Jerry Seinfeld’s Christmas Day union with publicist Jessica Sklar may have officially ended the comic’s bachelorhood, but it didn’t get him out of his bachelor pad. According to real estate sources, Mr. Seinfeld is only now planning to move into the 19th-and-20th-floor duplex apartment at the celebrity-packed Beresford, which he purchased a few months before his television show went off the air in April 1998. Until then, he, and now his bride, too, are cooling their heels at the Bolivar, a co-op building two blocks to the north, at 230 Central Park West, in an apartment he purchased about five years ago as a pied-à-terre and which he shared with his former girlfriend Shoshanna Lonstein.
Two years ago, the comic inked a $4.35 million deal to buy violinist Isaac Stern’s two-story apartment at the Beresford, a three-bedroom apartment that, despite “needing everything,” as one broker put it, has “great bones.” The sleeping quarters-including two maid’s rooms and an adjoining bath-are on the upper story; a library, dining room, eat-in kitchen and laundry room are below. Although picture windows were eventually banned in the building designed by Emery Roth and built in 1929 (cutting into the facade of the landmark structure is forbidden), Mr. Seinfeld’s apartment boasts large windows on the second floor that were installed early on and therefore grandfathered in, according to a source.
Brokers familiar with Mr. Seinfeld’s plans said he and architect Charles Gwathmey spent much of 1998 poring over designs for the Beresford apartment before filing for Buildings Department construction permits in December of that year. Demolition and construction began in earnest in 1999 and have continued until the present.
“Structurally, it’s just filling in some stair openings that were there and putting in a new staircase,” said Edward Messina, an engineer who did some work on the property, including moving a staircase. “That’s really the gist of it. It’s been going on for a few months.”
A broker familiar with the apartment added that it may be the architect who is slow. “Gwathmey is very high detail, and that just takes a long time.”
Still another broker pointed out that Mr. Seinfeld had been tinkering with his park-facing terrace in an attempt to match it with one next door on the 19th floor.
Julie Andrews And Blake Edwards Cough Up Commission, Get A Very Zen $3.8 Million
After languishing on the market for six months, Julie Andrews’ town house at 232 East 62nd Street has finally sold for $3.8 million.
Last spring, Ms. Andrews, 64, and her husband, director Blake Edwards, 77, decided to sell their four-story home near Third Avenue. Initially, they would not pay the standard broker commissions-usually 6 percent of the sales price divided equally between the seller’s broker and the buyer’s broker. Instead, they hired Diana Tawgin, a broker at William B. May Real Estate, to try to find a buyer for a fee of 3 percent. A few months later, the broker told the couple that she wanted to show the house to the clients of other brokers, which would mean that they would have to pay an additional fee.
According to Ms. Tawgin, by summer Ms. Andrews and her husband had agreed to pay a total of 5 percent in commission and brokers brought buyers forward almost immediately.
“I don’t know why Ms. Andrews changed her mind,” said Marilyn Hershkovitz, the Douglas Elliman broker who came to the rescue with a retired computer entrepreneur named Bill Hinman, who paid the whole sum in cash. “But it all worked out fine. Everyone was lovely.”
Mr. Hinman sold his Chicago-based computer company a few years ago and has now moved to New York. He’s living in a hotel during renovations and hopes to move in by the end of March. According to his broker, he plans to use the third floor of his new Manhattan home in order to accommodate his collection of Tibetan and Asian art and a meeting place for a meditation and study group. According to an article in The Chicago Tribune , Mr. Hinman hosted a similar group weekly in his home outside Chicago, using the name the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center.
The bottom two floors will be his formal residence. Mr. Hinman is knocking out some interior walls so that the first floor is open, with a view straight through the solarium-style dining room to the landscaped garden; on the second floor there is a master bedroom. The fourth floor has a master suite with a skylight, which will be reserved for guests. There are fireplaces on every floor. Ms. Andrews had upgraded everything in the house-including installing central air-conditioning and new bathrooms. She refused to comment on the sale, but her broker said the couple plans to stay in hotels when they’re in town from now on.
In case his good karma doesn’t protect Mr. Hinman, there’s a security system with closed-circuit monitors on every floor.
Upper East Side
923 Fifth Avenue
One-bed, two-bath, 1,100-square-foot condo.
Asking: $1.7 million. Selling: $1.75 million.
Charges: $809. Taxes: $514.
Time on the market: three months.
THEY WAITED FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE A couple waited for someone else to make the first offer on this apartment-in one of the only condominiums on upper Fifth Avenue-before they snatched it for $50,000 above the asking price. Decorated rather grandly by the sellers, a couple who live primarily in South America, the apartment has park views, a square front hall, a large living room, marble bathrooms, herringbone floors and an enclosed balcony. And at $809 per month, the monthly charges are shockingly low. Broker: Douglas Elliman (Bill Costigan); Sotheby’s International Realty.
520 East 76th Street
Two-bed, two-bath, 1,200-square-foot co-op.
Asking: $540,000. Selling: $540,000.
Charges: $1,155; 54 percent deductible.
Time on the market: two months.
