Joanne Corzine’s been flexing her muscle since her divorce in March from New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine, closing on a New York apartment that is miles away-literally and figuratively-from the couple’s previous New Jersey and Upper East Side spreads.
Ms. Corzine, a N.J.-based real-estate developer who divorced Mr. Corzine in March, paid $3.7 million for a four-bedroom, 3,900-square-foot condo at the Cobblestone Lofts at 28 Laight Street, closing the deal on June 27, city records show.
“The building has a muscular feel,” said Corcoran senior vice president Barrie Mandel, who sells the apartments for the sponsor (though she would not confirm Ms. Corzine’s purchase). “It’s clearly a loft, not an apartment building. Because of original texture that was maintained, when you walk into the loft, you know you are pretty far downtown.”
Owners began moving into the lofts-four 19th-century factory buildings that architect Chris Smith, of Nobu fame, converted into luxury condominiums-last summer.
Ms. Corzine is no stranger to luxury condominium purchases. In February 1998-while she was still married-she and Mr. Corzine committed to buying a $15 million, 5,000-square-foot duplex condo at 515 Park Avenue. They decided to flip the raw space in January of 2000, after Mr. Corzine decided to run for the Senate. Wind-Up Records chairman and chief executive Alan Meltzer bought the place for about $18 million in August of the same year, and he, in turn, flipped the condo for almost no profit late last year to a mysterious buyer: a technology-companyexecutive from the Midwest.
Ms.Corzine bought her new place from the sponsor, too, but it doesn’t look like she’s flipping this one. The apartment has seven and a half rooms, three and a half bathrooms and a private outdoor terrace. It features exposed wood-beam ceilings, original brick walls and oversize warehouse-style windows.
And in a coup de grâce that highlights the high cost of keeping a car in New York, Ms. Corzine forked over $51,000 for a permanent parking space in the building’s private garage.
“The parking spaces in the garage were sold as individual condominium units,” said Ms. Mandel. “The only other place that has happened is at the Deitz Lantern building down the street.”
Apparently, her neighbors are a pretty welcoming bunch. Ms. Mandel said that immediately after Sept. 11, the new inhabitants of the Cobblestone Lofts earned the reputation of being incredibly hospitable.
“In the summer of 2001, there were a lot of people living in Battery Park City or other parts of Tribeca who had bought at Cobblestone but hadn’t yet closed,” she said. “And on 9/11, they ran to Cobblestone, because they felt safe there. And the people already living there-their future neighbors-took them in. That’s really what Tribeca’s about, regardless of what people think.”
Evelyn Gruss Lipper, the ex-wife of Hollywood producer and former Deputy Mayor Ken Lipper, is asking $10 million for the Upper East Side townhouse that she and Mr. Lipper lived in before their divorce.
Real-estate sources said that Dr. Lipper, a pediatrician at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, wants to move into a Park Avenue apartment.
“The kids have flown the coop, and she probably just wants to move on to simpler living instead of living on five floors,” said a broker who knows the family.
City records show that Dr. Lipper took over the title to the house from her husband in 2000, the year of her divorce, for $770,000.
Another broker familiar with Dr. Lipper’s townhouse-a 20-foot-wide, five-story manse at 112 East 70th Street, between Park and Lexington avenues-called $10 million a “very aggressive asking price,” even in this red-hot market.
That apparently runs in the family. Dr. Lipper is the sister of investment banker Martin Gruss and the daughter of the late financier Joseph Gruss. She is also the future aunt of Shoshanna Lonstein, as her nephew, Josh, is engaged to the former Seinfeld flame.
Through a spokesperson, Dr. Lipper declined to comment. Listing broker Kathryn Steinburg, of Edward Lee Cave Inc., did not return calls by press time.
The ground floor of Dr. Lipper’s house has a marble foyer and formal dining room with French doors opening onto a sunlit garden. The parlor floor has a bar and library that opens onto a planted terrace. The master bedroom takes up the entire third floor, and five bedrooms take up the top two floors. Elaborate moldings and architectural details, wood-burning fireplaces and wide-plank wooden floors dominate throughout.
Dr. Lipper’s ex-husband Ken was deputy mayor of finance under Ed Koch, an experience he drew from to write and produce the Al Pacino/John Cusack drama City Hall .
