Friday, August 5, 2011

What does it cost to live in Noho and what do you get for the money?

The second in a series of profiles of Noho buildings.

The suddenly hot block of Bond Street between Lafayette and the Bowery,   where the average asking price per square foot for a condo is well over $2,000, is interesting for its architecture alone.

Physically the block is a mix of cutting edge new construction (some of it could have been cut altogether for my money) and the 19th century buildings that until recently were typical of the area.

An anonymous commenter in Curbed ranked the buildings as follows: ”1) 40 Bond 2) 41 Bond 3) 25 Bond 4) 48 Bond 5) That horrible plastic looking thing on the corner of Bowery with the bank at the bottom." 

That last would be 57 Bond.

If buildings had brains, it would be interesting to know what 54 Bond with its beautiful late 19th century cast-iron façade (you can see a corner of it on the right in the picture above) thinks when it looks directly across the street at 57 Bond.  And vice versa.

But 57 Bond, despite its somewhat controversial exterior, has a lot to offer. 

For one thing, at about $1500 per square foot, its prices are considerably less stratospheric than those of some of the other condo buildings on the block. 

The most recent sale, which closed in late July, was for a 2125 square foot, three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath apartment with 11’ ceilings and huge windows, some of which have a beautiful view of 54 Bond, across the street.

The selling price is not yet available, but the last ask was $3,200,000, or a trifling (compared with 40 and 41 Bond) $1,506 per square foot.   There’s one active listing asking $3,750,000 for 2110 SF plus another thousand SF of terrace.

The five story building, designed by the firm of Melzer/Mandi and developed by Alchemy Properties, has just two apartments per floor, offering more privacy than you’ll find in a lot of new construction. 

Each apartment has its own balcony and gets 103 s.f. of private storage in the basement.

There’s no doorman, which keeps the monthlies down to a comfortable $1.60 per square foot, despite the expiration of the tax abatement.

54 Bond Street

Personally, I would put 54 Bond close to the top of the condo list for looks, but it's not new construction like the others that Anonymous ranked, which is probably why Anonymous didn't rank it.

A brief digression:  About a thousand years ago, I was invited by a friend who was part of Andy Warhol’s Factory posse to go to a play at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre, way down in the depths of the fearsome streets of the East Village, and actually on the Bowery, known as the home of drunks and derelicts.

The East Village was dangerous.  I was fairly new to New York but had already been held up once.  Terrified, and wearing a friend's police whistle around my neck, I made the taxi wait until I was safely inside the theatre.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when, wandering around this chic, trendy and very expensive neighborhood, home to numerous celebrities, I made my way into a clothing store on the Bowery side of 54 Bond Street that offered cashmere hoodies and distressed denim. 

I didn’t notice the sign that still says Bouwerie Lane Theatre, hanging outside, till after I left.

As I've always said, if you want to know what's going to be the next really hot location, just think of a place where you wouldn't be caught dead.

54 Bond, designed by Henry Engelbert in the Italianate style, was constructed in 1874 and was originally the home of the Bond Street Savings Bank.

In 1963 it became the home of the Bouwerie Lane Theatre, and in 1967 it was given landmark status.

The bottom two floors remain commercial, but the top three floors and the roof have been converted to condominiums.

Originally offered as separate units, the top two floors and the roof (a total of 4863 interior SF) changed hands in February of this year for around $13,500,000, or about $2800 PSF, and the third floor, with just 2274 SF, sold for $4,365,000, or a little under $2000 PSF in November of 2010.

I toured the units when they were first offered, and they were indeed stunning.  More than 100 feet of huge south-facing windows stretching nearly to the 13' ceiling allow almost too much sun.

The floors are herringbone oak, and of course all appliances are top of the line.  The penthouse has a second kitchen and dining room for entertaining on the two roof terraces.

And there's that fabulous facade, which residents have the pleasure of looking at every time they go home.

More to come.

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