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Anyone have any thoughts (pros/cons) on this condo building in Chelsea? It's the one with the Whole Foods at the base. It was converted to condos in 2000. There are lots of units for sale and rent, and prices seem high for both.
sorry for the double post! My mouse is super-sensitive!!
we really wanted to like it cause we love the area but the insides of the apts we saw seem kind of dated and overpriced
I love this building. I don't have the price history, but they couldn't have paid TOO much in 2000, although it was a very unique product at the time, the area was still considered a bit sketchy (and not in Rufus terms, just not prime, traditional Chelsea). The finishes are nice, but not overdone in that I'm cooler than you and I don't care if my kitchen doesn't have any upper cabinets because I'm only going to use the counter for my Italian Espresso maker way.
There's room for downward movement, quite a bit I'd say, here. I'm interested, but I'm waiting, probably for a while.
With the caveat that I'm biased because my firm has a penthouse listing there (PH-K) I'd say the Mercantile is expensive because it's the best building in Chelsea. I can't think of another condo in the area with such white-glove service, and the ability to get to your car without going outside is a luxury touch most buildings don't have.
That said, I'm not sure that a kitchen circa 2000 meets the standards that today's 2009 buyers are looking for. I would be interested to hear someone's thought on these kitchens, versus, say, those in the Stratus.
What else? Fionn Campbell has a one-bedroom listing (5S) that I don't see on Streeteasy. Ceiling heights vary in the Mercantile, so if you are interested in more than one unit, check that out. Roof views are great.
FP, I don't know the stratus, but I'm so tired of the 2008 kitchen I could toss. I like the Mercantile's much better. Nice, quality, functional, not over the top, not high gloss. I want to live in an apartment, not a museum.
you like the black countertop/mahogany wood look of the kitchens? it's so dark.
i want to say again though that i love this building and everything else about it except the insides of the few units we saw. they just seemed no different from the areas rentals. i hope that isn't too harsh but the bathrooms and kitchens were a real let down for me. ceiling height was great though.
A countertop isn't hard to replace, and I hate granite anyway so I wouldn't mind putting in Lavastone or some such. The cabinets I don't mind. I would much rather have a gorgeous, usable space with ceiling height in a beautiful building than a cookie cutter 1200 sf (generously measured) apartment in a dime-a-dozen glass box any day. I don't need to show off the tile and walk-in-shower in my bathroom. Having said that, the price of the apartments shouldn't necessarily be discounted psf against the glass box units, as the units/building has a great deal to offer in other terms, but one should obviously take that into consideration if one feels it necessary to renovate immediately. Structurally most of the units need nothing, unless you want to add a wall, which is easy.
You must have been looking at some pretty nice rentals.
The Mercantile can be great - I find it to be a bit too industrial for my taste. The living rooms I've seen kind of seem like football fields (a high class problem, I know). It's a bit too impersonal for my taste. I like the building across the street (chelsea atelier). It's a bit more intimate. I remember there was an amazing penthouse for sale in that building years ago with a conservatory and a great pvt. roof deck.
To the OP - original prices in 2000 were about $500k for a 1-bedroom if I remember correctly.
to aboutready. yes i did look at some incredible rentals. i second the opinion about the atelier. i really love that building.
I still have the floorplans from 2000 when the units went on sale. The prices psf (at least for 2 BRs) were higher than in tribeca at close to $700 psf. It was talked about a lot in the next couple of years as the one that the lucky ones got into because it continued to command higher $psf prices than other buildings in Chelsea and a lot of downtown.
As aboutready stated, back in 2000 25th st was not only not considered Chelsea but it was sketchy. Also, as I recall from touring the model apt, the developer did cheap out on the kitchen and other finishes; kitchenaid appliances, cheaper cabinets, and strip floors that were good for not more than two sandings/refinishings. However, the building structure is solid, with big rooms (yes very long living rooms) and high ceilings so the bones are good. I can't talk about the staff, services etc because I never bought there.
Of course today is a different story with the weakened market so who knows if the premium will still hold as prices in general come down?
I know this building very well. You can find most of the original floorplans here:
I do think it is one of the nicest buildings in Chelsea. The staff is quite friendly but professional at the same time and the building is run efficiently. The maintenance fees are relatively low but the service level is high since the charges are split among so many apartments.
The floorplans definitely vary - the apts. facing the interior courtyard are quiet but don't get a lot of light, though that changes a bit as you get to the higher floors. The apartments are quiet - the conversion from an old commercial building means the walls are thick so you never hear your neighbors.
