STARLET KATE HUDSON WANTS A ONE-BEDROOM NEAR WINONA Twenty-one-year-old Almost Famous star Kate Hudson is about to face off with a co-op board on Gramercy Park. In the just-released Cameron Crowe film, Ms. Hudson plays a runaway groupie, while in real life the starlet still lives with her parents in Los Angeles and New York–when she isn’t staying with her boyfriend, Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson. But on Sept. 25, Ms. Hudson signed a contract to buy an apartment on Gramercy Park for about $750,000.
A broker in the neighborhood said that Ms. Hudson signed a contract to buy the apartment within a week of making an offer, and that the deal should close by early November–if she gets the green light from the board. “It’s not easy on Gramercy Park,” said the broker about Ms. Hudson’s chances. On the other hand, the budding actress got a boost when her mother, actress Goldie Hawn, co-signed the contract.
In addition to her starring role in Also Famous , Ms. Hudson–whose earlier movies include Desert Blue (1998), Ricochet River (1998) and 200 Cigarettes (1999)–plays Dee Dee, the spoiled daughter of the Dallas gynecologist played by Richard Gere in director Robert Altman’s new film, Dr. T & the Women , which hits Manhattan theaters on Oct. 13. And she’s currently filming Big Trouble , a comedy with actress Janeane Garofalo and rapper Heavy D, in Miami. Ms. Hudson has never owned a home of her own; she usually stays with her mother and stepfather, actor Kurt Russell, when she’s in L.A., and she also has keys to their Manhattan penthouse. But lately she’s been crashing at Mr. Robinson’s Chelsea loft (complete with heavy black curtains and overflowing ashtrays).
Ms. Hudson’s new 825-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment is rather modest for a second-generation movie star, but she gets a key to the landmarked and private Gramercy Park. The 1930’s building has 78 apartments and was converted into a co-op in 1972. The apartment, which faces the park, is what brokers call a “junior four.” In addition to a bedroom, it has a dining room, a living room, a renovated kitchen, a fireplace and views of the skyline. It went on the market on Sept. 5 for $750,000; monthly maintenance is $1,154.
The location couldn’t be a better choice for a girl-next-door actress on the rise. Julia Roberts lived for years at 7 Gramercy Park South, and Winona Ryder has a home at 1 Lexington Avenue, on the north side of Gramercy Park (where Gwyneth Paltrow is reported to have slept on the couch for a while). Drink the water, Kate!
BANKER WANTS TO FLIP A STEINBERG’S HOUSE FOR A MERE MILLION One Steinberg family and $1 million later, the five-story townhouse at 16 East 68th Street went back on the market for $11.5 million on Sept. 18. Six months earlier, the house had been sold for $10.5 million to Robert McKeon, president of merchant bank Veritas Capital, by Saul Steinberg’s sister and brother-in-law, Ronni and Bruce Sokoloff.
Mr. Sokoloff bought the 21.6-foot-wide, 78-foot-deep limestone townhouse in 1997 for $6 million from the estate of Mrs. William D. Bell, whose father built the house in 1922; it has retained all of its original details, including high ceilings and moldings. Located between Fifth and Madison avenues, the townhouse also features two elevators, fireplaces, a library and a formal dining room with a wall of south-facing windows. An expansive master bedroom with three north-facing windows, a fireplace, a dressing room and a bathroom is on the third floor; two large bedrooms, each with a fireplace, a dressing room and a bathroom, are on the fourth floor; and a suite of two bedrooms, an office and three small south-facing bedrooms–each with its own bathroom–is on the fifth floor. (Real estate taxes are $368,000.)
Back in April, Mr. McKeon made an offer to buy the townhouse “in 2.5 seconds!” according to a broker. Neither he nor his broker, Michael Pellegrino of Sotheby’s International Realty, returned calls inquiring as to why he wanted to unload the house so soon.
Could it simply be the money?
UPPER WEST SIDE
201 West 72nd Street (The Alexandria)
Two-bed, three-bath, 1,800-square-foot condo.
