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,”
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
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
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
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
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
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
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