Yep, the original appliances were not so great by 2009 standards but they are OK. Easy upgrade if you are buying. Caninets are not bad, I've seen other units that have refinished and put in new cabinet pulls and it looks OK. Countertop should be replaced - it's not that great quality. divvie is right - bones are good, lots to work with. Just note that ceiling heights can vary depending on what floor/apt. you are looking at - I've seen from 10' - 13'.
There's laundry on every floor, plus a large laundry room in the basement. Some apts come with your personal storage space as well - either on the same floor (rare) or in the basement (typical).
The roof deck is great. There's a small gym with good equipment downstairs plus a children's playroom that's like a mini Gymboree.
This place was always expensive. On the downside, you get to live in the same building as Anderson Cooper, and might even get to see Mom, Gloria Vanderbilt, pop in for a visit.
Anderson does not live in the building, he's further north. But definitely Silver Fox sightings in this area.
Thought you might like this post aboutready - I read it on curbed first.
You and I all talked about how this building basically made this neighbourhood (although I guess Whole Foods opening up in its retail space didn't hurt) and now Sandy talks about that also.
I guess the Chelsea Merc premium I talked about has disappeared.
divvie, i still love the building. i think i brought it up a few days ago in the downtown comps thread as a perfect example of what is happening to the market. it's a great comp because it converted before the "boom market." but as we've discussed, the boom market was well on its way in the late '90s.
it's still a great building, it just wasn't such a good buy the last few years.
When the building first went on sale, the couldn't give away the North facing 2BRs, Th the resales people asked (and some got) huge price jumps. I do thin that if the market tanks, this building will get hit hard because of the location. Also, a number of the layouts or from odd to horrendous.
I wasn't overly impressed with with the quality of construction, either; from the pre-fab flooring (with those f-inf grooves!) to only using greenboard in the bathroom even around a we area like the tubs ( I think they at least used wonderboard in the separate stall showers), but worst of all was waling the site and seeing water pouring down from various place a bnuch of times I was there wetting various insulation which my guess is was simply covered with sheetrock rather than replaced. I also eem to remember seeing definitive "waves" in both ceilings and floors.
Oh, and the two corner 2 brs lines (I and P) are about the best apartment layouts produced in the last 30 years in Chelsea.
As an early conversion I agree that the quality is not top notch. But, as you say, some of the spaces are simply splendid.
It's just about time for an update for the apartments anyway. Pricing should start relfecting that as well as the market generally.
it's funny. i just saw a 2 bedroom there this sunday and the closet doors were the exact same not so great doors i have in my rental. whoever did the insides of the merc must do all the rockrose buildings as well.
it is all about the ceiling heights and the big rooms but i still stand by my statement that everything else about the units (unless they have been undated) scream high end rental.
updated not undated. although i would love to see the process of undating happen to some of the apartments i have seen.
The one apartment here I'm familiar with had paper thin walls. The owner had to have his bedroom wall soundproofed, and if you were in the room in the back of the unit, when people walked by talking in the hallway it sounded like you left the door open. Sure had some high ceilings, though.
What is the strategy behind the raised prices on units 11E AND 5W since neither have sold while they have been languishing on the market. Is it because they think buyers ask for a certain percentage off list price and won't check the lower price when calculating that? Honestly just wondering.
To follow up on the last post re: 5W, it finally sold for $1.52. Obviously the seller was motivated. With such low maintenance and taxes in this building, the cost per sq.ft. is effectively even lower when you consider total monthlies. Anyone think this trend will continue or was there something particular about this unit? I assume timing had a lot to do with it. The reason I ask is because this is the exact type of unit we are looking at so I'm gathering my comp data.
Here's the history:
11/15/2005 Previous Sale recorded for $1,665,000.
12/02/2005 Previously Listed by Corcoran at $1,800,000.
07/20/2006 Corcoran Listing sold. Last priced at $1,750,000.
07/20/2006 Previous Sale recorded for $1,710,000.
12/07/2008 Previously Listed by Prudential Elliman at $1,949,000.
01/13/2009 Prudential Elliman Listing is no longer available.
02/07/2009 Listed by Corcoran at $1,850,000.
03/02/2009 Price decreased by 3% to $1,795,000.
03/19/2009 Price decreased by 5% to $1,699,000.
04/03/2009 Price decreased by 3% to $1,650,000.
04/25/2009 Price decreased by 4% to $1,590,000.
05/07/2009 Price decreased by 3% to $1,550,000.
