New High-Water Mark Near Downtown

By Dave Fratello | December 10th, 2010
The investors who grabbed the lot at 121 9th back in mid-2006 seemed to have pretty bad timing.

By the time they had closed escrow, the local real estate market was beginning to wobble. They were holding a piece of land they'd bought for $3.35m to use for a spec build, but soon it would prove impossible to proceed with the project, as construction financing dried up.

Not much happened at 9th from 2007-2008. An old triplex onsite held on for a while, finally giving way in 2009 to the 'dozers.

Now something big has happened at 121 9th. On Thursday, a partially completed modern-style speckie (4br/5ba, 4200 sq. ft.) was sold off-market for $6.2m. (The price includes completion of the home; the buyer also plans to upgrade it further.)

That's the highest price paid for a non-Strand property west of Highland since 2008.

In fact, it's almost $1.5m more than was paid for the last modern-style speckie on the same, short block – 54 weeks ago. 128 9th sold for $4.9m in late November 2009.

What a difference a year makes.

Go back a bit further, and the previous high-water mark for new construction west of Highland was the $5.6m paid for 200 19th back in March 2008, just before the local real estate market took a dive. (See MBC's "High/Low Prices for 2008.")

That sale on 19th looked like it might hold the record for several years. Turns out, it was just 2 and a half years.

The sale at 9th is a bullish sign for a few listings around town, mainly west of Manhattan Ave., for instance: 121 4th (4br/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.) (pictured).

That sharp contemporary looked quite high when it launched at $6.5m last month, but now?

The new high point could also be good for 128 5th (5br/6ba, 4300 sq. ft.), another new modern that has logged 5 months on market at $5.799m but only recently reached a stage of near-completion adequate for public tours. (See MBC's "Hallo-weekend Opens" post for a brief review.)

We're told that one more new build at 128 6th has also sold off-market, pre-completion, though for somewhat less than 121 9th. We'll get a closed price on 6th by year-end.

Worth noting: The lot at 6th was virtually stolen for $2.625m during the very depressing (economically) month of December 2008. A long-term vision helped a lot there, just as it did at 121 9th.

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