Actress Julianne Moore and partner Bart Freundlich put their West Village penthouse loft on the market last week for $3.9 million, but it’s not because they need more space-even though renovations were completed on the place only in April of this year, around the time of the birth of their second child.
“Julianne has always wanted a brownstone and is shopping foronenow,” Ms.Moore’s spokesman, Stephen Huvane, told The Observer . “Their current apartment is very large, and having the second child did not cause them to reconsider a new home because of space.”
The apartment was always a bit of a brave step for a starlet: It overlooks an area of the West Village-the meatpacking district-that still smells of animal fat in the summer, even if the well-heeled (or readers of the Times Styles section, at least) continue to eat moules frites at the tables outside Pastis. And there are signs of re-emergence: The Swiss design firm Vitra opened a showroom, and Stella McCartney and Steve McQueen both opened up new boutiques recently.
“Julianne loves her neighborhood, and although she has not yet found a new place, she is still strongly considering the same neighborhood or very nearby,” Mr. Huvane said.
Her brokers at Sotheby’s International Realty declined to comment.
Ms. Moore and Mr. Freundlich met on the set of The Myth of Fingerprints , which Mr. Freundlich directed and in which Ms. Moore played a starring role. The movie was released in 1997, and their first son, Caleb, was born in December of the same year. In July of 1999, the three settled into an apartment on the second floor of this former warehouse building and paid $900,000 for the privilege.
But when the penthouse, which previously belonged to a couple relocating to Florida, opened up, they decided to buy it for $2.65 million in October 2001. They began a gut renovation on the place thanks to Mr. Freundlich’s brother, who coordinated the redesign, and had only just moved into their new place in April of this year when their daughter, Liv Helen, was born. Now they had two places in the building: the original downstairs place and the penthouse. In July, they finally sold the downstairs place for $1.95 million, clearing the way for this sale.
But they needn’t have left this apartment to find refuge from the city, said Kathy Matson, an independent broker who sold Ms. Moore the penthouse.
“The whole feeling was romantic and airy, and you don’t feel like you’re in the city,” said Ms. Matson of the renovation. “Just imagine being in your room with a large skylight, and you have a wall of glass doors facing west that open to a planted terrace. It was very special.”
Ms. Moore’s early investment in the meatpacking district wasn’t her only sharp real-estate decision. Real-estate records indicate that she negotiated her broker’s fees down to 5 percent. (Most brokers charge 6 percent of the sale price.)
With the holidays approaching and Ms. Moore set to begin filming Without Apparent Motive with Richard Gere in February, time’s running short to bag that brownstone. Let the shopping begin!
We Like Fancy: Patinkin Clan Buys $1.68 M. Tribeca ‘Wow’ Loft
In 1995, Mandy Patinkin invited a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter into his family’s modest UpperWestSideapartment and said that his clan had decided against moving into a more lavish place because “we don’t like fancy.”
A lot can change in seven years, even for a man whose most memorablelineisin1987′s The Princess Bride : “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Mr. Patinkin and his wife, actress and writer Kathryn Grody (who has spun urban pastorals into one-woman shows about raising two sons on the Upper West Side), recently purchased a sprawling three-bedroom duplex loft in Tribeca.
The theatrical duo paid $1,680,500 in mid-July for the 2,820-square-foot condo at a former sugar-processing warehouse on Laight Street, which was converted into 32 luxury condominium units earlier this year.
“You walk in and just go ‘Wow!’” the building’s on-site developer, the Corcoran Group’s Tricia Cole, said of the building’s luxe duplexes. “They have very dramatic loft feelings.”
Dramatic feelings are nothing new for the star of Sunday in the Park with George , who is still very much in demand: He takes his one-man show, Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Celebrating Sondheim , a tribute to the composer’s music, to Henry Miller’s Theatre Dec. 2.
Mr. Patinkin and Ms. Grody recently sent their oldest son off to college, but their youngest will likely be accompanying them to their new home south of Canal Street-which means that Ms. Grody may soon be penning maternal memoirs from a new milieu.
The six-room condo has 16-foot ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and oversize windows facing north and east.
Neither Mr. Patinkin nor Ms. Grody could be reached for comment, and their broker, Jim Brawders of the Corcoran Group, did not return calls.
upper east side
30 East 65th Street
One-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op.
Asking: $999,000. Selling: $950,000.
Maintenance: $1,800; 44 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: seven weeks.
