The opulent Upper East Side duplex owned by Tyco International that had been home to its former chief executive, L. Dennis Kozlowski, has gone to contract, according to a real-estate source familiar with the proceedings. The apartment, in the exclusive limestone co-op at 950 Fifth Avenue, carried a $24.95 million asking price and was being shopped by S. Jean Meisel and Amy Katcher of Brown Harris Stevens. Both brokers declined to comment on a pending transaction, citing confidentiality agreements. Gwen Fisher, a spokeswoman for the 260,000-employee manufacturing and service conglomerate, also declined to comment on the sale of Mr. Kozlowski’s former corporate residence.
But a source close to the proceedings said that after nearly two years on the market, one of the bubble-burst’s most vexing symbols of corporate profligacy has finally found a buyer.
Other high-profile tenants in the tony building include Daily News owner and real-estate mogul Mort Zuckerman and Jonathan Tisch, the chairman of N.Y.C. and Company and chief executive of Loews Hotels. The Tyco apartment has four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, four wood-burning fireplaces and an eat-in kitchen. The 11th-floor residence made headlines last year during Mr. Kozlowski’s larceny trial in State Supreme Court in Manhattan for allegedly looting the company of $170 million, plus illegally profiting from $430 million in stock sales after artificially inflating the company’s value. In April, the case against Mr. Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, Tyco’s former chief financial officer, ended in a mistrial. But during the trial, details of Mr. Kozlowski’s wanton spending came to light, including the ornate Fifth Avenue duplex that the company purchased in 2000 for $18 million from Blackstone Group financier Stephen Schwarzman (who, in turn, paid a then-record $37 million for his triplex penthouse at 740 Park Avenue). Mr. Kozlowski soon added $13 million worth of gilded finishings to the apartment, including the infamous $6,000 shower curtain and the $15,000 umbrella stand, as well as a fine-art collection that included a $3.95 million Monet and a $4.7 million Renoir.
But it wasn’t just fine real estate that spurred Mr. Kozlowski’s penchant for wild spending. During the trial, prurient C.E.O.-watchers and the media learned of the embattled chief’s homes in Boca Raton, Fla.; jewelry from Harry Winston and Tiffany’s; and-in what has now become a classic symbol of corporate avarice-a video of a $1 million birthday fête in Sardinia thrown for his wife, which featured a private concert by Jimmy Buffett (who played to the tune of $250,000) and an ice sculpture of Michelangelo’s David that appeared to be urinating Stolichnaya vodka while toga-clad revelers danced in the background.
With a potential closing on the apartment imminent, Tyco may be hoping to conclude an unfortunate chapter in the company’s history. The sale of the 11-room residence has proved a challenging task for the Bermuda and New Hampshire–based company. In late 2002, the apartment first hit the market at $28 million and languished without a buyer. In February, Tyco slashed $3 million off the asking price, and apparently the nearly 10 percent discount has paid off. Moreover, any confusion over where the funds from a sale would go seem to have been cleared up: Mr. Kozlowski’s attorney, Stephen Kaufman, told The Observer that all proceeds will be directed back into the company’s coffers and not Mr. Kozlowski’s wallet. “[The apartment] was always a company asset. All the proceeds will go to the company. The ownership is Tyco,” he said.
Riverdance director John McColgan will soon jig and tap his way into a new duplex penthouse at 1080 Madison Avenue. Mr. McColgan recently purchased a four-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot apartment for $5.5 million, city records show, but the Celtic dance impresario has now decided to rent out his Manhattan perch with a très cher asking price of $30,000 a month.
“Basically, he’s not moving to New York as quickly as he thought,” said exclusive broker Roger Erickson of Sotheby’s International Realty. “I’ve had outrageous offers to buy the apartment. But he doesn’t want to sell.”
Mr. McColgan has indeed landed a prize possession that would be hard to part with. The 18th-floor duplex, on Madison Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets, has an entertaining area complete with fireplaces, an eat-in kitchen that opens onto a terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows with both city and Central Park views, marble baths and a wood-paneled library.
This isn’t the first time that Mr. McColgan has toyed with high-profile Manhattan real estate. In 2001, he sold his 2,094-square-foot apartment at 1 Central Park West for $4.75 million to Richard Kashnow, the president of Tyco Ventures, the venture-capital branch of Tyco International. Mr. McColgan’s former 40th-floor spread at Trump International Hotel and Towers had two bedrooms, a library, an eat-in kitchen, open Central Park views and a built-in central stereo system.
But it was his Riverdance fame that allowed Mr. McColgan to swap seven-figure Manhattan apartments. Conceived by Mr. McColgan along with Moya Doherty, a Dublin television producer, and composer Bill Whelan, Riverdance debuted as a seven-minute “filler” at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. What started out as a short-term dance routine exploded into an international entertainment blockbuster. In 1995, the trio expanded the show into a full-length revue that played first in Dublin and London and then in New York. During its run in the late 1990′s, Riverdance pulled in a half-billion dollars in box-office sales on four continents, not to mention the 6.5 million videos and two million CD’s sold, making the show one of Ireland’s biggest cultural exports.
Woody Allen’s Old Studio Sells For $7.5 M.
