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Will Pigs Fly? Allen Street Penthouse Listed for $5.5 Million

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The city’s real estate bloggers have nurtured a long-term obsession with 115 Allen Street, a swanky loft conversion that became one of the early centerpieces of Lower East Side gentrification.  Now there’s reason for more chatter: the 2200 square foot penthouse unit has just gone on the market for an eye-popping $5,495 million.

Four years ago, the New York Times called the aprtment one of the “brightest indoor spaces in Manhattan,” adding:

…the initial burst of sunlight may make one assume that the apartment is all windows and skylights. Then the eyes adjust, and a long, loftlike interior is revealed, with top-of-the-line everything and a collection of spacious terraces on the roof and off each floor.

In 2004, the penthouse (owned by building developer Seth Tapper) was put on the market for $2.85 million and then bumped up to $4.5 million. The new listing prompts Felix Salmon of Reuters to once again ponder the state of LES real estate:

I said in 2004 that “if the penthouse does go for $4.5 million, I’ll just hop on one of those flying pigs and leave a bottle of fine Scotch on the new owners’ terrace.” According to Case-Shiller, a New York apartment worth $4.5 million in September 2004 should be worth about $4.2 million today: prices are meant to have gone down since then, not up. And I thought the place was overpriced at $2.85 million. But two things are going on here: massive price inflation at the very top of the market, fueled by record Wall Street profits; and the continuing gentrification of the Lower East Side. And so this apartment is now valued at 1X the new benchmark — Nouriel Roubini’s own penthouse apartment a few blocks north. All of which means that I’m still waiting for the shoe to drop, and Manhattan prices to return to reality — but I know I might be waiting a long time. And in the meantime, if you have any leads on flying pigs, I’d be much obliged.


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