Since Britney Spears first put her Noho penthouse on the market in summer 2004, the pop star married Kevin Federline, gave birth to her first child and is reportedly pregnant once again.
There was also Chaotic, her reality show; a perfume line; innumerable glossy-magazine covers; a greatest-hits collection; divorce rumors; even a flirtation with Kabbalah.
Now she appears to be back in the business of selling her 4,400-square-foot spread atop the Silk Building, recently chopping $400,000 off the asking price. The new price: $4.55 million.
It hasn’t been an easy sell for Ms. Spears. She purchased the apartment, at 14 East Fourth Street, for $3 million in 2002 and first listed it two years later for close to $6 million.
When it didn’t double her money, she handed the listing, which was with a broker at the Corcoran Group, to Adam Modlin of the Modlin Group. Mr. Modlin—who previously represented slugger Alex Rodriguez—took her down a peg and listed Ms. Spears’ spread for $4.995 in April 2005.
Configured as a quadruplex, the apartment includes three bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, 13-foot ceilings, a media room, library and private terrace.
“At this price, it’s an extremely attractive purchase for the spring—a time to enjoy the terrace,” said Mr. Modlin. “It’s an amazing penthouse [that] has always attracted high-profile people.”
Since undergoing condo conversion in the early 1980’s, the prewar building has maintained a music-industry reputation—and Tower Records still occupies the large ground-floor commercial space.
Previous owners of Ms. Spears’ apartment include Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards (currently hanging out of coconut trees in Fiji) and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons (recently changing the asking price on his Liberty Street penthouse a fourth time). Also, Cher once owned an apartment on a high floor.
One luxury broker compares the early years at the Silk Building to 30 Crosby Street, which housed Courtney Love, Lenny Kravitz and a handful of executives.
“It attracted this very eclectic group—celebrities, Wall Street people, young couples having children,” said broker George van der Ploeg of Prudential Douglas Elliman, who was one of the original tenants in 1984. “It was a fun building.”
“On Halloween, the kids would go around trick-or-treating,” remembered Mr. van der Ploeg. “If Cher was in town, she would come to the door in one of her Bob Mackie costumes.”
At about the same time that Ms. Spears slashed the price of her apartment upstairs, another musically inclined tenant, V2 Records—home to bands like the White Stripes and Blood Brothers—sold its third-floor space for $5.35 million, according to deed-transfer records. In March, the trendy record label moved over to lower Fifth Avenue.
Ms. Spears couldn’t be reached for comment.
Messier Unloads for $3 M. On Upper West Side
Earlier this year, Mark Messier’s number was retired and raised high up into the rafters at Madison Square Garden. Now, the star of the New York Rangers’ 1994 championship season has made another change in his life: selling his Upper West Side residence.
In mid-March, Mr. Messier unloaded his 3,300-square-foot apartment for $3.047 million, according to deed-transfer records.
The West 85th Street apartment reportedly came on the market in 2004 with a $3.95 million asking price, listed with Stephen Kotler of Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Located in a brownstone near Central Park, Mr. Messier’s spread included a renovated duplex on the parlor and third floors. The place also includes a separate guest studio and a private billiards room and gym.
Mr. Messier couldn’t be reached for comment. Mr. Kotler did not return calls for comment.
(Another) New Guccione Price Tag: $45 Million
Private showings for Bob Guccione’s former home at 14-16 East 67th Street will begin this month.
When The Observer first reported that the 48-foot-wide mansion had hit the market in February, it carried the jaw-dropping price tag of $99 million. But that was just to get things going.
In fact, the final price was always to be determined through a bidding process that includes sealed envelopes.
Regardless, the listing brokers have now come up with a minimum bid that’s sure to scare away at least 99 percent of the population: $45 million.
Even if sold at the minimum bid, the deal would trump the $40 million that real-estate investor Tamir Sapir recently dropped on the Duke Semans mansion, currently the record townhouse sale.
Originally, private showings were expected to begin in March; however, some tidying up was in order—especially considering that Mr. Guccione had only just moved out (though he had already sold the building in 2003, following financial problems).
But this is not a show house, and real-estate voyeurs will be checked at the door.
“The only people going through are going to be prescreened,” said Ms. Simonsen, who called the 25-room mansion a “once-in-a-lifetime property.”
Getting Busy At the Ritz-Carlton
Lately, there’s been plenty of activity at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, with two big sales and a third unit currently on the market.
On the 33rd floor, the onetime home of Mark Swartz, the former chief financial officer at Tyco, has recently been sold for $16.75 million, according to deed-transfer records. It had been listed most recently at $18.5 million.
The seller was Gerard L. Cafesjian, head of GLC Enterprises, who purchased the 4,729-square-foot apartment in 2004 for about $12 million. (A GLC representative didn’t return several calls for comment).
Directly upstairs, the duplex penthouse, owned by Oracle executive Roger Bamford, was recently sold for just shy of $20 million, as reported last week in The Wall Street Journal. However, the newspaper did not reveal the new buyer: investor Andrew Barron Worden.
So what might account for the increased activity at 50 Central Park South, where the upper floors were converted to condos shortly before Sept. 11?
“I think it took a while for that building, because it came on at a rough time in the financial industry,” said Ross Nodell, who listed Mr. Bamford’s apartment with his Prudential Douglas Elliman colleague, Janice Chang. “Now, I have many clients looking in that building.”
But Manhattan’s executives with money to burn need not despair: There’s still one more Ritz-Carlton residence available for anyone who wants to be neighbors with the likes of Jones Apparel Group chairman and founder Sidney Kimmel.
A sprawling 9,455-square-foot apartment—which takes up the entire 23rd floor—remains on the market.
Last October, The Observer reported that Upper Deck C.E.O. Richard McWilliam had put the apartment on the market for $35 million (over $14 million more than he’d paid for it in 2004). Since then, the asking price has dropped down to $31 million.
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