TrueGotham TV Explores Square Feet: Episode Two

In last week’s pilot episode of TrueGotham TV we met our expert panel,  Jonathan Miller from RadarLogic and Miller Samuel Appraisers, Yungie Hahn from H2 Architects, and Don Meade from Quality Floor Plans, and saw exactly how they go about measuring property.  Surprisingly, each of our experts used similar methods of measurement and measured only the interior perimeter of the property.  Why is that surprising?  Because if they all measure the same interior space, why can’t the consumer ever get an accurate quote for square footage?  Check out this week’s episode to see what each of our experts calculated to be the square footage of this property and learn more about their methodology.

Tune in next Thursday for more of our panel discussion including why our experts think this is such a frustrating topic for consumers.

6 Responses to TrueGotham TV Explores Square Feet: Episode Two

  1. avatar Dave says:

    It would have been even more interesting if you included a couple brokers in the experiment. Instead of 1506, they would have come back with at least 1675. At least. Hopefully episode 3 will expose this. Dirty liars.

  2. I hear you Dave but keep in mind we’re not all “dirty liars.” Now that we see that the way in which all 3 of these professionals measures is almost exactly uniform, the question definitely arises as to why numbers are so skewed? Tune in next Thursday. We’re getting there.

  3. avatar Amanda says:

    Having been through the “offering plan sq ft” vs the “what the architect sees” sq ft measurements more times than I care to remember, I was surprised that the numbers were only off by about 2% – since we’ve seen variations of 10% or more. An issue we’ve been interested in for a while. Looking forward to next week!

  4. Amanda,
    One of the problems we see is that some offering plans are more accurate than others. In the upcoming episodes, we will explain further the methods of measurement and why there are these discrepancies. Seems each developer’s architect can measure however they like but there is more to the ‘overstating” of square footage than simply the methods of measurement. Stay tuned…

  5. avatar Justin Patwin says:

    I am an architect from L.A. who has extensive experience in what are A.R.O. (Adaptive Reuse Ordinance) projects in our city. Those are existing historic buildings that have been retrofitted to accommodate residential “lofts”. We have this conversation with our clients constantly due to lawsuits so I am interested to see how NYC handles this issue, because a buyer will always measure differently from a developer. Developers (and their architects) use a method that begins with how the City Planning Dept. and Building and Safety assess how large a potential project can be (known as F.A.R.- Floor Area Ratio). Developers then turn around and charge buyers for whatever they build to the extent the law allows(with mark-up of course). Typically in L.A., we measure from center to center of the demising walls (walls that divide units), and include the exterior wall and the corridor wall. If there is a stair, then the opening for that stair is not included as well as any other floor penetrations. Other than that columns, interior walls, etc. are included.
    From watching your two episodes on this subject I get the impression that your architect probably doesn’t not have experience in the development of multi-family housing. Instead she may only have single family/ remodel experience. I think this because anyone who has large commercial housing experience would tend to think like their clients (the developers) and not a buyer. However maybe this is where there is a difference in the profession from NYC to LA.
    The one thing that would really alleviate the guess work is if BOMA were to create a standard for residential condos which right now they do not have. Do you plan to address this specific issue? Great that you are tackling this subject and I like that you have a few different professionals however I would have a developer too since the architect does not represent their point of view.

  6. WOW!!! Thanks Justin for the incredible professional insight. Wish I could have had you on the panel or as you suggested, a developer. Yungie does have commercial development experience but I think she saw where I was going with this and our conversation wasn’t at all limited to new development projects. We’re also addressing co-ops which are an animal unto themselves that don’t even state square footage in their offering plans.
    You will see in upcoming episodes that we discuss a variety of ways to standardize and police those responsible for formulating and quoting square footages but we never thought of BOMA stepping into that equation…another great thought on your part.
    Thanks again for tuning in and commenting and please feel free to share more intelligent comments as the episodes unfold.

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