The limestone townhouse office building at 41 West 56th Street that had been Woody Allen’s former production offices closed last week at its $7.5 million asking price. The 25-foot-wide building first landed on the market at $9 million in October 2003, before recently being sold to a prominent Italian fashion executive. “It feels like Tribeca in midtown,” exclusive broker Laurance Kaiser IV, the president of Key-Ventures Realty, said of the building. The property, on West 56th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, has a 58-seat screening room on the first floor and open loft spaces that once housed Mr. Allen’s production offices on the upper four floors. The deal includes air rights to develop five additional floors. Mr. Kaiser said the property could be converted into a fashion boutique with offices upstairs, or even a lavish private residence, though he declined to indicate the new buyer’s plans for the space.
According to city records, the building was owned by Sweetland Incorporated, a firm run by the renowned financier Jaqui Safra. Sweetland purchased the property for $1.7 million in April 1994, city records show. In 2002, Mr. Safra’s girlfriend, the producer Jean Doumanian, made headlines after she became embroiled in a contentious, and often comedic, nine-day civil trail with Mr. Allen after he sued his partner over financial squabbles. The two parties settled for an undisclosed sum.
According to Mr. Kaiser, Mr. Allen’s former offices underwent an extensive renovation in 1996 and feature a spacious, loft-like layout while retaining several historic details, including an ornate grand staircase. The building was once the home of the famed Orsini’s restaurant, which in the 1960′s and 1970′s drew Manhattan’s glitterati, including guests like the Duchess of Windsor. Orsini’s closed in 1984, and the Dallas-based Bon Vivant Properties Corporation purchased the building and unsuccessfully tried to establish a high-end French restaurant there. The building later became the home of the Japan Tea Club, which was opened in 1991 by a group of Japanese investors, before Sweetland purchased the property in 1994.
Upper West Side 303 West 105th Street Two-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op. Asking: $575,000. Selling: $650,000. Maintenance: $693; no tax deduction. Time on the market: one week.
GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS! More proof no neighborhood on the island is immune from frenzied real-estate bidding: This prewar co-op north of 96th Street attracted 11 offers following an open house that drew 30 prospective buyers. The buyer eventually secured the 1,150-square-foot spread after paying $75,000 over the asking price. So much for affordable uptown living! “The buyer had looked at more than 100 properties and had already lost bidding wars. He said, ‘I’m not going through this again,” exclusive broker Amanda Jhones of Douglas Elliman said of the motivated buyer’s aggressive bidding. The seller, a professor at the University of Michigan, had purchased the property but never occupied it while he resided in the leafy campus town of Ann Arbor. The co-op board of this five-unit walk-up building recently instructed the gentleman it was time to sell if he was going to be an absentee tenant. The buyer is a writer in his 50′s who was renting nearby on Riverside Drive before deciding to purchase this spread. The floor-through apartment, in an 1890′s Beaux Arts brownstone just off Riverside Park, had two decorative fireplaces, a large south-facing bay window, and a built-in Bosch washer and dryer. Richard Healy of Halstead Properties represented the buyer.
Upper East Side 166 East 61st Street Two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op. Asking: $935,000. Selling: $940,000. Maintenance: $1,663; 48 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: two months.
BIDDING UP FOR BABY After the couple who owned this renovated East Side co-op decamped to the Connecticut ‘burbs so their children could frolic in a backyard, a growing family decided to trade up from a nearby apartment on 69th Street and Second Avenue to this spacious spread. In the competitive real-estate market that has descended over all of Manhattan, the couple paid $5,000 over the asking price. “They needed more space,” said Leah Ozeri, a broker with the Corcoran Group who represented the buyers. The apartment, between Lexington and Third avenues, has Upper East Side staples including marble baths, open southern and eastern views, and a newly renovated kitchen. The building also offers a full-time doorman and a concierge. “It felt right for them; they loved it because it was big,” Ms. Ozeri said. Anne Prosser, also of the Corcoran Group, represented the sellers.
Upper West Side 80 Columbus Circle Three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom condo. Asking: $4.7 million. Selling: $4.7 million. Charges $3,888. Taxes: $36,660. Time on the market: four months.
THE NINTH-HOME MARKET Already the owners of three homes in New York, this former computer executive and his wife recently closed on a 2,219-square-foot condo in the vast Time Warner Center that will be their Manhattan pied-à-terre . The three-bedroom spread will also be-count ‘em-their ninth home. “They have three children and believe real estate is a solid investment,” said exclusive broker Karen Shenker of Citi Habitats, a recently acquired division of the Corcoran Group. The house-proud couple, who sold their computer business right before the Internet bubble burst, had first looked to buy a Manhattan perch at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, but no apartments were available at the time. They soon went looking next-door at the Time Warner Center. “They really wanted something at the center of the universe,” Ms. Shenker said. “This will be more of a weekend place; they like to attend lots of sporting events.” The 67th-floor spread now joins their collection of homes, which includes both a waterfront manse and a condo in Sarasota, Fla. (where the kids come to stay), and a home in Upper Saddle River, N.J., in addition to the three Manhattan spreads. But the empty-nesters show no signs of slowing down in their real-estate acquisitiveness, as they’re also in the midst of building a sprawling 15,000-square-foot French chateau–style mansion near their Saddle River home.