It’s official: Julianne Moore is leaving behind the trendy meatpacking-district lofts she’s called home for the last four years. Late last month, the two-time Academy Award–nominated actress closed on a $3.5 million West Village townhouse. It’s only a few blocks away from her previous downtown holdings, but before she and her longtime boyfriend, director Bart Freundlich, can move in with their two children, they’ll have to wait out some structural renovations.
Their new 1839 Greek Revival townhouse has five stories, but it’s currently set up as a four-unit building, with a duplex on the bottom two floors and three floor-through units above.
“She bought a house, but it’s not finished yet,” confirmed her publicist, Stephen Huvane, who said he didn’t know the details of the envisioned renovation.
Presumably, Ms. Moore will seek to convert the building to a one-family residence, but as of press time, she had yet to file a renovation plan with the city’s department of buildings. In the meantime, Ms. Moore and her gang are holed up elsewhere in the neighborhood. According to this week’s New York magazine, she’s currently renting the Greenwich Village townhouse of Christy Turlington. She reportedly negotiated a lease somewhere south of the property’s $20,000 per month asking price.
When their stay there is up, Ms. Moore and her family can begin personalizing their new abode. It’s a 21-foot-wide building with 4,500 square feet, and the townhouse has original trims, moldings, fireplace mantels, wide plank floors and a 1,090-square-foot garden.
According to a source close to the deal, the house’s previous owner, Thomas James, moved to Dallas to become Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer. Efforts to reach Mr. James were unsuccessful. The source said, however, that Mr. James and his wife used to reside in the duplex unit, and they cleared out the building’s rent-controlled tenants before putting the house on the market late last year.
For almost the last four years, Ms. Moore and her family have been living in loft apartments at 345 West 13th Street, a former warehouse building in the neighboring meatpacking district. Ms. Moore’s first acquisition came in July of 1999, when she bought a low-floor unit in the building for $900,000. In October 2001, she upgraded to the building’s $2.65 million penthouse unit, selling the smaller apartment for $1.95 million. By November 2002, however, Ms. Moore and Mr. Freundlich were ready to move again, and put their penthouse unit on the market for $3.9 million. It’s currently under contract. At the time, Mr. Huvane told The Observer : “Julianne has always wanted a brownstone, and is shopping for one now.”
Well, she’s got it-and with the purchase, she joins fellow Greenwich Village townhouse owners Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe, and Edie Falco.
Buy, With a Little Help From Your Friends: Rossellini Continues Sales With $430K Condo
Isabella Rossellini’s real-estate divestment continues. On the heels of downgrading from a sprawling 3,000-square-foot Upper East Side penthouse to a more modest Upper West Side perch late last year, the Roger Dodger star recently sold a small financial-district condo that she’s owned since 1986. The new owner is a friend of Ms. Rossellini’s, who has been renting the apartment for the last 15 years.
“I’ve known her for 30 years or so,” said the owner, Paavo Turtiainen. “It was a pure investment for her, and when it came on the market, I bought it.”
Mr. Turtiainen, who said he runs a small catering company out of the apartment, paid $430,000 for the 1,075-square-foot, one-bedroom condo loft, located at 117 Beekman Street.
“It’s got high ceilings and lots of light,” he said. “It’s a beautiful place and a nice building.”
Mr. Turtiainen declined to comment on why Ms. Rossellini decided to sell the apartment now, and calls to Ms. Rossellini’s press agents were not returned by press time.
In February 2002, Ms. Rossellini put her 3,000-square-foot East 85th Street condo on the market for $5.49 million. By the end of that year, she had purchased a 1,800- square-foot condo on West 86th Street for $1.79 million. She also retains a residence at 25 Central Park West.
RECENT TRANSACTIONS IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET
1088 Park Avenue
Four-bedroom, four-bathroom co-op.
Asking: $5.575 million. Selling: $5.075 million.
Maintenance: $5,027; 39 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: nine months.
