Barbra Streisand Asks $10.5 Million for Her Penthouse; Spike Lee Buys Upper East Side Town House

Upper West Side

PEOPLE WHO NEED EIGHT BEDROOMS: BARBRA STREISAND OFFERS 8,000-SQUARE-FOOT ARDSLEY PENTHOUSE. When newlyweds Barbra Streisand and James Brolin return to New York, they may have to deal with prospective buyers traipsing through the Ardsley duplex penthouse the singer has inhabited for years. According to real estate brokers, the 8,000-square-foot apartment, which has roughly eight bedrooms, went on the market the week of June 21 for $10.5 million.

“She wants a new life,” said a source familiar with the singer’s decision, who added that she probably won’t start looking for a new place until she’s sold the old one.

The Ardsley penthouse, located at 320 Central Park West, has provided Ms. Streisand with plenty of privacy: The exterior, which includes a roof terrace with several gardens and totals 3,000 square feet, belongs solely to Babs, as does the private elevator that takes her to her apartment. She’s the only celebrity in the building; most of the other tenants are investment bankers with families, lower-profile types. The interior, which includes eight potential bedrooms, a media room, an office and two libraries, is filled with prewar fireplaces and Gustav Stickley furniture that Ms. Streisand collected at auction. She lived at the Ardsley with her first husband, Elliot Gould, and the place is full of memories. But there’s not much of a view since the apartment is in the back of the building.

Ms. Streisand’s Los Angeles home in the Holmby Hills is also for sale–for $7.5 million–according to her publicist. For now, she’ll retain her Malibu residence, a compound of three adjacent houses valued at $12.5 million. Ms. Streisand’s publicist would not comment on the Ardsley penthouse.

Upper East Side

SPIKE LEE GETS A 10021 ZIP CODE. According to real estate sources, Spike Lee is moving his family into a house on East 63rd Street between Lexington and Third avenues, which he bought from Jasper Johns. The house–a 9,000-square-foot, 32-foot-wide Italianate structure that is divided in two by a courtyard (complete with a calming, burbling fountain)–was sold together with a neighboring house that Mr. Johns had annexed in 1992. A businessman purchased the second house. The two houses together sold for about $7.2 million, the price Mr. Johns was asking for.

Mr. Lee’s new house–the two four-story structures with a courtyard in the middle–used to be owned by Gypsy Rose Lee. The usual retinue of high-end house shoppers have fondled it since it’s been on the market: Jane Wenner, Madonna, even representatives of labor lawyer Theodore Kheel’s Foundation House organization, who needed a new home after abandoning efforts to build one on East 64th Street. Brokers were surprised at the deal, since Mr. Johns seemed interested in someone willing to swallow both houses whole, and noted that in combining the two, the artist overrenovated and left the place “too personalized.”

As far as Mr. Lee is concerned, he can expect a certain amount of trashing for what might be perceived as his abandoning his ancestral home of Fort Greene, where he owns several buildings, including a brownstone and the headquarters of his 40 Acres & a Mule Filmworks on De Kalb Avenue. Until last year, he had a store in the neighborhood that sold various Spike Lee paraphernalia as well, but that’s closed. A couple of years ago, he bought an apartment in SoHo. Nonetheless, with the birth of his second child and an advertising business to fill in his time between a steady clip of new movies– Summer of Sam is now shooting and he has committed to film John Leguizamo’s Freak for HBO–Mr. Lee is entering the city’s wealthiest ZIP code.

Mr. Lee did not respond by press time, and Mr. Johns’ brokerage, Leslie J. Garfield & Company, had no comment.

Upper East Side

159 East 70th Street

4,700-square-foot prewar town house.

Asking: $2.4 million. Selling: $2.4 million.

Time on the market: three months.

MONSTER TRUCK KING DIGS HIS HEELS IN ON 70TH STREET. Robert F.X. Sillerman has been on quite a buying spree lately. His company, SFX Entertainment, has spent about three quarters of a billion dollars over the last year cobbling together a live entertainment empire that produces concerts (including the Rolling Stones and Jerry Seinfeld), owns venues (among them the Jones Beach Amphitheater), produces events (tractor pulls and monster truck demonstrations), sells tickets and manages sports stars (including Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing)–all built on a steaming heap of debt. The year after the company went public in 1993, Mr. Sillerman paid $3.14 million for a 36-foot-wide, 11,000-square-foot, five-story town house at 157 East 70th Street that used to belong to S.I. Newhouse Jr. Mr. Sillerman was attracted to the famously lavish, Brazilian cherrywood-paneled, art-lined double-wide building because of its atrium with bulletproof glass. (The Newhouses, showing a billionaire’s disregard for economic forces, sold the house at the bottom of the market in June 1993 for $2 million to a Russian who lived in it for six months before selling it to Mr. Sillerman. The Newhouses moved to U.N. Plaza.) Mr. Sillerman, who filed plans back then to wrap the upper stories of the facade in a metal and glass grid and suspend a rooftop pool inside, has yet to move in. The work on his San Simeon continues and may be expanding: Mr. Sillerman just bought the house next door, No. 159, for $2.4 million from an estate. It’s a four-story, red-brick Federal-style town house that’s divided into five apartments, some of which are inconveniently inhabited by rent-controlled tenants. Now Mr. Sillerman’s just got to blast ‘em out. But it seems that he can afford it. Broker: Leslie J. Garfield & Company.

