Hip-hop newlyweds and New York natives Kelis and Nas are feathering a Chelsea nest. The R.-and-B. vocalist, whose full name is Kelis Rogers, bought a West 17th Street condo for $1.3 million, according to city deed-transfer records. The condo was originally listed at $1.45 million; Kelis sealed the deal two months before the couple’s wedding at the Morningside Baptist Church in Atlanta.
The 1,663-square-foot loft-like condo features an open gourmet kitchen, hardwood floors, marble baths and a large master bedroom. The Chelsea apartment is in one of two newly constructed buildings that comprise the Campiello Collection; this particular one was built on the former site of the Barneys parking lot. The building also features numerous modern amenities, including a health club, laundry room and garage.
Twenty-five-year-old Kelis reportedly first met her husband, whose full name is Nasir Jones and who is six years her senior, at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. Since then, the couple has been photographed frequently at parties and has never been shy about displaying affection. (Nas even has a tattoo depicting his bride’s topless image on his arm.) In January, the couple said “I do” in front of about 175 guests, with the groom wearing a Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo and the bride a Matthew Williamson gown, according to Time.
Although she’s released three studio albums, Kelis is best known for her infectious hit single “Milkshake.” And more than a decade since the release of the astounding 1994 debut Illmatic, Nas remains one of hip-hop’s most durable stars. In addition to several popular records, the artist became notorious for his long-running public feud with rival rapper Jay-Z.
Julie Weintraub of Bellmarc represented the seller, and Elizabeth LaGrua of Sotheby’s International Realty represented Kelis. Calls to Kelis’ publicist were not returned before press time.
Actress Keri Russell’s dorm days may be over, but like a fifth-year senior, she’s staying close to campus. Ms. Russell recently purchased a West Ninth Street co-op for $1.375 million, a few blocks from Washington Square Park. She signed the contract in late November on the prewar apartment, which originally listed at $1.495 million. And to Ms. Russell’s relief, the co-op board recently gave the thumbs-up to the deal.
The 28-year-old curly-tressed actress and former Mouseketeer is best known for her starring role on Felicity, the young-adult drama that premiered on the WB network in 1998, in which she played student Felicity Porter, who attended the University of New York (a thinly veiled N.Y.U.). After a brief hiatus, the actress has hit her stride again, on both stage and screen. She recently performed in Neil LaBute’s play Fat Pig, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, and she can be seen at the movies as Joan Allen’s daughter in The Upside of Anger, opening March 11. And, with Ms. Russell’s West Ninth Street purchase, Manhattan is no longer merely her fictional home.
The 1,150-square-foot duplex has two bedrooms and two baths, and it’s located on the townhouse’s top floors. The lower level features a dining room, living room and smaller bedroom; Ms. Russell’s master bedroom is on the upper level. With two terraces and a total exterior space of approximately 525 feet, the actress will enjoy a commanding view of the tree-lined street below (complete with N.Y.U. students passing by). There’s also a built-in barbecue for summertime cookouts.
Built in the late 19th century, this Louis XIII French-classic-style townhouse was renovated extensively in the 1970′s.
“The façade is magnificent,” said Jane Kronick of Warburg Realty, who brokered the deal alongside Andrea Leppart. “It’s one of the nicest buildings in the Village.”
Laudatory words from the broker are to be expected, right? Well, on this deal, Ms. Kronick was not only thinking of the commission, but also seeking the future owner of her own residence! Ms. Kronick purchased the apartment in 1977 for $69,000, after inheriting $75,000 worth of I.B.M. stock from her grandfather. According to Ms. Kronick, New York magazine featured the building’s prized front doors in a 1984 photo spread as the “Best in Greenwich Village.” Not surprisingly, the listing on Warburg Realty’s Web site sought more than just an ambitious buyer with loads of cash, stating that “this is a special, rare gem that needs some TLC to make it a unique home.”
And what attracted Ms. Russell to the place?
“She liked it because it was in very original condition,” said Ms. Kronick. “It has two nice-sized outside decks. It’s the penthouse, so there is no noise, [and] a beautiful bedroom with a skylight window.”
Yet the final stumbling block, as usual, was the pesky co-op board, which often frowns upon celebrity residents, fearing they’ll throw endless rowdy parties featuring a stream of Hollywood’s young troublemakers. But with Ms. Kronick’s flattering recommendation-which helped to convince the board that Ms. Russell is no Courtney Love–style party monster-the actress passed a difficult test that no amount of late-night cramming on her old TV show could have prepared her for.
“The co-op board finally approved me,” Ms. Russell recounted in the March 7 Newsweek. “I went in wearing my most modest shirt and tried to be the most prim-and-proper version of myself that I could be.”
Ms. Russell is currently on location in Germany and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Miramax Films co-chairman Bob Weinstein is reportedly leaving the New York–based company, but he hasn’t given up on Manhattan’s bustling real-estate market. The less-public Weinstein brother recently purchased a condo for $3 million at 21 Astor Place, according to city deed-transfer records. The luxury condo originally listed for a half-million dollars more; the deal closed in early January.
The 2,900-square-foot condo has three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. In addition, the always-desired corner apartment is located on a high floor in this 11-story landmarked building, offering excellent south, east and north exposures-with 22 windows! Mr. Weinstein’s apartment in this storied Manhattan property also comes equipped with an open chef’s kitchen, a gas fireplace and a laundry room.
In 2002, the Elad Group purchased the former Mercantile Library, located at 21 Astor Place, from Goldman Sachs for $42 million. Originally designed in 1890 by George Harney-and completed two years later-the Mercantile Library rose from the previous site of the Astor Place Opera House. The Romanesque Revival, terra-cotta façade was preserved in the $63 million conversion, which resulted in 50 luxury condos.
The building is one of several new luxury condominiums now surrounding Cooper Union, including the Carl Fischer lofts at 62 Cooper Square and the Charles Gwathmey–designed “Sculpture for Living” at 445 Lafayette that towers over Alamo, the famous cube sculpture.
So will Mr. Weinstein and his family relocate from his lavish apartment in the Beresford, the extraordinary Emery Roth–designed behemoth on Central Park West, which the movie mogul reportedly purchased for $12.75 million in October 2003? A spokesperson for Mr. Weinstein confirmed to The Observer that he purchased the Astor Place condo, but wouldn’t comment on whether Mr. Weinstein, or anyone, will be residing there.
Jewel Buff of Prudential Douglas Elliman represented the seller. Alexa Lambert of Stribling and Associates represented Mr. Weinstein. She also represented him in 2001 for the $5.25 million purchase of his family’s former East 66th Street home, a 4,500-square-foot duplex that once belonged to the Rothschild family. Neither broker offered a comment on the purchase.