05/21/2009 Price increased by 10% to $1,700,000.
05/31/2009 Price decreased by 3% to $1,650,000.
06/05/2009 Price decreased by 4% to $1,590,000.
07/01/2009 Listing entered contract.
09/16/2009 Listing sold.
09/16/2009 Sale recorded for $1,520,000.
I know 3 families renting right now in the bldg. Many people don't live in their apts. Maybe they were for investments
I live in the Chelsea Mercantile and i love everything about it. Location is great service is excellent building manager Jamil is the nicest guy in the world, common charges are low the building has a 5 million dollar reserve the hallways are going to be changed in January and i have celebrity neighbors. This is my 2nd apartment here. I sold my first making a $ 300,000 profit. Yes the walls facing the hallways are thin but the walls in between apartments are OK and i never hear anything.
you, think maybe your opinion of the bldg is skewed by your "$300K" profit? Little trader spk, you haven't closed out your trade yet.....
oh so you don't hear your guests, just the other guests walking in the hallways..... GRT building!
"With the caveat that I'm biased because my firm has a penthouse listing there (PH-K) I'd say the Mercantile is expensive because it's the best building in Chelsea. I can't think of another condo in the area with such white-glove service, and the ability to get to your car without going outside is a luxury touch most buildings don't have."
How about chelsea stratus? MUCH better views, better address imho (6th avenue vs. 7th puts you in spitting distance of the park, and further from projects) and closer to more subway lines and union square.
Garage, amenities, bla bla.
If you want smaller / loft, I think you have a lot of options, stuff like Lion's Head or all the boutique buildings between 6 and 7.
It's funny how different opinions of neighborhoods can be. I would personally choose 7th Ave. over 6th Ave. any day, particularly that close to the flower district.
Thanks for the suggestions, Chelsea stratus definitely is not our style, like the older feel of the Mercantile or smaller boutique. All of the buildings between 6th and 7th are good suggestions.
is that irony? 6th avenue is repulsive over there. there's a daily homeless makeshift flea market between 23rd and 24th right on 6th. 7th is so much nicer. And nowhere near the projects which are on 9th avenue and really not that big of a deal. the penn south buildings on 8th avenue are middle income housing that people wait 10 years to get into. i'd rather live there than the stratus. the paper whole foods bags are thicker than the walls in the stratus.
All I can say is living with a supermarket downstairs is kind of gross if you ask me. What an invite for vermin. Just saw the new listing in the NYTIMES one of the celebrity tenants putting his apt. on the market for a whopping 2,875,00 and he bought it for 1.35 in 2002. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/realestate/25deal3.html?ref=realestate Is he out of his mind? Maybe not...Who knows some people will pay just to sleep where a celeb. slept. Should be interesting to see what happens with that.
"It's funny how different opinions of neighborhoods can be. I would personally choose 7th Ave. over 6th Ave. any day, particularly that close to the flower district. "
well, things get sketchier as you go west (toward the co-ops and projects)... and stratus is a block off madison square park... also depends on preference... 6th is cleaner/newer, but thats because its all the new high rises (which some folks might find too antiseptic).
"All I can say is living with a supermarket downstairs is kind of gross if you ask me"
generally, I'd agree... but we're talking whole foods.
I'll give you the walls, though. Difference between a conversion and a new high rise.
keepwarmnow: the closest comp I could come up with on short notice was 16O - 3BD / 2BTH 1813SF originally bought for 1,171,000 2/2001 ; came on market 12/2008 for $2,450,000; reduced a couple of times to $1,995,000 5/2009 - Sold $1,850,000 08/04/2009
30yrs_RE_20_in_REO: Well for his sake I hope he makes his million plus but I would be hard pressed to write that check.
buyers making their million off of early sales at the merc don't get to me nearly as much as buyers making a million off of early sales at 260 PAS. by 2004 and later standards the merc was cheap for early buyers.
Why exactly are buyers at Chelsea Mercantile more deserving of profits than those at 240 PAS? Because YOU like the building more?
6th avenue is either gross or overly commercial. I think it's one of the least livable avenues in Manhattan. 7th at least has some character, especially in the 20s area.
Actually your cattiness, I like 260 better. The profit at the merc is coming off of a 2000 price in my example not a 2005 one
I heard a rumor that new AC units were installed on the roof, and that the top floor owners were going to get into a lawsuit because of the vibrations, anybody heard about this?
The amenities in this building are great. The rooftop is probably one of the greatest in Chelsea.