Mr. Lipper later teamed up with Steven Spielberg to produce the Academy Award–winning Holocaust documentary The Last Days .
upper east side
25 East 86th Street
Two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op.
Asking: $1.2 million. Selling: $1.215 million.
Maintenance: $1,300; 53 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: eight weeks.
THE FORTUNATE FEW After the co-op board turned down one prospective buyer for this run-down 1,800-square-foot apartment, Key Ventures’ Laurance Kaiser knocked $100,000 off the asking price. “For fix-’em-uppers, the real-estate market is not really strong, as it is for something in mint condition,” Mr. Kaiser said, explaining the move. A quiet old woman had lived in the place for 40 years, and it’s safe to say that the décor was not exactly au courant . But at the new price, a mid-20’s couple with a young child came by to have a look and saw past the décor, even offering $115,000 over the asking price. “Basically, young people with children prefer not to do renovations, because they want to move in time for the start of the school year,” he said. “But if you’re fortunate to be able to carry two apartments, living in one while fixing the other, you’ve got it made in the shade.” So what was the attraction? The apartment’s 11th-floor location gives it great park views, and it’s a low-maintenance building with “great bones” and a fireplace.
upper west side
23 West 73rd Street
One-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op.
Asking: $545,000. Selling: $545,000.
Maintenance: $1,080; 52 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: two months.
SEVENTH-FLOOR ITCH The person who ended up buying this seventh-floor, 900-square-foot co-op had his heart set on the same apartment two floors down-as did four other people in the last five months. And the seller of that fifth-floor apartment-an investment banker in his 30’s-was desperate to unload it all five times. The problem was, the banker wanted to relocate into a prewar apartment on lower Fifth Avenue that would meet a laundry list of strict criteria, and nothing he saw measured up. So he’s had to spurn five accepted offers-some over the asking price. “We’ve sold Unit 506 a million times in the last five months,” said the banker’s broker, Insignia Douglas Elliman’s Vickey Barron, who also handled the sale of the seventh-floor apartment. “We just keep going through buyers. It’s becoming a joke.” The buyer of the seventh-floor apartment-a father buying for his daughter-also preferred No. 506, which was cheaper than No. 706, but he was so nervous about losing out on this one that he ponied up $15,000 over the cost of the lower, identical unit. Referring to her fifth-floor conundrum, Ms. Barron said, “I’ve never worked so hard on a single apartment in my life. But it goes to show the lack of inventory in New York: just look at how quickly we’re getting into bidding wars at full asking-or over!”
155 East 34th Street (Warren House)
One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo.
Asking: $319,000. Selling: $304,000.
Charges: $300. Taxes: $2,196.
Time on the market: less than a week.
MOGUL OF MURRAY HILL Tanking indexes had the buyer of this smallish Murray Hill condo souring on stock-market investments and ramping up his interest in real estate. After renting out this 600-square-foot condo, the owner-an investor named Fred Saritsky-plans on a land grab of at least 10 more apartments in the neighborhood. “He’s bought two already, and he’s looking at a third right now,” said Mr. Saritsky’s broker, Deborah Tzuri of Charles H. Greenthal. “At this time, he has a lot more control investing in real estate than in the [stock] market.” Ms. Tzuri, a 30-year Murray Hill veteran, thinks her neighborhood’s time has finally come. “Compared to other parts of the city, you can still get value for your money in Murray Hill,” she said. “It’s quasi-residential and commercial, centrally located, and accessible to all major transportation.”
Tyson Silent on Townhouse Bid Prize-fight Loss to Lewis
The chairman of a large investment bank has signedaone-year lease on the lavishly detailed Upper East Side townhouse that Mike Tyson tried to buy at the beginning of the summer.
Apparently, the deeply-in-debt Mr. Tyson was unable to muster a winning bid on the four-story canary-and-cream building after losing his title fight to Lennox Lewis in June.
“Ever since he lost the fight, I never heard back from him,” said the townhouse’s owner, 53-year-old Austrian real-estate developer Peter Cervinka.
Mr. Cervinka bought the townhouse at 180 East 64th Street in 1993 and spent over $8 million renovating it in a Rococo style that one broker termed “a little Versailles in New York.” Unwilling to part with his labor of love for anything under $12 million, Mr. Cervinka said he would rent the place out until someone comes up with the magic number.
“I’ve had other bids, but they weren’t good enough,” he said. “If I don’t get the 12 million, I don’t sell.”