Assuming that comedian Chevy Chase doesn’t plan to pack his wife
Jayni and their three daughters into a station wagon and start off across the
country on a misguided quest to see the world’s greatest amusement park next
summer, East Enders are wondering where exactly the Hamptons regulars will be
tanning now that their 2.14-acre property on Lee Avenue in East Hampton has
When Mr. Chase, a pedigreed Hamptonite and regular combatant in
East Hampton’s annual Artists and Writers softball game, put his 10-bedroom
house (with a children’s playhouse, heated pool, billiard room, library and
seven fireplaces) on the market last August for a steep $15 million, no one
imagined that he would swiftly get $10.1 million for it.
But according to Billye Hanan, a broker with Alan M. Schneider
& Associates, that’s just what happened when her clients-car importer Peter
Terian and his wife, Juliana-made their offer. Now the deal is done, and
sources say Mr. Chase is in the market for a more modest Hamptons house in the
$2 million to $3 million range.
Ms. Hanan, a member of East Hampton’s Maidstone Club, said the
Chases “are not leaving the Hamptons, no. They’re friends of mine and members
of my club, and their parents are members, so no-they’re not going anywhere.
But the rest of it’s none of your business.”
Local brokers say Mr. Chase, who also has a house in increasingly
trendy Bedford, N.Y., has been coming out to East Hampton less frequently since
April of 2000, when his parents’ house on Jones Road burned down in an
electrical fire. Edward Chase, an editor at Charles Scribner’s Sons, and Lynn
Atha Chase bought the house in 1956, and Mr. Chase had spent summers there
since childhood. No one was in the house when the fire broke out.
The Chase house was a good fit for Mr. Terian, who owns Rallye
Motors, a purveyor of pricey import autos like BMW’s, Mercedes-Benzes and
Rolls-Royces in Roslyn, N.Y., and who seems to have a penchant for buying homes
with celebrity pedigrees. In 1997, he and his wife, an architect, bought
Leonard Bernstein’s Dakota apartment for about $4 million. It’s a wood-paneled
sprawl that occupies most of the northeastern corner of the building’s second
floor, along Central Park.
“I have to say, it’s kind of interesting,” said Linda Haugevik, a
broker with Cook Pony Farm, about the price Mr. Chase got for his house. “But
it seems to me that I’ve seen more major high-end properties sell since
9/11-some of the biggest stuff traded, and not at low prices.”
Not that there aren’t a few wallflowers on the market that might
make for an amusing house hunt for Mr. Chase. Real-estate developer Francesco
Galesi has had Elysium, his 55,000-square-foot Southampton estate, formerly
owned by the DuPont family, listed for $45 million since December 2000 without
dropping the price.
Then there’s Eothen, the Montauk estate of Andy Warhol associate
Paul Morrissey. The 5.7-acre estate at the end of Long Island, with five houses
and large tracts of protected and undeveloped land both to the east and west,
was listed at $49 million at the end of last summer-and it’s still there.
“He’s crazy!” said one East
End broker about that asking price. But Mr. Morrissey has admitted that he’s
just testing the waters. “Other estates in the area were $45 million and $50
million, so I had to put it into competition,” he told reporters last summer.
The 57-acre estate of philanthropist and tobacco heir Anthony
Drexel Duke, with thousands of linear feet of frontage on Three Mile Harbor and
Hands Creek, has been on the market since the fall of 2000 and now has a
comparatively modest $12 million price tag. “I thought he’d just be talking to
someone at Maidstone and they’d say, ‘Why, yes, I’ll have that, absolutely,'”
gushed broker John Crocker of Agawam Realty, who is marketing the property. But
after several nibbles, mostly from foreign investors, the place is still not
the subject of any serious negotiation.
More realistically, there’s
former Talk publisher Ron Galotti’s
house, circa 1890, a few doors down from Richard Gere in Water Mill, priced at
a rather more moderate $2.8 million. It’s been on (and off) the market since
October 2000 with no serious takers. Ms. Haugevik, who is selling the property,
said Mr. Galotti made a token price reduction in September to knock it below
the $3 million mark. The two-acre property, near Mecox Bay boasts a vintage
“but mint” guest cottage and heated Gunite pool on “beautifully landscaped
grounds” covered in old-growth woods.
Then again, an old-school Hamptons-goer like Chevy Chase might
consider the place a bit too far from Maidstone.
UPPER WEST SIDE
West 85th Street
one-bath, 1,100-square-foot co-op.
$749,000. Selling: $749,000.
$1,050; 45 percent tax-deductible.
on the market: one month.
JAMAICA IS A STATE OF MIND Good-deal
apartments are hard to come by in this city. They’re even harder to leave. The
easy part, however, is selling them. This full-floor apartment in a brownstone
on a tree-lined block between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West has two
bedrooms, a fireplace in the combination open living room and dining area, and
a landscaped garden in the back. The sellers, represented by Jamie Goff, a vice
president at Insignia Douglas Elliman, were headed for Jamaica and held their
first open house on Sept. 13. Still, the apartment sold quickly for the full
asking price. That garden must have been a real score.
