Upper East Side
A GORE GIRL AND HER HUSBAND VIE FOR $2.5 MILLION DUPLEX. Karenna Gore Schiff and her husband Andrew Schiff have signed a $2.5 million contract to purchase an East 66th Street duplex co-op, according to real estate sources. The young power couple, who sources said signed the deal in late January, are currently living in a two-bedroom co-op on Fifth Avenue near 68th Street.
Mrs. Schiff, 25, is the daughter of Vice President Al Gore and is currently a second-year law student at Columbia University; her husband, 33, is a primary-care physician at New York Hospital. The Schiffs were married in 1997, and have lived in Manhattan ever since.
One broker described the couple’s desired apartment, for which they are awaiting board approval, as “an unusual apartment with a lot of charm.” The duplex measures about 4,000 square feet in a prewar co-op near Lexington Avenue. Downstairs is a double-height living room, formal dining room, kitchen, and powder room; upstairs is a huge master suite with a bath, dressing room and office space attached, two spare bedrooms with full baths, and two maid’s rooms. The apartment was put on the market in August for $3.35 million and the monthly maintenance fee is a hair-raising $5,600.
115 East 87th Street
Two-bed, two-bath, 1,400-square-foot postwar co-op.
Asking: $875,000. Selling: $875,000.
Charges: $1,622; 49 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: one day.
SHE MOVED HERE BEFORE MONICA LEWINSKY WAS BORN. The rash of recent sales at this Upper East Side address has kept broker Pat Palermo, who lives in the building herself, on her toes. She chalks the activity up to confidence in the market. “All these people have been in their apartments for years,” said Ms. Palermo, who moved into her two-bedroom in 1976, “and I think that they saw the market was really doing quite well. They decided that if they were ever going to move, this was the time to do it.” Still, the seller of this 37th-floor unit got cold feet. In November 1997, she put the two-bedroom apartment on the market at $775,000; no fewer than four interested buyers clamored to bid on the apartment. But after 25 years in the building, she decided she simply wasn’t ready to leave. Then, last February, she couldn’t resist testing the waters again. Ms. Palermo made some calls, and four more bidders–two of the original would-be buyers–came forward. None of the buyers backed down and the negotiations went to sealed bids. In the end, the winner was a bachelor who had to suffer one last bout of seller’s remorse before the deal closed in mid-December. Broker: Corcoran Group (Pat Palermo).
East 80th Street, between Fifth and Madison avenues
Four-story town house.
Asking: $5.15 million. Selling: $4.6 million.
Time on the market: nine months.
THE SPIN ON THIS HOUSE: LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY LIVED HERE. Jerry Hammer, a former stage and screen producer, sculptor and memoirist, bought this house, which he believed to be the former address of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the stained-glass master, in 1970. Although Tiffany’s residence was never proven, there are several signature items: an original Tiffany window in the second-floor parlor and brass hinges on the wall sconces bearing the initials “LCT.” Although the property boasts modern amenities like central air-conditioning and updated bathrooms, also still intact
are the original mosaic tile in
the kitchen and mahogany doors throughout–and four apartments that the owner rented out. Mr. Hammer, who recently published The Corner , an account of his Brooklyn upbringing, sold the house in December for $4.6 million and has moved to rural Connecticut, where he’s restoring another historied home. The new owner, publicist Dan Klores and his family, had been living in another town house until their landlord decided to double their rent. Mr. Klores, who represents The Observer , now plans to become a landlord himself–and he said he is dreading it. “My criteria for tenants is no one that reminds me of me till I was 40,” said Mr. Klores, 48. “I have two questions: Have you ever had a drink, and if their answer is Yes, no way, and have you ever thought of having a drink, and if the answer is Yes, no way.” Mr. Klores has a studio, a duplex, and a one-bedroom apartment intended for rental. Broker: Peter Ashe Real Estate (Asher Alcoby); William B. May
Real Estate (Christine Ponz).
515 East 79th Street (Asten House)
Two-bed, 2.5-bath, 1,200-square-foot postwar co-op.
Asking: $499,000. Selling: $490,000.
Charges: $1,903; 50 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: three weeks.
PAIR OF UNDIES MAKERS HIKE UPSTAIRS. A husband and wife who work at the same lingerie manufacturer had been living in a one-bedroom apartment in the Asten House, 515 East 79th Street, since about 1997, when they decided to try to secure a two-bedroom apartment in the A- or D-line, where they would have corner views. They settled on this apartment, a high-floor D-line unit, which was being sold by a family who’d lived in the building for years. Although the place had been updated in the 1980’s, the buyers will make some cosmetic changes, as they did in their previous apartment: brand-new baths and kitchens and wood-paneled closets to keep the laundry smelling fresh. Broker: Corcoran Group (Wendy Rosset and
Upper West Side
23 West 73rd Street (Park Royal)
Two-bed, two-bath, 1,150-square-foot prewar co-op.
Asking: $469,000. Selling: $432,500.
Charges: $1,293; 60 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: eight months.
BRONX BOOMERS. After 14 years of keeping this Upper West Side crash pad, an older couple with a house in the Bronx gave it up, but not without a fight. Last spring, the couple affixed a price of $725,000 to the two-bedroom apartment just off Central Park West. “I could see through the condition of the apartment, and I knew the value was there,” said broker Susan Evans of the extremely high figure. Then came summer and the couple grudgingly ratcheted down the price, attracting a young couple downstairs. There was a very slow, back-and-forth thing going on between the two couples; after all, the sellers liked being able to get a bite at a Manhattan cafe now and then. When the asking price hit $469,000, things settled down. By
January, the deal had finally closed. Broker: Bellmarc
Realty (Sue Evans).
380 West 12th Street (Westway)
One-bed, one-bath, 1,100-square-foot prewar loft.
Asking: $535,000. Selling: $475,000.
Charges: $1,250; 48 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: seven months.
A HARD ROCK LIFE STYLE. In the late 1980’s, decorator William Sofield took this West Village apartment apart and put it back together again. When he moved in, Mr. Sofield, best known for his commercial interiors–Gucci boutiques around the world; the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel in Las Vegas–found “cheap, colonial-style pegged floors, sheetrock walls with cutouts and vertical blinds, and an assortment of other atrocities.” He refashioned the place into an ultramodern living space with African, Mexican and Japanese influences. In 1991, Mr. Sofield sold the loft to a couple. They made a few changes, but Mr. Sofield’s touches, which ranged from a stainless steel kitchen to African teak finish throughout the living and bedroom areas, remain largely intact. The buyer is a young, hip entrepreneur with a chain of flourishing businesses in northern New Jersey. Despite the aggravation of a reverse commute, he decided to give up his east midtown rental and purchase an apartment somewhere more livable. His first offer, in August 1998, was for $400,000. Uh-uh! He had to get it up to $475,000 before he could become a downtowner. Broker: William B. May (Mark Midensky).
388 Fourth Street
Asking: $860,000. Selling: $800,000.
Time on the market: one month.
SHUTTERBUG HEADS TO WHERE THE ARTISTS ONCE WERE. After a decade of living on the same block in Park Slope, Brooklyn, a couple with a son decided to move to SoHo. The father had visions of relocating his photography studio to the onetime artists’ enclave, so they put their limestone property, with its $1,050-a-month garden rental unit, on the market. (What year are they living in?) The owner’s space is a triplex with oodles of parquet wood, exposed brick walls, a laundry room and French doors leading out to a decked, landscaped garden. The house was attractive to another young family in the area, a couple about to have their second child who had been living in a Park Slope co-op. Broker: William B. May (Mary Ann Albano).