Balazs’ Neighbors Follow Lead

Lately, there’s been plenty of activity over at Soho’s New Museum Building, located at 158 Mercer Street.

Fashion scion and Saturday Night Live producer Marci Klein is reportedly moving into an 11th-floor unit, purchased through a trust that included entertainment tycoon David Geffen.

One floor below, ritzy hotelier André Balazs is selling his 3,800-square-foot place for $10 million. And on the ninth floor—directly below Mr. Balazs—there’s an apartment with a $9.15 million price tag.

Now three top Corcoran Group brokers are trying to sell the ninth- and 10th-floor spreads together as a giant $19.15 million duplex.

Measuring over 8,100 square feet, the luxurious duplex would be one of the largest apartments ever offered downtown—although it’s still trumped by Rupert Murdoch’s former Soho triplex, at 9,300 square feet, which was scooped up by designer Elie Tahari.

“It’s hard to find that sort of space in a full-service building downtown,” said broker Robby Browne, who is listing the 10th-floor apartment with his colleague Wilbur Gonzalez. Deborah Grubman—who coincidentally was Mr. Murdoch’s broker—has been listing the ninth-floor apartment.

Located in a full-service building, the combined unit includes seven bedrooms and six and a half baths. Also, it’s just a few floors above the former home of film mogul Harvey Weinstein. (Last year, Mr. Weinstein moved to the nearby Spring Street building that also shelters talk-show host Kelly Ripa and Gawker Media chief Nick Denton.)

Though the two are selling together, there are two different sellers, which could complicate things.

“I think the person buying would have to bid separately on each one,” said Mr. Browne. “You would have to make separate offers.”

Mr. Balazs did not return calls for comment.

De Niro Buyer Expands for $5.3 Million

For hedge-fund manager Michael Novogratz, simply owning a Tribeca triplex was apparently not enough. Mr. Novogratz, who last year dropped $12.25 million on Robert De Niro’s Hudson Street spread, has just purchased the unit directly beneath it for $5.3 million, according to deed-transfer records.

Since buying Mr. De Niro’s previous 4,600-square-foot loft, Mr. Novogratz has kept busy with some renovating—including an interior demolition, along with architectural and plumbing work, according to the Department of Buildings.

Perhaps best known as Michael Jackson’s creditor, Mr. Novogratz’s firm—Fortress Investment Group—purchased the Bahrain-residing pop star’s $270 million debt. (Mr. Jackson’s share of the Beatles catalog served as collateral.) Last April, a new deal was made, with Mr. Jackson’s debt now up to $320 million.

And while Mr. Novogratz’s lavish Tribeca setup may seem quite idyllic, he’s also involved in an actual real-estate utopia—as part of the boldface-name consortium that purchased a 2,000-acre tract of land in the Dominican Republic. There, Mr. Novogratz is joined by Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria, musician and society truffle-pig Moby, talk-show host Charlie Rose and fashion scion Alex von Furstenberg.

Mr. Novogratz did not return calls for comment.

Lapham’s former Salon Costs $12.9 M. now

The East 72nd Street apartment previously owned by Harper’s Magazine editor emeritus Lewis Lapham is on the market for $12.9 million, according to a source with knowledge of the listing.

The 4,000-square-foot apartment is located in an exclusive Upper East Side co-op at the corner of Madison Avenue.

Inside the apartment are three bedrooms, four baths and three maid’s rooms. The living room and dining room face out onto Madison Avenue, according to a source, and there is one wood-burning fireplace too.

Investor Ottavio F. Biondi—who goes by “Frank” but is no relation to the former Universal and Viacom chief—purchased the apartment for $5.5 million in June 2002. It had previously been bought by Mr. Lapham for $1.6 million about nine years earlier, according to a source.

Built in 1936-37 by John Thomas Smith of General Motors, the 17-story Art Moderne building was designed by renowned architects Rosario Candela and Mott B. Schmidt. In addition, C. Paul Jennewein created a decorative marble relief of various animals above the entrance.

Over the years, the limestone building has been home to many notable individuals, including Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, George and Carol McFadden, D. Dixon Boardman and Joseph Cullman III, the late Philip Morris chief.

Former President Richard Nixon famously entertained the idea of buying the sprawling nine-room penthouse in the late 1970’s; however, the possibility of rejection by the co-op board—due to increased security concerns—gave the disgraced ex-President second thoughts.

Brokers Melissa Ryan Kaiser and Laurie Silverman, of Stribling and Associates, have the listing.

Ms. Kaiser declined to comment. Mr. Biondi didn’t respond to requests for comment. Mr. Lapham also didn’t respond to requests for comment.