“The difference between you and me,” shouts Carmela Soprano at her husband, Tony, on the HBO series, “is I’m going to heaven when I die.”
The difference between the actors-Edie Falco, who plays Carmela, and James Gandolfini, who plays Tony-is now about five blocks, since both have recently purchased property in the far West Village.
On March 8, Mr. Gandolfini closed a $1.05 million deal to buy a 1,367-square-foot condo at 99 Jane Street, an 11-story building in the far West Village designed by Fox & Fowle, the architects who built the Condé Nast building at 4 Times Square. The purchase was made just three days before he filed for divorce from his wife, Marcy.
At just about the same time, Edie Falco bought a townhouse at 97 Barrow Street, between Hudson and Greenwich streets, for $2.55 million.
Though Ms. Falco made a bigger investment, the Jane Street condo is just the smallest piece of Mr. Gandolfini’s rapidly expanding real-estate empire spanning lower Manhattan, where he has lived most of his adult life, and northern New Jersey, where the actor grew up-though all that might soon have to be divided with his wife.
In January of last year, Mr. Gandolfini bought a historic farmhouse in Chester Township, N.J., for $1.14 million. The four-bedroom home on five acres dates to the early 19th century. “I just like the house,” Mr. Gandolfini told the New Jersey paper The Star-Ledger at the time. “My 2-year-old needs to run on grass a little bit.” Three months later, the Gandolfinis reportedly moved from an apartment in the Village to a $2 million, three-bedroom loft on Greenwich Street in Tribeca, just a few blocks from the building on West Broadway bought by Michael Imperioli, who plays Tony Soprano’s nephew Christopher in the HBO series.
But Mr. Gandolfini seems to have missed the Village. Last July, he made a $300,000 deposit on an 1842 Greek revival brownstone at 138 West 13th Street, with a separate, small 1920’s cottage at the back of the lot. The house belonged to Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, and when the deal unraveled, Mr. Gandolfini sued the couple for the deposit money. (The case is still pending, and the house is still on the market with Debbie Korb of Sotheby’s International Realty for $3.6 million.)
Late last year, Mr. Gandolfini signed a contract on the Jane Street apartment. The two-bedroom, second-floor apartment has a small but well-appointed kitchen near the entrance, a limestone master bathroom with a Jacuzzi and stall shower, a laundry room, maple floors and walls of east-facing windows in every room.
Ms. Falco’s new property seems to be a long-term investment. “She’s got a gorgeous house,” said one broker who has seen the four-story, neo-Greek-style brick townhouse, built in 1847. The interior has been completely redone, mixing ornate original details (where they could be preserved) with sleek contemporary finishes. The common thread is the wide-planked flooring-homey and old-fashioned-looking where elaborate moldings and archways set the theme, and sleek and comfortable in, for instance, the open kitchen and great room that leads onto a patio.
But a little more than a week after buying the place, Ms. Falco put it up for rent with the Corcoran Group-for $13,500 per month. Bada-bing !
Shelby Bryan’s House To Get About $11 Million
Al Gore, you’re out of luck. The Upper East Side townhouse of Shelby Bryan, former chief executive of ICG Communications and a huge supporter of the former Vice President, has a buyer who is paying close to $11 million.
Of course, Mr. Gore has found other lavish Manhattan residences in which to be fêted by men with deep pockets. And in fact, Mr. Bryan has not lived in the house, at 134 East 71st Street, since he separated from and then divorced Katherine Bryan, with whom he has two children. He bought the place in 1999 for $7.3 million. In November of 2000, he was ousted by ICG, a Denver-based telecom company that filed for bankruptcy the same month. Mr. Bryan is now dating Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour, and renting an apartment at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street.
Mr. Bryan’s former wife, who spent six months redoing the 12-room, six-bedroom place with the help of friend Susan Gutfreund (floral-print upholstery on the living-room walls), signed a deal to sell the house in April. The ladies’ handiwork was featured in the February 2001 issue of House Beautiful . In May of 2001, Ms. Bryan put the townhouse on the market for $14 million and, two price discounts later, the house has a signed contract. Sources familiar with the transaction say the buyers intend to close the deal in June.
Brokers were divided about the merits of the house, which is 23 feet wide and right off Lexington Avenue. “It is in exquisite condition and has lovely flow,” said Paula Del Nunzio, a townhouse specialist at Brown Harris Stevens who has seen the property
Upper West Side
11 Riverside Drive One-bed, one-bath, 1,000-square-foot co-op. Asking: $765,000. Selling: $755,000. Charges: $891; 42 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: two months.