NOT QUITE AT GROUND ZERO O.K., it’s on the first floor. Not ideal. But this apartment has a landscaped garden and a deck built of redwood. The sellers, who had been here a few years, decided it was time to have a view, so they’ve bought a penthouse apartment elsewhere in the city. They had renovated the apartment, updating the bathrooms and installing new kitchen counters and cabinets. The buyer-having sold a place in Brooklyn Heights-paid the asking price in cash. Ideal! Broker: Bellmarc Realty (Deanne Esses, Karyl Goland, Randi Good).
Upper West Side
2166 Broadway (The Opera)
Two-bed, two-bath, 1,000-square-foot co-op.
Asking: $408,000. Selling: $402,000.
Charges: $899; 50 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: six weeks.
PUT THE BABY TO WORK The sellers have abandoned the Upper West Side for the West Coast. They’d lived in this fifth-floor apartment for almost 20 years, and-how shall we say this?-it needed work. Lots of it. Like new floors, a new kitchen, new bathrooms and a paint job. The folks taking on this Herculean task are a married couple, both bankers, who sold their one-bedroom apartment to buy this larger one because they’re expecting a baby. Broker: Douglas Elliman (Adele Brechner).
160 West 66th Street (3 Lincoln Center)
One-bed, two-bath, 1,000-square-foot condo.
Asking: $790,000. Selling: $925,000.
Charges: $625.17. Taxes: $272.35.
Time on the market: one week.
I VANT IT ALL! “I walked in and I wanted it,” said Katia Christine van Kranenburg, a Holland-born former model and actress turned businesswoman. She meant everything, right down to the electrically heated towel racks. The negotiations, by telephone, lasted all of 15 minutes, and the price rose $135,000 above the asking price. Still, that was $75,000 less than Ms. Kranenberg had budgeted for something a little larger, but unfurnished. Somehow her broker convinced her to scale down; little did she know that her client would opt for a fully equipped apartment on the 39th floor of this luxury building atop Juilliard. Raised in France, Ms. van Kranenburg began modeling in Paris at 15, then went on to become an actress, making more than 30 films in Europe. After coming to America and working in Hollywood, she went back to school, studied finance and is today a successful businesswoman. She has homes in Paris and on the French Riviera, but especially loves Manhattan. “You cannot fall asleep here,” she said in her vaguely Zsa Zsa Gabor-like accent. “It has a rhythm. Whatever you want to do, it can be done.” This apartment was completely renovated by the seller, with no expense spared and no detail overlooked. He used the place only as a pied-à-terre , so it was in brand-new condition. And a maid came to clean it each week. The décor was “absolutely how I would have liked it,” Ms. van Kranenburg said. “Warm, classic, comfortable, mixed with a modern style.” There are Persian carpets, antiques and expensive imports throughout. Designed by Rosa Elena Hurtado of Ritchie-Hurtado Design, the apartment has silk-covered walls and a stereo system with speakers installed throughout the whole apartment. The full-service building is 60 stories tall and has a parking garage, health club and pool. It also has an entrance to the Metropolitan Opera House. Now, Ms. van Kranenburg said, “I can dress up in the apartment and just go downstairs. I don’t even need a coat.” Broker: Sumitomo Real Estate Sales. (Cecilia Serrano).
115 East Ninth Street (St. Marks)
Three-bed, three-bath, 1,500-square-foot co-op.
Asking: $560,000. Selling: $565,000.
Charges: $1,845. 62 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: 16 weeks.
THIS TIME IT WAS AN INSIDE DEAL Buying this apartment three years ago convinced Valerie Erde to become a real estate broker. She and her husband had doubled their money when selling their last home; then they bought this place out of foreclosure from an estate for $220,000. It was a two-bedroom apartment and studio that they converted into a three-bedroom place. This time around, she was in the business. She decided to put the place on the market for $600,000-a bit high for a place between Third and Fourth avenues. When there were no takers, the price came down by $40,000. A married couple-she’s a freelance writer, he’s a restaurant owner-and their daughter submitted the first offer, at $5,000 above the asking price, and they were deemed best qualified. The apartment amazingly has 10 closets and all new appliances. The white-brick building was built in 1964 and has a parking garage and 24-hour doorman. Broker: Corcoran Group (Valerie Erde; Jane Cibener).
585 Fourth Street
Three-story town house.
Asking: $875,000. Selling: $900,000.
Time on the market: one week.
OLD WIRING IS NOT A VIRTUE The virtues of this three-story, 3,264-square-foot row house built in 1899 also proved to be its liabilities. It was virtually untouched structurally and cosmetically: There were stunning built-in oak bookcases, 11-foot-high ceilings, pocket doors, oak wainscoting in the dining room, original mantels, columns in the living room, ornate plasterwork throughout and a lion-clawed bathtub and stained glass in one of the two bathrooms. This old Brooklyn house is “like a portal into a time of more elegance and craftsmanship and attention to detail,” said the broker. A little less romantic is the century-old wiring and plumbing in the house, which is on a landmark block just a few hundred feet from Prospect Park. So the buyers-a young couple with two children who had been renting in Park Slope-will be doing a lot of renovating. While they’ll salvage most of the home’s original details, they will update the eat-in kitchen (removing the second kitchen on the top floor), paint the entire house, refinish the floors and yank out the old wiring. Regarding the English basement, they’ll have the option of using it for rental income. Broker: Corcoran Group’s Brooklyn Landmark (Ezra Orchard).
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