Asking: $1.5 million. Selling: $1.365 million.
Charges: $1,130. Taxes: $1.365.
Time on the market: three weeks.
INDEPENDENCE DEAL A newly married couple looked at over 55 apartments before deciding to make an offer on this two-bedroom apartment, on a high floor and three blocks away from Central Park, right before the weekend of July 4. Their broker, Nini Warshafsky of Citi Habitats, was convinced that if the bidding process did not take place quickly, her clients would lose the apartment, but everyone involved had made plans to be away for the holiday weekend. So Ms. Warshafsky stayed home and coordinated the negotiating–the buyers had gone to Montreal, the sellers to Texas and the sellers’ broker to the Hamptons–from her home in New York. There were offers and counteroffers made for a day and a half until a price was settled on. According to Ms. Warshafsky, the sellers were nervous about selling the apartment. “They wanted out,” she said, “but they really could have gotten more money.” But maybe not from Texas.
235 East 49th Street
Three-bed, two-bath, 2,000-square-foot co-op.
Asking: $650,000. Selling: $635,000.
Charges: $2,342; 62 percent tax deductible.
Time on the market: eight months.
YOUR OWN CATWALK By way of explaining the lengthy amount of time this 2,000-square-foot loft stayed on the market, Bill Blind of William B. May, the broker hired by the seller, said, “It was a special kind of space.” Translation: The apartment is weird. “It has lots of ups and downs,” said Mr. Blind. “It literally has three staircases.” The duplex loft space also has a catwalk around the top of the living room, 16-foot ceilings in some places, 12-foot ceilings in others and a large atrium-type entranceway with a skylight. “I was told that the building had once been a seminary and that this apartment had been the chapel,” said Mr. Blind. The buyer, a young guy in his 20’s, just moved to the city. Although the apartment, between First and Second avenues, does not need renovations, he will do some work, including fixing up the kitchen and the bathrooms. The deal closed on Aug. 10.
597 Second Street
Three-story, 3,500-square-foot townhouse.
Asking: $1.4 million. Selling: $1.35 million.
Time on the market: one week.
COUPLE MOVES BACK TO MANHATTAN FOR THE SCHOOLS Years ago, a family moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and bought this three-story, 1905 townhouse with a formal dining room, large center staircase and a full English basement (which means it has windows). They renovated the kitchen and landscaped the garden, but they sold it just in time to get back to Manhattan, where their kids are in private schools, before the year started. They put this place on the market for $1.595 million. Park Slope is trendy, but not that trendy. They dropped the price to $1.4 million, and it sold in a week for $50,000 less. The buyers are a couple with a new baby who had been living in the neighborhood. The sale was brokered by Ellen Sussman of Warren Lewis Realty, who represented the buyers, and Harvey Siegel of Fenwick-Keats Realty, who represented the sellers. The deal closed on Aug. 17.
UPPER EAST SIDE
580 Park Avenue
Three-bed, three-bath, 3,000-square-foot co-op.
Asking: $3.5 million. Selling: $3.15 million.
Charges: $2,500; 43.8 percent tax deductible.
Time on the market: three months.
IN WITH THE NEW MONEY A three-bedroom apartment in a 14-story, 1923 co-op building on Park Avenue, between 63rd and 64th streets, was recently the site of a cycle-of-life event. A retired Wall Streeter left the 3,000-square-foot apartment he’d lived in for the past several years, and a young Wall Streeter with a new family moved in. And so goes life on Park Avenue. At least today’s buyer admits that what’s referred to as the maid’s bathroom in such homes is “good for a jockey,” according to Barbara Cardozo of Douglas Elliman, the broker for the deal. The apartment also has a paneled library and an eat-in kitchen. The white-glove building has a 24-hour doorman and an elevator man. And it is not just for Wall Street types; socialite Hilary Geary, whom Al D’Amato once courted, also calls 580 Park Avenue home.