Upper West Side

315 West 80th Street

Six-bed, two-bath, 4,000-square-foot town house.

Asking: $1.695 million. Selling: $1.695 million.

Time on the market: three weeks.

THE LADY OF THE HOUSE PATIENTLY CHOOSES HER SUCCESSOR. This home first showed up in real estate listings in August 1997, but the price at that time was a lofty $2.3 million. When the price was reduced in January to $1.695 million, several offers were made. Despite the competition, the sellers particularly liked one couple: a husband and wife in magazine journalism and psychiatric medicine, respectively. The seller, explained broker Deanna Kory, was an octogenarian lady whose son was helping her move. She had lived there for more than 40 years–and he was raised there–but she couldn’t stay by herself any longer. “She was the kind of woman who was meticulous in terms of her handling of affairs … She had a housekeeper and a part-time superintendent, but beyond that, she was very much her own manager. So it was work and time and mental energy,” said Ms. Kory. The house was built in the late 19th century. Some of its interior detail–including a staircase and several mantelpieces–date from that time. In the garden out back, the lady of the house kept an old-fashioned claw-foot bathtub filled with impatiens. The buyers plan to rent out the top two floors and live on the bottom two floors. Broker: Halstead Property Company (Deanna Kory); Douglas Elliman Real Estate (Adele Brechner).

Greenwich Village

222 West 14th Street (Sequoia)

One-bath, 600-square-foot postwar condo.

Asking: $209,000. Selling: $200,000.

Charges: $280. Taxes: $267.

Time on the market: one month.

REVENGE OF THE STUDIO. “A year ago, people were paying like $100,000 for these,” said Gil Neary, whose brokerage sold this studio apartment. And it wasn’t too long before that you’d have a hard time selling studios at all. This 1987 building on 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues has interesting cornices. This apartment is in the back, with a 600-square-foot setback terrace. It’s covered in colorful terra-cotta tiles and landscaped, which is what made SRO living fabulous enough for this buyer, a furniture designer. He was already living in Greenwich Village, but after he bought a country house, he didn’t want to keep a big apartment in town. He wanted a condo, and he wanted to eat his breakfast amid the city’s bucolic splendor. “But there are only three or four condos in the Village which have outdoor space,” said Mr. Gerstein. And owning one is not a matter of luck, it’s a matter of cash. Broker: D.G. Neary (Dan Gerstein).

Greenwich Village

60 East Eighth Street (Georgetown Plaza)

One-bed, one-bath, 900-square-foot postwar co-op.

Asking: $325,000. Selling: $293,000.

Charges: $786; 51 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: one month.

WALL STREET FATHER AND SON GANG UP ON VILLAGER. “He was not comfortable negotiating,” said William B. May’s Mitchell Speer of his client, who sold this apartment to a father-son tag team of investment bankers. “Or following through to the closing without a professional broker.” The buyer is a 20-something banker from Lehman Brothers. His father, a Wall Street business owner, insisted on contributing the down payment. Given the deal-making capabilities of the new tenant and his father, the seller was glad to have a broker on the job. But things apparently went smoothly, and few renovations are needed beyond the kitchen, which will soon sport brand-new appliances. Located on a commercial strip between Broadway and Mercer Street in the heart of N.Y.U.-land, this building, at 34 stories, is one of the highest structures in the village. The building’s large foyer has an Art Deco look, with lots of maroons and teals and angular furniture reminiscent of the Jetsons’ space-age home. Mr. Speer said the view is a big part of the building’s appeal. Also, he pointed out, “it’s a co-op that runs with condo rules,” in other words, no stressful interviews, and owners can sublet at will. Broker: William B. May Company (Mitchell Speer).

East Village

79 East Second Street

3,000-square-foot prewar condo.

Asking: $350,000. Selling: $309,000.

Charges: $393. Taxes: $1,200.

Time on the market: three weeks.

PRATT HOUSE Appearances can be deceiving. When the owner of this formerly commercial building bought it for $633,000 in 1994, every floor was wide-open raw space with exposed ceiling pipes and slab-concrete floors. The owner–a French-born professional handyman with a degree in construction management from Pratt Institute–took the top floor and applied his skills. He put in beautifully sanded wood floors, and an enormous kitchen and living area complete with a suspended punching bag and a dinner table that seats 12, and yards of built-in bookshelves. With this as a model, the other floors have now sold out. Most recently, the ground-floor apartment sold for $309,000. Of course, behind the garage door that now serves as the entryway, the place looks absolutely unrelated to its upstairs neighbor. Red tape involving renovating the place held up this deal for over a year. But the new tenant, a young sculptor who also attended Pratt, has big plans: He’ll configure something half-studio, half-bedroom, and is pleased at the prospect of carrying truckfuls of art supplies right into the apartment. “The side with the garage doors will be the studio,” the sculptor, whose uncle bought him the place, explained. “I’m putting a pretty good deal of work into it.” The landlord is also replacing the old-fashioned elevator lift, a cantankerously slow caged affair that currently takes up a lot of space. He thinks the sculptor might install a doorway off the garage, to come and go through what will be the kitchen. The two Pratt alums share the building with the owner’s brother, a fashion designer and her husband, and a CBS News television journalist. Broker: Corcoran Group (Linda Gertler).