LOOK OUT BELOW! Talk about getting in while the getting is good: In 1935, an international corporate lawyer at a major New York firm moved into a rental apartment at this Park Avenue building. In 1941, when the building was still a rental, the lawyer moved with his wife into this duplex penthouse unit, which has four exposures and a 360-degree wrap-around terrace. At the time, they were paying $250 a month. When the building went co-op in the early 1950′s, the couple bought the unit for $8,900. They raised four children in the apartment, one of whom told The Observer about his fond memories of the apartment’s outdoor space. “It was great fun to throw water-filled balloons onto 88th Street, and snowballs at the cars on Park Avenue,” said the son, a semi-retired former furniture-company executive. “Having a terrace is also very useful for walking the dog.” The family’s patriarch died in 1990, and his 97-year-old wife passed away in October 2001. For almost the last seven decades, they’d been using the same phone number. An investment banker and his wife, a former investment banker herself, are the apartment’s new owners. Until recently, they, along with their two young children, had been working and living in Hong Kong. Their new home has approximately 3,500 square feet, three staff rooms and a library, and the building has a quarter-acre interior grass courtyard. Hilda Shamash, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman, shared the listing on this apartment with Mary Rutherfurd, an associate broker at Brown Harris Stevens.
UPPER WEST SIDE
22 West 66th Street
Three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo.
Asking: $2.3 million. Selling: $2.1 million.
Charges: $2,000; taxes: $1,250
Time on the market: eight months.
THE CORRECTIONS To get an idea of the degree to which Manhattan’s high-end real-estate market has “corrected” itself over the past three quarters, consider this deal: A residential real-estate investor based in Europe bought this apartment in 1995 for $995,000. The 2,241-square-foot unit has a library with two balconies, four exposures and park views. To the luxe marble kitchen and bathroom finishings that the sponsor had installed, the investor added cherrywood paneling, a wine cooler and attractive window treatments. It was an expensive and heartfelt installation, but when the investor found herself spending less and less time in America, she decided it was time to cash out. So in May of 2002, she put the apartment on the market for $2.95 million. Her broker, Reba Miller, president of R.P. Miller and Associates, received an offer at the full asking price within a week, but the deal fell apart when the buyer discovered that her portfolio had taken a bigger hit than she’d thought. As the summer wore on, fewer and fewer buyers came to see the apartment, and Ms. Miller was forced to reduce the asking price, first to $2.75 million, then to $2.6 million, then to $2.49 million and finally to $2.3 million. When a retired businessman finally closed on the property-eight months after the first looker had been willing to spend $2.95 million-the selling price was $2.1 million.
“Fears about the economy, war, the future of New York-they all played a part, there’s no doubt about it,” said Ms. Miller. “But at the end of the day, good money was still made, because [my client] only paid $995,000 for the apartment.”
Michael Spodek of the Halstead Property Company represented the buyer.
330 East 51st Street
Asking: $1.95 million. Selling: $1.8 million.
Time on the market: one year.
IT’S YOUR NUMERALS When real-estate broker Kevin Brown bought this dilapidated shell of a townhouse in August 2000, he intended to add two floors to the building, rehabilitate it and then move in with his family. But thanks to what he called a year and a half of bureaucratic red tape, the townhouse is now owned by the Kabbalah Centre of Florida, and it’s unclear what they’re planning on doing with the property. But whether it’s office space or housing for rabbis, it’s a far cry from what Mr. Brown had in mind. When he first toured the ramshackle property almost three years ago, it was 11 p.m. on the night before he was leaving for Europe on business. An owner and senior managing director at Ashforth Warburg Associates, Mr. Brown had long been on the hunt for a fixer-upper, and he seized upon his prize instantly. “I had seen everything on the market,” he recalled. “So when [the broker] said: ‘One million three fifty,’ I said: ‘Fine.’” Mr. Brown drew up and submitted his renovation plans within 24 hours. That, he said, was the last time anything related to the property happened with haste. The first roadblock: building permits. “Thinking that I was a man about town, and that I knew so many people, I thought I could get the permits in two to four months,” Mr. Brown said. Eight months later, he was still waiting for the city’s approval. “I realized it could go on forever,” Mr. Brown said. Unwilling to wait in limbo, he bought and combined two apartments at nearby 100 U.N. Plaza and moved in there with his domestic partner and their two adopted children. Their rickety townhouse hit the market in early 2002. Final approval from the city to turn the structure into a five-story building had arrived a full year and a half after Mr. Brown had originally applied. But by then, he was already entertaining offers on the property. Mr. Brown ended up going with the Kabbalah group because, he said, “I had a soft spot for any group dealing with spirituality.” But the delays mounted. According to Mr. Brown, the numbers were agreed upon, but the numerology was off: the Kabbalah Centre held off on closing for two months, waiting for an “auspicious day” to finalize the deal. “It was frustrating for my attorney, as well as for their attorney, because we did not know which were the good days and bad days,” Mr. Brown said. “Nobody seemed to know exactly what the right date was.” Representatives for the Kabbalah Centre didn’t return calls for comment.