Rising TV Talk Star Ripa and Soap Mate Buy Trendy New Soho Digs in $2.8 M. Deal

When the producers of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee informed 11-year soap-opera veteran Kelly Ripa in February 2001 that she was being tapped to replace Ms. Gifford on the five-tapings-a-week morning show, Ms. Ripa and her husband knew it was finally time to move out of New Jersey and find some digs in Manhattan.

City records show that the search ended on April 29, when Ms. Ripa and her husband, fellow soap star Mark Consuelos, bought a $2.8 million condo in Soho. Although the condo is smaller than the couple’s old house in Franklin Lakes, N.J., the 31-year-old Ms. Ripa and the 32-year-old Mr. Consuelos have been bunking together on the small screen for years: The characters they play on the ABC soap All My Children are married, too.

Their new real-life apartment, a full-floor loft, should have just enough space for their two children, 5-year-old Michael and 1-year-old Lola.

Mr. Consuelos recently took an indefinite leave from All My Children to film a movie in Australia and was not available for comment at press time; Ms. Ripa declined to comment through a representative.

The new place is a far cry from Franklin Lakes, a one-block walk from such Soho destinations as the restaurants Balthazar and Canteen, the day spa Bliss and Prada’s new Soho branch.

Since assuming her co-hosting duties at Mr. Philbin’s side, the Live with Regis and Kelly show has consistently enjoyed higher ratings than it did during Ms. Gifford’s reign. In addition, Ms. Ripa and Mr. Consuelos have both been nominated for daytime Emmys for their performances as Hayley Vaughn and Mateo Santos.

Jon Stewart Settles Into $2.6 M. Do-It-Yourselfer

On the June 12 edition of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart , Mr. Stewart scored a mini-coup by landing an interview with Mike Bloomberg-the Mayor’s first appearance on a late-night talk show.

“You’re not even living in Gracie Mansion, am I right?” Mr. Stewart chided the Mayor. “You must have a nice house, to be able to say, ‘That mansion, ehhhh … ‘”

“Suffice it to say,” Mr. Bloomberg responded coyly, “I’m comfortable.”

Well, suffice it to say, Mr. Stewart is going to be comfortable, too, once he moves into his own newly constructed bachelor-pad penthouse in Greenwich Village. In mid-April, the longtime New York native closed on a $2.6 million condo loft off tony lower Fifth Avenue. Mr. Stewart’s new place has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a 1,500-square-foot set-back terrace.

Mr. Stewart’s spokesperson declined to comment on the purchase, as did the building’s director of sales, Michele Conte of Brown Harris Stevens. Ms. Conte did confirm, however, that each of the building’s penthouse units hit the market “several cuts above Temporary Certificate of Occupancy finish,” meaning that they have more than just running water and lights. The standard kitchens, for example, come with granite countertops, maple paneling and top-of-the-line appliances.

“Our kitchens are nothing that will appear in Architectural Digest , but they’re nice enough to live with for a short period of time,” Ms. Conte said. “But if you chose to rip them out and do some elaborate, fabulous kitchen, you don’t lose sleep thinking that the sale price [included] 150 grand in the kitchen-because it doesn’t.”

After ABC failed in its attempt to lure David Letterman away from CBS to host a talk show in the midnight-to-1-a.m. time slot left vacant after the cancellation of Bill Maher’s show Politically Incorrect , ABC officials reportedly flirted with the idea of hiring Mr. Stewart to host the new show. But in the end, the job went to another Comedy Central talk-show host, The Man Show ‘s Jimmy Kimmel.

Joking with Mayor Bloomberg about the New York City’s comparatively dismal past, back when he was just a struggling stand-up comic, Mr. Stewart said: “Fifteen years ago, if they had set off a dirty bomb on 10th Avenue, people would’ve been like, ‘All right, I’ll take the F.D.R.'”

upper east side

200 East 69th Street (the Trump Palace)

Three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom condo.

Asking: $1.2 million. Selling: $1.2 million.

Charges: $1,544. Taxes: $788.

Time on the market: one month.

For four years, the buyers of this Trump Palace condo-an American commodities broker in his late 20’s who had married a Japanese woman in the same field and then moved with her to Singapore-would call their broker from Asia and tease her with promises of returning to New York. “He’d call intermittently and say, ‘I think I’m ready,’ and then he would change his mind and I wouldn’t hear from him,” said Terri Stone of Charles H. Greenthal. But after Sept. 11, the teasing stopped. “That was it for them,” said Ms. Stone. “Seeing how the city came together, they said, ‘We’re coming back.'” Standing firm on a condo over a co-op, Ms. Stone’s clients pored over the dozens of floor plans that Ms. Stone faxed to Singapore. When they came across this apartment at the Trump Palace with 1,500 square feet of indoor space and two small balconies, they called Ms. Stone up in the middle of the night and told her they were sold. “He wanted to be an American at home in this city,” said Ms. Stone. “He wanted his child to be brought up here, and he wanted to participate in the city’s rebirth.”

upper west side

239 Central Park West

Three-bedroom, three-bathroom co-op.

Asking: $2.395 million. Selling: $2.129 million.

Maintenance: $1,541; 37 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: six months.

For the most part, you can’t get outdoor space in a prewar co-op unless you buy the penthouse. So when Insignia Douglas Elliman sales agent Victor Principe came across this second-floor apartment whose 150-square-foot terrace had a grape-leaf-covered trellis, he decided to market the place as an alternative to a townhouse. “It’d be great,” he remembers thinking, “for someone who wants [the outdoor space] of a townhouse, but doesn’t want all the headaches of a house.” The seller of this 2,300-square-foot co-op was a Neiman Marcus merchandise manager turned interior designer. He had had three artists spend several months painting an array of trump l’oeil domes in the entrance gallery, living room and bedroom hallway. The seller had also installed a barrel-vaulted ceiling in the apartment’s gallery room, in addition to paneling the dining room in wood with dental molding. The living room’s wood-burning fireplace-another rarity in Upper West Side prewar co-ops-had a marble mantle. “You felt like you were living in a palazzo,” said Mr. Principe. He found his buyer in a divorced female executive at a financial-management company.

chelsea

143 West 27th Street

Three-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op.

Asking: $799,000. Selling: $795,000.

Maintenance: $1,312; 50 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: almost a year.

Although the northern end of Chelsea-sometimes called the flower district-is budding with new mid- to high-end residential development, this newly renovated, 2,000-square-foot loft spent almost a year on the market and sold for $300,000 less than the original asking price of $1.1 million. Listing agent Edward C. Ferris, a vice president at William B. May, said that the co-op’s multiple partitions made it difficult for potential buyers to imagine the apartment’s potential as a true sprawling loft. “It took a small intellectual leap of vision to see how the space could be opened up and improved,” he said. The new buyers-an early-30’s couple; he’s in financial services, she’s a physical therapist-are knocking down some non-structural walls to give their expected firstborn some real romping room. The apartment’s previous owners were a Dutch couple who had relocated to Harlem-the suburb outside of Amsterdam that gave its name to the New York neighborhood. But before they left, they gave their apartment-on the sixth and uppermost floor-Miele appliances, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and maple floors.