Hey, if he managed to get his artist-in-residence certification, then what's the problem? While we ponder, here's the floorplan:

· Listing: 80 Wooster Street #7 [Sotheby's]
· Streetscapes: 80 Wooster Street; The Irascible 'Father' of SoHo [NYT Archive]