Billboard Guy Steals Fifth Ave. Co-op From $8.5 M. Buyer

Just as financier Ted Ammon’s widow, Generosa, was anticipating

an $8.5 million check for the apartment her husband owned at 1125 Fifth Avenue,

it turns out she’ll get a check for $1.5 million more.

In late January, when a

potential buyer for the co-op apartment, near 94th Street, had not returned a

signed $8.5 million contract to J.P. Morgan Chase, which is executing Ammon’s

will with his widow, outdoor-advertising executive Richard Schaps came along

offering $10 million and quickly signed a deal.

“Somebody else swooped in with a higher offer!” said one broker,

adding that the original buyer was told a couple weeks ago that his deal was

off.

Mr. Schaps sold his

neo-Federal brick townhouse at 6 East 69th Street for $11 million late last

fall. Paul Whitby, an attorney in private practice who represents Mr. Schaps,

said that Sharon Baum of the Corcoran Group brought Mr. Schaps’ offer for Ammon’s

apartment directly to J.P. Morgan on Jan. 21. Ms. Baum would not comment on the

deal.

Ammon had been trying to sell his apartment at 1125 Fifth Avenue

since the fall of 2000, when he put it on the market for $12 million. After a

second deal fell through, he filed suit against his neighbors at 1125

Fifth-including actor Kevin Kline and Phyllis Louis-Dreyfus, stepmother of

actor Julia-as well as principals of the Insignia Residential Group, which

manages the building, and Elizabeth Hobbs, the director of the co-op’s board.

Ammon claimed that the co-op board failed to review a purchaser in a timely

manner; the suit precluded any other sale from going through.

The apartment-being sold jointly by Ashforth Warburg Associates

and Jed Garfield of Leslie J. Garfield & Associates-was taken off the

market 11 days after Ammon’s death on Oct. 22 of last year. Shortly thereafter,

Ammon’s estate dropped its lawsuit against the co-op board. In January, the

estate quietly put the place back on the market for $9.75 million.

At that point, a gentleman who’d bid on the apartment before made

an offer of $8.5 million, which was accepted. But on Jan. 31, that deal was

dashed when Mr. Schaps signed a contract to buy the apartment for $10 million.

The $10 million deal is not surprising at 1125 Fifth. Listings

don’t become available often, and this apartment reflects the building’s

opulence: The residences are full-floor spreads with prewar detailing and

overlook Central Park. Ammon’s 5,500-square-foot apartment, perched on the 10th

floor, has four exposures, four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, a den, an

eat-in kitchen and a formal dining room.

Sources said Mr. Schaps,

chief executive of Van Wagner Communications, was looking for a place with

tighter security. After buying the East 69th Street house in January 1999 for

$8 million and giving it a major upgrade-including a new elevator, sprinkler

system and video security-he had a break-in. One source said that he had expressed interest in Ammon’s Fifth Avenue

apartment as early as last fall.

Dad to Miller Sisters:

Get Out of the Houses!

No more running home to Daddy’s. In January, duty-free shopping

mogul Robert Miller put a three-bedroom condominium at 45 East 80th Street on

the market with family broker Sami Hassoumi of Brown Harris Stevens for $5.5

million. Sources said that, along with the apartment Mr. Miller is trying to

sell at the Carlyle Hotel for $2.2 million, this means the end of his socialite

daughters’ crash pads.

Mr. Hassoumi’s ad for the 80th Street condo, in a postmodern

tower that looms over Madison Avenue, describes the place as “chic, clean,

superb private, high floor.” It has a 580-square-foot living room with corner

windows overlooking Central Park, three bedrooms (the largest measures over 380

square feet) with three en suite marble baths-one apiece for Miller sisters

Pia, Marie-Chantal and Alexandra-and large closets. Registered under a

corporate name, the place was purchased by Mr. Miller in 1988 for $2.053

million and has served on and off as a pied-à-terre

for the girls for 14 years.

Having been married off in the 90’s, it’s high time the Miller

sisters found their own nests. But currently Alexandra and her husband,

Alexander von Furstenburg, are living in the 80th Street apartment, and

Marie-Chantal is using the Carlyle apartment for overflow office space for her

line of children’s clothing.

It’s not like all three Miller sisters don’t already have their

own Upper East Side townhouses. Alexandra is almost finished renovating a

townhouse at 10 East 73rd Street that the couple bought in August for $12

million. Marie-Chantal (married to the exiled Prince Pavlos of Greece) bought a

five-story townhouse at 154 East 78th Street for about $7.5 million. And Pia,

who is married to Christopher Getty, owns a townhouse on 78th Street between

Madison and Fifth avenues.

Get on with it, girls!

UPPER WEST SIDE

334 West 86th Street Three-bed, two-and-a-half-bath, 2,000-square-foot co-op. Asking: $1.395 million. Selling: $1.4 million. Charges: $1,270; 48 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: 4 months.

