Sand Lots

By Dave Fratello | November 10th, 2007
A couple of new Sand Section listings are going to help define lot values near the beach.

The mortgage mess is not a factor here. We're talking about homes that will be worth $4m-$6m when they're built out. We're not even sure people take out mortgages when buying at these levels.

The interesting question is what the dirt will cost now.

Down low, west of Manhattan Ave., 128 5th is newly on offer. (Click address for details via Redfin.) It's a walkstreet location just far enough from downtown to be quiet, without being too much of a trudge to restaurants and shops. As you see in the photo, down in the 100s, you are steps to the Strand and sand. Nice views.

Though the listing speaks hopefully of someone adding a second story, this one seems unlikely to be remodeled or rebuilt. It's a $4 million teardown. (Well, $3.975m.)

Last time a comparable lot came up, it was 120 2nd, also a walkstreet down low, and the sellers aimed high, asking $3.3m for the lot. Ha, ha! laughed the market, you have guessed too low! By the time all the bidding was done, 120 2nd went for $3.810m (closed 4/30/07).

128 5th is pricing in the anticipated market frenzy. The listing says: "Absolutely will not last!" And for this one, we believe the listing hype. Worth noting: The current owners paid just $1.3m in April 2002. They're set to triple their money now, 5 years later.

Now move north just a bit past downtown, and go east, up past Highland, on 16th Street. You've got two choices as we write:
  • 337 16th, a 10-year old, modern Mediterranean (this one features the "animal magic" MBC noted previously), at $3.99m; or
  • 328 16th, which currently houses a duplex, but which is offered at lot value for $1.867m. (If that sounds strangely precise, please don't ask about the $122 tacked on at the end – different story).
The second photo here is the view from 328 16th, and if you don't find it dreamy, check your pulse. You may not like crossing Highland to walk to the beach, but the tradeoff is those panoramic views.

So, what'll it be: A lot for $2m? A home for $4m? Or a better lot for $4m, and after that, we can design your $6m-$7m home...

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