The final hurdle in the long and tortured dissolution of the Lycée Français’ storied townhouse collection has been removed. Last month, according to listing broker Carrie Chiang of the Corcoran Group, the condo conversion currently underway at the landmarked Carhart Mansion at 3-5 East 95th Street officially had its offering plan approved by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer-a legal procedure that all developments must pass before contracts can go out and money can be transferred. Already, according to Ms. Chiang, one of the apartments has gone to contract, and another contract should go out within a week. Ms. Chiang declined to comment on which of the four luxurious condos designed by the renowned British architect John Simpson-ranging in price from a $12.5 million simplex to a $21 million triplex-had found buyers. But on the matter of price, Ms. Chiang offered a clear statement: “We don’t negotiate,” she said. If Ms. Chiang is right, and the apartments trade at their full asking prices, the sales from the Carhart Mansion will total some $70 million-a fourfold increase from the $15 million the Lycée got when the school unloaded the Neoclassical residence in 2002.
The fact that the Carhart Mansion is now entering the residential mosaic of the Upper East Side lowers the curtain on perhaps one of the most protracted, and contentious, real-estate imbroglios in recent history (even for the rarefied corridors of the Upper East Side). The sale of the school’s real-estate holdings to finance the construction of a new $115 million building on the eastern reaches of 75th Street sparked a scandal that got talked about as far away as the floor of the French Senate.
Just blocks away from the workers winding down the last of construction on the Carhart Mansion (set for spring 2005 occupancy!), Anne Sutherland Fuchs-a private equity consultant and longtime magazine doyenne who was a former publisher of Vogue and Elle before she ankled the Condé Nast mothership for Hearst to helm Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Town & Country-recently unloaded a four-story townhouse at 65 East 90th Street for $4.55 million, city records show.
Ms. Fuchs left publishing in 2001 for the luxury-house Phillips de Pury and Luxembourg, where she was global chief executive of the auction-house wing of the LVMH empire.
Her former 18-foot-wide home on East 90th Street, just off Madison Avenue, is certainly in keeping with her professional experience in the luxury industry: The residence has two wood-burning fireplaces, four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms and a private garden. Ms. Fuchs purchased the home for $2.44 million in December 1996, city records show.
Sharon Baum of the Corcoran Group, who sold the spread, declined to comment. Ms. Fuchs could not be reached for comment.
But enough of the Upper East Side! These days, the celebrity musical-chairs real-estate game is just as frenzied in Greenwich Village. In July, That ’70s Show writer Eric Gilliland snapped up a 25-foot-wide home at 262 West 11th Street that was built in 1828. According to city transfer records, Mr. Gilliland purchased the home, currently configured as a pair of duplexes, in July 2004 for $4.8 million. According to a source, after Mr. Gilliland purchased the townhouse, comedian Mike Myers inquired about renting one of the duplexes, but then decided not to do the deal.
The townhouse totals eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, eight fireplaces (take that, Ms. Fuchs!) and a private rear garden.
According to Mr. Gilliland’s broker, Valerie Delson of Delson Ginsberg Real Estate, the showbiz scribe plans to split his time between New York and Los Angeles and rent out the bottom spread. The residence is the 10th-oldest townhouse in Manhattan, she said.
Mr. Gilliland could not be reached for comment.
The four-story townhouse, on 11th Street between West Fourth and Bleecker, first hit the market in March 2003 for $5.49 million, before Mr. Gilliland-who also has written for The Wonder Years and Who’s the Boss-closed on the place this summer.
Recent Transactions in the Real Estate Market
Upper East Side
301 East 63rd Street Two-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op. Asking: $525,000. Selling: $510,000. Maintenance: $1,259; 35 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: 90 days.
C.O.D. FOR G.O.P. The red-state flotsam that blanketed Manhattan during this summer’s Republican National Convention sent many native New Yorkers scurrying to blue-state strongholds in the Hamptons and elsewhere. But even the mass exodus couldn’t dampen demand for Manhattan apartments. This 975-square-foot two-bedroom, on 63rd Street and Second Avenue, had a packed open house, and the buyers inked a deal right in the midst of the convention hullabaloo.
“I didn’t know whether to have an open house or not, because people were leaving the city,” said Corcoran broker Mark Baum. “But I got five offers that same day, and it was the same week as the convention.” The seller, an accountant, was shuttling off to warmer climes in Jacksonville, Fla., and decided to list her apartment, which has an outdoor private terrace and hardwood floors. The buyers, a married couple (he works for Citibank; she’s a doctor), hopped across the park from a Upper West Side rental. They were looking to renovate a space and were drawn to this pet-friendly building, a welcome home for their Labrador retriever.
439 West 43rd Street Six-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom townhouse. Asking: $2.5 million. Selling: $2.5 million. Time on the market: 45 days.
THE NEWS FROM PRAVDA The attorney who purchased this two-family townhouse at a recent estate sale discovered the 3,500-square-foot multi-family property, which is configured as an upstairs duplex and a lower triplex, during a stroll from his nearby office in the budding West Side neighborhood. “He saw our sign and contacted us. This deal was incredibly fast,” said Matthew Pravda, of townhouse brokerage Leslie J. Garfield. The attorney lives in New Jersey and purchased the spread in an all-cash deal as an investment. The duplex has three bedrooms and two full baths, plus a roof deck. The lower triplex includes three bedrooms, three and a half baths and a private garden. The 18-foot-wide, four-story house also has a finished basement.