The heir to a large medical-supply company has made the most expensive single-occupancy apartment purchase in the history of the Upper West Side. Jon Stryker, whose family founded the Stryker Corporation, paid $12.8 million for two adjacent apartments on the top floor of the Prasada, a 1907 co-op building on Central Park West and 65th Street.
According to city records, Mr. Stryker bought the two apartments from Galina Kluge, a Russian émigré who, with her late husband, had held court in the apartments for over 50 years. (Ms. Kluge has no relation to the late communications mogul John Kluge.)
“Every great Russian émigré who escaped the Soviet Union-from [writer Aleksandr] Solzhenitsyn, to all the great dancers and sculptors-they first came through this apartment,” said Ms. Kluge’s broker, Alexander Peters, of Ashforth Warburg Associates.
Combined, the two three-bedroom units span 11,000 square feet, 4,000 of which is outdoor terrace space-a rarity in prewar buildings. As you might expect, Mr. Peters used a gaggle of glowing superlatives to describe the penthouse’s park and city views. More unexpected, however, was a characteristic of the larger unit’s living room: It apparently has acoustics to rival Carnegie Hall.
“It’s the only sonically perfect room I know of in New York,” Mr. Peters said. “Endless masters came over to play when the last owner owned it.”
Each unit has three bedrooms and ceiling heights no less than 11 feet. One unit is much larger and more elaborately decorated than the other, but they are both in their original condition, never having undergone a major renovation.
“It’s dripping with details like you wouldn’t believe,” said Mr. Peters. “Nymph sconces, endless stained-glass windows-it’s one of those rare jewels.”
“These are prices that would have boggled the mind 10 years ago,” said Sherry Matays, a senior vice president at the Corcoran Group. “However, $12.8 million was probably a reasonable price to pay for something that had the potential to be so spectacular.”
The Prasada’s penthouse units have spent the last two years on and off the market. Last year the New York Post reported that the apartments had gone to contract, but that deal fell through.
“There were problems in showing it,” said Ms. Matays. “There were some parts we couldn’t get into. It required some imagination of what it could be.”
Mr. Peters said Mr. Stryker plans on a major renovation. In the process, he will reconnect the two units, which were once contiguous but later separated.
“He’s going to fix it up and restore it in the way it deserves,” said Mr. Peters. “He just wanted a spectacular Manhattan residence.”
HEY, EM-IT’S PAUL, IN NEW TRIBECA DIGS
Eminem’s manager and longtime friend, Paul Rosenberg, has attained cult status over the last few years for his cameos on the mega-selling rap artist’s last three records. (Remember the track “Paul” on Eminem’s first album, The Slim Shady LP ?)
Now Mr. Rosenberg has found a new home in Tribeca, closing in late June on a 4,500-square-foot, $2.7 million condo in the Fischer Mills building, a former warehouse between Beach and N. Moore streets. Mr. Rosenberg’s apartment is a duplex with double-height ceilings, exposed brick and original beams.
“This is a very dramatic space-great for entertaining, very, very cool,” said Stribling and Associates senior vice president Susan Wires, who has shown the apartment several times. Mr. Rosenberg could not be reached for comment, and the apartment’s listing agent, Sean Turner of Stribling, was on vacation and also could not be reached for comment.
The Observer reported in July that Mr. Rosenberg sold his old apartment in the financial district for $3.6 million. It was a 2,400-square-foot, full-floor loft on the 13th floor of a Rector Street condo building.
Mr. Rosenberg’s new home dates back to the 1860′s and has 33 loft units, two of which are “maisonettes”-multi-story apartments with their own entrances on the street. Mr. Rosenberg bought the larger of those two. It’s nearly double the size of his old place, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that by seeing the building’s exterior.
“From the outside, they look like part of the [condo] building; they don’t look like townhouses,” said Ms. Wires. “But when you get into the space and walk through it, it feels like a house more than a loft.”
The first floor of Mr. Rosenberg’s apartment has two bedrooms, two and a half baths, a living room and a dining room. Part of the floor is made of thick glass, which lends light to the level below. That floor is accessed by an austere metal staircase, has a half-bath and can be used as another bedroom or as office space or a recreation room. The floor also opens to a private garden.
Mr. Rosenberg’s name will next appear in the credits of the upcoming 8 Mile , the vaguely biographical film about a budding white rapper in industrial Detroit. The movie stars Eminem, Kim Basinger and Brittany Murphy; Mr. Rosenberg is an executive producer.