SHUTTLE-JUMPERS TIRE OF YALE CLUB Let’s face it, when buying real estate in New York, rarely do people find themselves moving into a place significantly better than they imagined. But when a couple from Washington, D.C., tired of the accommodations of the convenient yet musty Yale Club across the street from Grand Central-an oasis of old-boy-ness-decided to find a more permanent New York perch, they made an educated decision that paid off. Joanna Simon, a broker with the Fox Residential Group, took them on three shopping ventures. On the third trip, they stumbled into this apartment near 73rd Street-a 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom in need of an elaborate renovation-and knew they had struck Manhattan gold: The apartment has an almost 1,000-square-foot terrace with unobstructed views of the Hudson River. Despite the fact that “the couple was not looking for something this spectacular,” according to Ms. Simon, once they saw it, they couldn’t turn it down. They will do major renovations, including putting French doors from the apartment onto the terrace. Next decision: why get back on the shuttle south?
Upper East Side
35 Sutton Place Three-bed, three-bath, 2,200-square-foot co-op. Asking: $1.6 million. Selling: $1.43 million. Maintenance: $2,550; 52 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: two weeks.
LET’S ROLL … DOWN THE BLOCK “There are decision-makers and non-decision-makers, and these people were decision-makers,” said Julie Friedman of Bellmarc Realty, of the couple that bought this apartment. “I had taken them to see maybe eight or 10 apartments, and as soon as we got in the foyer of this apartment, I knew on the spot that they knew on the spot that they were going to take this apartment.” When the recently retired couple, who’d been renting an apartment nearby, saw this sunny three-bedroom co-op with East River views, one said to the other, “Let’s do it.” Twenty-four hours later, said Ms. Friedman, the contract was signed.
200 East 57th Street Two-bed, two-bath, 1,500-square-foot co-op. Asking: $698,000. Selling: $685,000. Maintenance: $1,820; 50 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: three weeks.
THE CURE FOR CRAMPING Yeah, yeah, yeah. The apartment was in good condition-“a beautiful, traditional look,” said Barbara Lee Chase of the Corcoran Group, who sold this co-op with her partner, Rose Grobman. The kitchen was redone and the bathrooms were nice. But let’s cut to the chase: “This building is known for its great closet space,” said Ms. Chase, who owns an apartment in the building herself. In this apartment, we’re talking about four walk-in closets. In fact, in general, the apartment is spacious. “The rooms are very generous,” Ms. Chase said. The building, near Third Avenue, is popular among people “relocating from a house and facing the trauma of moving into a New York City apartment.” The guy who bought it works in Manhattan but had been living in a house in the country. His thinking: less to have to unload on eBay.
325 West 11th Street Two-bed, one-bath, 850-square-foot co-op. Asking: $349,000. Selling: $345,000. Maintenance: $695; 50 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: three months.
ENGLISHMEN IN NEW YORK If you spin it right, this apartment sounds like a dream: Between West and Washington streets, the 850-square-foot place is a decent amount of space for under $350,000. Then again, it’s on the top floor of a five-story walk-up, it’s laid out railroad-style, and only one of the five rooms-a bedroom-doesn’t face the building right next-door. “You could see kids’ drawings on the neighbor’s refrigerator and what kind of shampoo people were using,” said Scott Saunders of Bellmarc Realty, who sold the apartment and noticed the privacy issue. But probably the biggest drawback to the place when the broker was trying to sell it was the flighty English sublessee and his frequently visiting uncle, who made showing the apartment difficult. Luckily for Mr. Saunders and the seller-an author living in Arizona-the buyers, a couple from California, were pretty patient about getting in to see the place. And once inside, they were able to overlook the old Chinese food containers strewn everywhere. Cheers!
Bryan House $11 Million Deal
Several times. But Leslie J. Garfield, of Leslie J. Garfield & Co. said, “It’s right across the street from a garage, and that’s why it sat on the market for so long.” The house has a dining room that feeds into a garden in the back. Upstairs, there’s a master-bedroom suite that one source said is “incredibly well laid out,” with his-and-hers dressing rooms. The house also has a media room and a small gym.
Ms. Bryan’s home on the East End’s Lily Pond Lane was on the April 2002 cover of House Beautiful -a strategic coup, since it has been reported that she might want to sell that one, too.