Before Johnny Damon heads down to Tampa in two weeks for spring training, the formerly scraggly centerfielder needs to take care of his Manhattan living arrangements.
But instead of moving into a ritzy building where other Yankees dwell, the $52 million man is looking to join the beautiful people in celebrity-packed One Beacon Court.
On Feb. 3, Mr. Damon’s offer was accepted on a $5.9 million apartment, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.
Located on the 39th floor of the Cesar Pelli–designed Bloomberg tower (with interior finishes designed by Jacques Grange), Mr. Damon’s apartment includes three bedrooms and two and a half baths, as well as a dining room, windowed kitchen, and full city and park views.
Phillies right-fielder Bobby Abreu owns a pied-à-terre at One Beacon Court. But the roster of non-athletic celebrity tenants is more glamorous: Beyoncé Knowles, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, former G.E. chief executive Jack Welch, current G.E. chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, and record mogul Alan Meltzer, who purchased a penthouse for $27 million.
In April 2003, the 2,410-square-foot spread was first offered at $3.575 million. Two years later, the cost of this sponsor unit was increased to the current asking price and listed with Barbara Russo, of the Sunshine Group.
Since late December, when Mr. Damon horrified his former Red Sox fans by leaving Boston, real-estate watchers have been speculating as to where he and his wife, Michelle Mangan, would move.
Last month, The Observer looked at how other Yankee stars live—with an inclination to both Trump buildings and other luxury condominiums nearby the F.D.R. Drive.
And it was recently reported that Mr. Damon might head to the Empire on East 78th Street, which is currently home to Jason Giambi. (A few years ago, Mr. Damon had lived in Boston’s Ritz-Carlton, a sleek building that housed several players, including Manny Ramirez, Edgar Renteria and David Ortiz.)
In the end, nobody was too far off. If the building isn’t a dugout, it has a few other qualities. It’s a new building, and a glitzy one; he’s bought on a high floor; it’s on the East Side, but it’s not a crusty old Fifth Avenue “classic six”—it’s got a bit of sex and bling to it. In other words: Beyoncé lives there.
The mixed-use building serves as Bloomberg L.P. headquarters and includes 105 residences beginning on the 32nd floor. There is also a state-of-the-art fitness center and a courtyard.
Now that Mr. Damon is finally settling down in the city, he might be more motivated to sell his Brookline residence, which is located near Fenway Park. In 2004, Mr. Damon dropped $4.75 million on the modern, 6,800-square-foot home.
Ms. Russo declined to comment. Mr. Damon couldn’t be reached by press time.
Brokers got themselves pretty excited on Feb. 7 when their shared databases noted an alarming new entry: a $99 million townhouse.
Then they found out it was Bob Guccione’s.
One of Manhattan’s most-talked-about properties, the former home of the financially distressed Penthouse founding publisher, at 14-16 East 67th Street, is indeed on the market—again. Whether it gets anywhere near $99 million is another story.
After running into financial trouble, Mr. Guccione was forced to sell the limestone mansion in 2003; however, he was permitted to stay and just recently moved out.
Now, Laurus Fund, the building’s current owner, is ready to find a wealthy buyer for the Upper East Side palace.
So in the era of the $50 million–plus townhouse, it could be expected to have a comparable price tag.
But it doesn’t have any—$99 million or otherwise. In fact, each potential bidder of the 48-foot-wide Beaux-Arts mansion has to be prescreened.
Next month, serious buyers will be given a tour of the massive property and will have to present their bid in a sealed envelope. Then, in April, the envelopes will be opened and the highest bidder can purchase the mansion.
“This is one of the houses that people have talked about for years,” said broker Leighton Candler, who is listing the property with her colleague Lisa Simonsen, both of the Corcoran Group. “There are several properties on the market now that are lesser properties [and] are asking $50 million.”
In addition, the two high-end brokers will be working alongside agents from Knight Frank, the premier London real-estate firm.
“It will not be thrown open to the public,” said Ms. Candler. “They have to be able to be qualified to see it. You can imagine the sightseeing.”
An open house would certainly bring in plenty of sightseers. But who could blame them?
The six-story, double-wide mansion comprises two townhouses joined together—over 17,000 square feet! Nos. 14 and 16 were built in 1879 and 1905, respectively. In 1920, Jeremiah Milbank combined them together into what became one of the city’s largest residences.
Some of the remarkable features include a ballroom, 40-foot pool, formal dining room, Georgian library and artist’s studio.
And expectations are running high that it could break the $40 million sale of the Duke Semans mansion.
“You couldn’t recreate this house today, said Ms. Candler. “There are a lot of people that I’m sure would love it.”
Last fall, investor Janna Bullock opened the doors of 9 East 67th Street to over 20 different designers, who helped refurbish the unkempt limestone mansion into a sparkling showhouse.
Just six months earlier, Ms. Bullock had purchased the property for $10 million, through a corporate entity, following a protracted legal battle among the former owners.
At the East 67th Street Designer Showhouse, attendees dropped $25 each to admire the drastic overhaul, with the benefits going to the American Hospital of Paris Foundation; however, Ms. Bullock also made out pretty well herself. The five-story townhouse is currently on the market for $29 million, listed with Shel Joblin and C.B. Whyte of Stribling and Associates.
Even with that luxurious property still unsold, Ms. Bullock isn’t wasting any time in the townhouse market. The Russian-born real-estate investor recently purchased another fixer-upper on East 82nd Street for $12.2 million, according to deed-transfer records.
Less than a block away from the Metropolitan Museum, the limestone townhouse was most recently listed for $15 million with Paul J. Massey Jr. and Tom Gammino Jr., of Massey Knakal Realty Services.
The six-story mansion is currently configured into three duplex apartments.
In 2005, the Upper East Side was the site of numerous townhouse renovations, as Dominion Management and various other real-estate investors reconfigured buildings and sold them off as palatial, single-family dwellings. And if the profits continue, so should the trend.
Built in 1907, the East 82nd Street townhouse includes parquet floors, 14-foot ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces and an elevator.
Mr. Joblin and Ms. White, of Stribling and Associates, also represented Ms. Bullock on the East 82nd Street deal.
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