UPPER EAST SIDE
East 76th Street (the Newport East)
one-bath, 875-square foot co-op.
$399,000. Selling: $390,000.
734; 50 percent tax-deductible.
on the market: one month.
WITH (RETIRED) SHARKS Their Mercedes Benzes might even have passed on the
George Washington Bridge: in one lane, the couple who’d been living in this
one-bedroom apartment in the Newport East, a 17-story building on 76th Street
between First and Second avenues, and who flew south to retire earlier this
year; in the other, the woman who bought the place from them. She’d been living
in the suburbs all her life, but she wanted to settle down in the city, where
her children live. The apartment has an L-shaped dining area and a nice-sized
kitchen-and it’s extremely close to the kiddies, who are also on the Upper East
Side. There may not be much shuffleboard to play, but at least the Newport East
has a rooftop swimming pool. Wendy Divack of Charles Greenthal & Co. was
the exclusive broker on this deal.
townhouse plus carriage house.
$5.995 million. Selling: $5.25 million.
on the market: three months.
LANDLORD CHIC It seems like no owner of
this unusual property-a 4,200-square-foot townhouse on Perry Street near West
Fourth Street, which has a small garden in the back leading to a
3,500-square-foot carriage house-has ever wanted to actually live there. The
couple who bought the place in February 2001 for $5 million made no pretense
otherwise: They did a high-end renovation to the townhouse and then sold it to
the highest bidder. The house has three bedrooms, seven fireplaces, three full
and one half bathrooms, and lots of living and closet space. The sellers didn’t
do any work to the carriage house, which had been configured as two duplex
apartments by previous owners and rented out. The person who bought the place
doesn’t intend to move in, either; she’s already made plans to put it on the
rental market for $15,000 per month. Sara Gelbard of the Corcoran Group
represented the seller; the buyer was represented by Glenn Norrgard of
Sotheby’s International Realty.
UPPER EAST SIDE
bowie grabs $1.7 million for
essex house pad
It’s been a while since David Bowie and Iman called the
Essex House at 760 Central Park South their home, but the rocker-model couple
(and child) have finally sold their ninth-floor apartment in that storied
building, closing a deal for $1.725 million with a couple-he’s an American
investment banker, she’s a “beautiful European lady,” according to a source-who
will use it as a pied-à-terre when
visiting from Boca Raton.
According to a broker familiar with the deal, the sale
was final on Jan. 15, and the buyers are ecstatic. “It’s like floating above
the park!” the broker gushed about the place.
The Bowies put the place on the market “over eight
months ago” for $2.5 million, according to Cecilia Serrano, the Ashforth
Warburg broker who brought the buyers into the deal and negotiated the price
down to $1.725 million. “It’s beautiful, and it was totally renovated,” Ms.
The Bowies’ penthouse at 285 Lafayette Street, where
they bought two adjoining units for $4 million over a year ago, appears to be
ready for them. But these downtown digs are not what you’d expect from the
ultramodern rock star: Sources tell The
Observer that the couple has spent almost another million dollars to create
an “old English look” in the space-much the kind of thing that the Essex House
spends a lot less trying to achieve.
UPPER EAST SIDE
academy of sciences regroups
The New York Academy of Sciences lost its president and
chief executive, Rodney Nichols, at the end of last year. With his departure,
the academy’s lush mansion on East 63rd Street near Fifth Avenue was pulled off
the Upper East Side townhouse market.
Selling the 75-foot-wide 1919 mansion after shutting
down its house magazine, The Sciences ,
was part of the academy’s plan to gain a much-needed infusion of cash. The
academy was close to selling the mansion for $27 million in October to the Emir
of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the majority stakeholder in the
Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera. But the emir rescinded the offer, putting
the academy’s plans, which included relocating to an office in the Ziff-Davis
building at 1 Park Avenue, on hold.
With the sale in disarray, the arrangement with the
Ziff-Davis building fell apart-and less than a month later, Mr. Nichols
announced that he would leave the organization, citing in part dissension among
academy members over his plan to sell the mansion.
“It is no longer on the market,” said a source at
Massey Knakal Real Estate, where Paul Massey was handling the listing. Far from
expanding its staff and programming, the academy is downscaling to fit into the
63rd Street building, and all other office space is being given up, according
to Fred Merino, a spokesman for the academy.
Brokers say the decision was made at precisely the
wrong time, given the recent upsurge in townhouse sales on the Upper East Side.
For example, telecom entrepreneur Peter Knobel’s $19.5 million mansion at 20
East 73rd Street is in contract after only seven weeks on the market, according
to Ashforth Warburg broker Patricia Abrahamson. The place, which Mr. Knobel
bought for $5.8 million in 1996, has a wine cellar and a basketball court in
the basement, thanks to Mr. Knobel’s $7 million renovation.
News of the sale spread quickly and is widely being
seen as a watershed for a segment of the market that was in serious decline as
recently as last fall.
In the Jan. 14 issue, the listing broker of a townhouse at 47
Charlton Street was incorrectly identified as Sylvia Morton of Douglas Elliman.
The listing was held by Karin Wolfe of Manhattan Homes Inc.