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Tribeca Loft Sells for Under $500/Square Foot, We Wonder Why

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A full-floor Tribeca loft selling for under a million is unlikely, but the $800,000 recorded sale price of this fifth-floor unit at 145 Chambers Street is giving us whiplash. Broker-blogger Manhattan Loft Guy to the rescue! The $471-per-square-foot sale is one of only three loft apartments in Tribeca that have gone for under $500/sq. ft. since the blog started keeping track in 2008 (full list here). Surface observations first: the co-op loft is an unrenovated fifth-floor walkup with a weighty monthly maintenance of $4,354.

Within that maintenance fee lies the key: at 1,700 square feet, that monthly fee is $2.56 per foot; now compare that with the newer construction at 148 Chambers, where the fee for a similar unit averages $0.90/ft. Why so high? The owners turned the four rental apartments at 145 Chambers into co-ops in 2010 and are now carrying a mortgage that will be paid off in 2015. Essentially, the buyer is adding proportionate share of the mortgage to that $800K until maturity: 33 months for a total of $129,531. Which is still less than the initial ask of $1.2 million. Did someone just win the ultimate game of Real Estate Roulette?
· Least expensive Tribeca loft ($471/ft!!) is 5 flights up at 145 Chambers Street [Manhattan Loft Guy]
· Listing: 145 Chambers Street #5THFLR [StreetEasy]