David Bowie’s New Loft Sits in the Middle of NYU’s Playpen

DAVID BOWIE LANDS A LOFT

David Bowie and his wife, supermodel-actress Iman, are moving into their golden years-Major Tom turned 51 last month, after all. And to celebrate, they’ve bought themselves a 5,000-square-foot loft at 704 Broadway, near East Fourth Street. The loft was on the market for $1.7 million, and the couple were said to have paid about $1.5 million.

It’s a bargain for the Man Who Fell to Earth, who last year crash-landed in a big pile of cash. Mr. Bowie sold $55 million worth of bonds in 1997, based on the guaranteed continued sales of 25 pre-1990 albums like Space Oddity and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (the Prudential Insurance Company of America gobbled them all up; get a piece of the rock, indeed). You guessed it: He’s Britain’s wealthiest rock star, worth $919 million, according to Business Age magazine.

The loft is on the ninth floor, just below the penthouse, which includes a rooftop swimming pool. The reasonably sunny pad is smack-dab in New York University territory-near Nobody Beats the Wiz and the Antique Boutique. Not exactly the city’s most chic neighborhood. But Mr. Bowie is still just young enough to be a Grammy nominee: This year, he’s up for best alternative album for his mimicking the current drum-and-bass sound on the Earthling album. His new neighbors and their trust-fund, techno-gleaming life styles could help him keep it alternative. Mr. Bowie’s representative had no comment at press time.

320 Central Park West (Ardsley)

One-bed, one-bath, 950-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $342,500. Selling: $338,000.

Maintenance: $911; 33 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: 10 weeks.

OLD-TIMER FAST-FORWARDS TO TIMES SQUARE CONDO FROM THE WAY WE WERE Barbra Streisand hangs her special mirror, the one that has two faces, in this Emery Roth-designed 1931 co-op. Roth, of course, designed the Beresford and the San Remo apartment buildings as well, Art Deco contemporaries of the Ardsley, all on Central Park West. Ms. Streisand’s building is known more for the facade’s vaguely Mayan terrazzo implants than its celebrity content (maybe because it’s a little farther north, near 92nd Street). The seller of this apartment remembers well when Roth was stacking up this Art Deco magnificence: He was 25 when it opened. At 92, after living in this one-bedroom apartment for many years and sitting on the co-op board up until a year or so ago, he decided it was time to move. The apartment is on one of the building’s top floors, where it is set back, allowing for a terrace. It’s on the wrong end of the building to see the park, though; it looks south over the Upper West Side. When the seller was but a sprightly 84, he renovated the apartment, putting in new etched-glass doors and burnishing the prewar details so all it requires is a paint job. He’s moving over to where the action is-Times Square-into a new condo at West 43rd Street and Ninth Avenue. The buyer is a single woman. Meanwhile, the seller will always have the “Memories.” Broker: Bellmarc Realty (Fern Budow); Halstead Property Company (Camilla Cassels-Smith).

120 East 71st Street

Five-bed, six-bath, 4,320-square-foot prewar town house.

Asking: $2.5 million. Selling: $2.25 million.

Time on the market: three months.

FINANCIERS HEDGE ON SWINGERS’ STREET During his swingin’ bachelor days as a partner at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., financier Leon Black lived on two floors of this five-floor brick town house, located across the street from the satiny lair of international right-wing gossip columnist Taki Theodoracopulos, left. But Mr. Black was only renting; his landlords had bought the house in 1975, renovated it and cut it into three apartments (two duplexes and a one-bedroom apartment on the top floor). They lived in the lower duplex, below Mr. Black, but later moved into Mr. Black’s apartment. Lately, though, they had been using it only part-time while they built a house in Florida. The buyers are a family-Dad has a good job on Wall Street. (You know, today’s shiny and healthy new Wall Street, the one that’s not at all sleazy, like the 1980′s Wall Street that Drexel Burnham symbolized.) With their family expanding-though not as fast as their portfolios-it was time to get out of that Fifth Avenue co-op and into something more comfortable. They’re moving into the owner’s old duplex on floors three and four-which is configured for two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a dining room, living room and 20-foot-deep terrace-and plan to annex the skylight-fitted fifth-floor unit, too. And they’ll rent out the bottom duplex (maybe as a hedge against all that unpleasantness over in Asia). Broker: Leslie J. Garfield & Company (Jed Garfield); Christopher J. Infante International Real Estate (Christopher J. Infante).