HOME IMPROVEMENT When the new owner of this 900-plus-square-foot co-op first walked into the place, a prominent architect was already two-thirds of the way through a no-expenses-spared renovation. The apartment’s previous owner-a single woman-had hired the architect to design her dream spread, but she had gotten engaged along the way and now needed to find a bigger place to live. But since she had already forked over hefty deposits for all the materials, there was no choice but to complete the redesign. Which was just dandy for the buyer-the chief executive of a public company-because when he first walked in, the apartment was shaping up to be his dream spread, too. “We watched the apartment take shape week after week,” said the buyer’s broker, Mickey Cohen of Charles H. Greenthal Co. “Can you imagine experiencing the entire renovation and not having to pay for it?” The face-lift included a granite kitchen, custom-made plank wood floors, high-end cabinetry and brass fittings, and niches to hold flat-screen plasma TV’s. The bathroom walls were made of a seamless sheet of marble. Every room was wired for sound, and the towel racks were heated. “This was outrageous. I have done dozens of renovations, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Mr. Cohen. “If my purchaser had renovated it himself, in a million years he would not have gotten this kind of an apartment.” The buyer was so happy with the architect, he hired him to do the apartment’s interior decoration, too.
575 Park Avenue (the Beekman)
Two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op.
Asking: $725,000. Selling: $655,000.
Maintenance: $3,727; 15 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: two months.
deliver us to beekman place Believe it or not, you can still buy a two-bedroom, 1,400-square-foot Park Avenue co-op in the lower 60′s for $655,000. Just ask the new owner of this apartment at 575 Park Avenue. But here’s the catch: It’s a land-lease building, which means the cooperative is only leasing the building, and the already-high maintenance could spike to stratospheric levels at the landlord’s whim. Of course, if you’re buying at 575 Park, that’s a risk you’re probably willing to take: You can’t get into the building without having several million dollars’ worth of liquid assets in the bank. “It’s a fantastic value for anyone who can afford to get in,” said the new owner’s broker, Irene Simon of the Insignia Douglas Elliman. “It’s totally atypical.” The Beekman, where Geraldine Ferraro owns an apartment, is one of those old dowager hotels that kept up the five-day-a-week maid service when it went co-op. Many of the units serve as pied-à-terre for out-of-towners-like this apartment, which belonged to two busy professionals who find themselves in Beverly Hills full-time now. They had been subletting their space out to the head counsel of a major corporation for some time before finally giving the place up and selling it to a widower who was downsizing from a grand Fifth Avenue spread. The corner apartment has high ceilings, herringbone-patterned wood floors, and three exposures with river and skyline views.
114 West 13th Street
Four-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse.
Asking: $2.795 million. Selling: $2.5 million.
Time on the market: two years.
EVICTION FRICTION Generally, when selling a townhouse composed of rental units, the seller clears the tenants out before shopping the building around: Why buy into the headache of displacing your tenants? But these buyers-a couple that wanted to make an investment-have had their eye on this building for years. Three of the four tenants left the building without much incident when the seller didn’t renew their leases. But the fourth tenant-who had rented the parlor floor for over 20 years-was not as keen on losing his home. “It was a mess,” said broker Joseph Dwyer of the Corcoran Group, who worked on the deal with Corcoran brokers Sara Gelbard and Meredith Hatfield. “He dragged things out as long as he could.” Two years and one court-ordered eviction later, the way for the sale was clear-and the same buyers who had been around all along were still willing to ante up. Two and a half million dollars is nearly a steal when it comes to Greenwich Village townhouses these days, but it wasn’t the tenant trouble that got these buyers their price: The building needs a gut renovation before it can be used as a single-family house. The couple plans to invest over a million dollars in the project. “They knew they could do something for the house,” Mr. Dwyer said.
16 Sutton Place
Two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op.
Asking: $995,000. Selling: $950,000.
Maintenance: $1,856; 62 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: One-year.
incommodious A retired widow who was downsizing from a stately prewar Park Avenue apartment fell in love with everything about this postwar Sutton Place co-op-except the toilet. “It was an odd maroon commode, with a very unusual cylindrical back,” said the buyer’s broker, Eileen Mintz, a senior vice president at Insignia Douglas Elliman. “That’s the one thing she knew she would have to replace.” Credit for the flamboyant loo goes to the apartment’s previous owner, an antiques dealer from Monte Carlo, who was using the apartment as a pied-à-terre . Notably, the antiques dealer had added archways and moldings to give the apartment a prewar feel, and the spread overlooked both the river and rows of townhouses across the street. “It really had the charm she was looking for,” said Ms. Mintz. “It reminded her of a smaller version of the one she was coming from.
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