LET

THE BOYS OUT A couple with two boys bought this seven-room apartment on

86th Street, between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive, about six years ago,

thinking it might be the perfect place to settle down. But a little less than a

year ago a family member died, leaving them a larger apartment with the same

number of bedrooms in the same neighborhood. Who could resist? They put

their old place on the market almost immediately and started renovations on the

new one. According to listing brokers Richard Mortimer and Leigh Williams of

Douglas Elliman, this apartment needed some renovations itself-the floors had

to be refinished and the whole place needed a good paint job. It sold to a

couple in their 30’s who have a young son. They won the place in a bidding war

by agreeing to pay over the asking price.

ROSE HILL

200 East 27th Street One-bed, one-bath, 550-square-foot co-op. Asking: $219,000. Selling: $208,000. Maintenance: $390; 40 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: five months.

JUNIOR

PAD FOR JUNIOR MISS Sure, it’s a tiny apartment-less than 600 square

feet-on a low floor of a co-op building built in the 1960’s. Sure, 80 percent

of the neighbors are young singles, giving residents the distinct feeling that

they’re living in a post-college dorm. And, of course, 27th Street and Third

Avenue is a veritable no-man’s land, a neighborhood that hasn’t even managed to

settle on a name: Kips Bay? Rose Hill? But the building has a gym and a

doorman, it’s a five-minute walk to the subway, and maintenance charges don’t

get much lower than $390 a month. For a young person just starting out in the

city and who (gasp ) isn’t getting

help from mom and dad, it was practically one-of-a-kind. “This particular unit

had a wall up for a small bedroom,” said broker Laurence Schneider of Bellmarc

Realty, who sold the studio. “So you could consider it a junior one-bedroom.”

Let’s not push it.

GREENWICH VILLAGE

37 West 12th Street One-bed, one-bath, 1,100-square-foot co-op. Asking: $695,000. Selling: $695,000. Charges: $1,317; 45 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: 6 months.

MOM

WANTS WHAT DAUGHTER CAN’T HAVE A successful businesswoman who’d been living

in a large rental apartment on the Upper East Side was scouring the Internet

for a place downtown for her daughter. She came across this one-bedroom in a

co-op on 12th Street and Fifth Avenue, and called broker Meris Blumstein of the

Corcoran Group to ask if she could see it. “I said, ‘No parents can buy for

children in this building,'” recalled Ms. Blumstein, but the businesswoman

decided to see the place anyway. It turned out she was so impressed with the

large scale of the rooms, the enormous kitchen and the fact that each elevator

serves only three or four apartments that she decided to buy it for herself.

Although the apartment had recently been renovated by Joan Rivers’ interior

designer, who’d been living there with his partner, the businesswoman does

things for herself-in this case, an almost-gut renovation that included

everything but the kitchen. Don’t feel too bad for the daughter, though: Mummy

bought her something right up the street.

UPPER EAST SIDE

After

Doctoring Townhouse, Radiologist Checks Out A lot of people have romped through the five-story

townhouse at 123East69th Street over the past three years. According to several

brokers, the place originally came on the market in July of 1999, less than a

year after radiologist George Braff bought it for $4.2million. By

December2000, Mr. Braff had put it back on the market for$9.5million (according

to the townhouse broker), and that number was eventually dropped to $6.9

million in October 2001, sources said. Mr. Braff eventually accepted an offer

of just around $6 million at the end of January-but not before everyone from

representatives of various government embassies to actor Robert De Niro came to

look at the place. (Our source said Mr. De Niro contemplated renting the

house.)

Mr. Braff bought the nearly 10,000-square-foot house as

a change of pace from his sleek, wide-open downtown loft (a 5,000-square-foot

place with three full bathrooms and no bedrooms). But according to his

architect, Jim Wood of Soffef Wood Architecture and Interiors, as they began to

draw up plans for renovating the house, the radiologist realized that he was a

downtown man at heart-and he put the place on the market in mid-renovation. Even

though it took a while to sell, the place is still not completely finished.

The finished parts are fabulous, though: a gym with

rubber floors and a drinking fountain, a solarium, an enclosed aviary on the

roof terrace, a paneled library, a refurbished elevator and a large, open

artist’s studio on the fifth floor. In addition to being an accomplished

physician and a dyed-in-the-wool downtowner, Mr. Braff is apparently an amateur

painter.

UPPER WEST SIDE

Morgan

Stanley Hot Shot Wants To Hopscotch On CPW

A $10 million seventh-floor apartment at 101 Central

Park West-where actor Rick Moranis and Harrison Ford’s estranged wife,

Me-lissa Mathason, have keys-is in contract to be purchased by Morgan Stanley’s

head of global investing, William Lewis.

Though brokers say that Mr. Lewis wants to move to that

tony address from his smaller spread at an equally well-respected address, the

Beresford at 211 Central Park West, it won’t be a simple affair. “It’s going to

require some work,” said one broker familiar with the apartment, which used to

be two separate units and totals 13 rooms, including six bedrooms and five

bathrooms.

Mr. Lewis’ solid citizenship credentials and low

profile should help him make his way past a notoriously finicky co-op board.

Last June, the board even rejected former ballet dancer Rita Schrager, ex-wife

of hotelier Ian Schrager, after she’d struck a nearly $6 million deal to buy an

apartment two floors below Mr. Lewis’ new place.