Upper East Side
1060 Park Avenue One-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op. Asking: $760,000. Selling: $735,000. Maintenance: $1,100; 40 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: nine months.
DECO DEAL The previous owners of this 850-square-foot Park Avenue co-op were big-time Art Deco collectors, and they let their Deco flag fly in the design of their home: a green marble kitchen, Deco-domed ceilings, Deco columns, Deco paneling and bookcases across an entire room. “People would come in and say, ‘The apartment’s lovely, but I don’t want this Deco look,’” said listing agent Jessica Gushin, of Charles H. Greenthal. The apartment originally went on the market in the summer of 2001 at $900,000, but by the end of the year, with no buyer in sight, Ms. Gushin had to reduce it to $760,000. Then, in April, just as Ms. Gushin was despairing of ever inking a contract, a woman in her early 30′s came to look at the apartment and was floored. It turns out she’s an Art Deco collector herself-and before you could say “Great Gatsby,” the deal was done.
Central Park South
24 Central Park South Two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom co-op. Asking: $2.5 million. Selling: $2.2 million. Maintenance: $3,680; 39 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: four months.
MIRROR MOVES When the airspace over Manhattan became so heavily regulated in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, this New Jersey homeowner could no longer fly his helicopter to work in the city every day. “He became a slave of New Jersey,” said his broker, Michel Madie of Michel Madie Real Estate Services Corp. “So he decided to make New York his main headquarters.” Mr. Madie brought his client-he’s into advertising billboards, the fashion industry and commercial real estate-to the penthouse of a 22-story Central Park South co-op building. The postwar 2,700-square-foot apartment had been languishing on the market for a year and a half before Mr. Madie began to market it. Apparently the apartment’s early-80′s renovation was, well, a little too early-80′s for most buyers (even if they turned a blind eye to the decrepit greenhouse on the balcony). “It had low mirrored ceilings and lots of black-and-white effects,” said Mr. Madie. “Everyone had a smile looking at those mirrors.” This buyer wasn’t too fazed by the Miami Vice décor: He was planning on gutting the place anyway, and he had his eye on the floor-to-ceiling living-room windows that overlook Central Park. “They were the widest glass panels I’ve ever seen in an apartment,” said Mr. Madie.
860 United Nations Plaza Two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op. Asking: $730,000. Selling: $715,000. Maintenance: $1,826; 36 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: one and a half weeks.
DELIVER US TO BEEKMAN PLACE Over the last 10 years, artist Hazel Murray painted countless pictures of Gotham cityscapes from inside her giant loft rental in Tribeca. But when the building owners decided eight months ago to convert the units into condos, Ms. Murray and her husband decided it was time to seek solace in a more traditional apartment. “She went from something artsy to something very, very conservative,” said her sales agent, Eric Babon of William B May.
They chose this 1,300-square-foot U.N. Plaza co-op because the floor-to-ceiling windows offered ample artistic inspiration. “What really got her,” said Mr. Babon, “was that right outside her window is the rooftop of 10 Mitchell Place, an old prewar building that has a beautiful garden and a water tower. It’s something she thought she would like to paint.”
345 East 56th Street Two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op. Asking: $650,000. Selling: $642,500. Maintenance: $1,425; 52 percent tax-deductible Time on the market: one month.
A BUN (OR THREE) IN THE OVEN At the closing for this midtown co-op, the air was pregnant with, well, pregnancy. The new buyer was five months along and anxious to get settled into her new place. The seller, a discrimination-law attorney, and her husband, a litigator, were also eager to move into their new home: They were expecting their second child in about two and a half weeks. Even more anxious than both of those couples, however, was the buyer’s attorney, who was beginning her labor pains during the closing. “She was on the phone with her doctor through half of it,” said the seller’s agent, Carol Miller of Insignia Douglas Elliman. “We all were just hoping it would close before the baby’s arrival.” The 1,400-square-foot apartment, on the corner of First Avenue, was fairly unexceptional as postwar two-bedrooms go these days, although Ms. Miller said the place had “great closets and a washer-dryer …. It’s what these young people can afford in this crazy city.” And speaking of this crazy city, it didn’t tickle any of the prospective parents when they discovered, on a sweltering August day during the closing, that the bank had issued uncertified checks. “It was a Friday afternoon in the summer, in the middle of a heat wave, and everybody was dying to get out-including the baby,” said Ms. Miller. The buyer’s attorney gave birth to a healthy baby boy the very next day, and the sellers are expecting their delivery on-no kidding-Labor Day.