Back in the days when popular Manhattan bachelor and news anchor Dan Abrams was still hosting The Abrams Report, a Michael Jackson–heavy courtside show on MSNBC, he and his girlfriend Elizabeth Röhm went apartment hunting together.
They wanted to rent, and saw a duplex condo at 148-150 Waverly Place that was looking for a tenant.
“The funny thing is,” said Derek Olsen, a broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman who worked with Mr. Abrams, “he didn’t want this apartment. It was his girlfriend that wanted it.”
Early last year, though, Ms. Röhm moved out after a reportedly amicable breakup, and Mr. Abrams was on his own in the Greenwich Village apartment.
He apparently grew to like it over time. In June, just seven days after being promoted to general manager of his 10-year-old cable news channel, he signed a $2.17 million deal to buy the place.
“I was surprised that he came through,” said Mr. Olsen of the buy—considering how long it took him to cozy up to the place. But of course it makes sense.
“He has so much responsibility—he stopped throwing away money,” Mr. Olsen said. “He invested in his own equity.”
Mr. Abrams would not comment on the deal.
He is the son of Floyd Abrams, the First Amendment lawyer who has recently defended Al Franken and Judy Miller.
What’s in store for Mr. Abrams and his Greenwich Village duplex? According to the Elliman listing for the Waverly apartment, it is “a perfect place to raise a family.”
G.O.P. Booster Sells for $9.5 M.
One of New York’s most influential Republican fund-raisers has just sold his townhouse at 177 East 71st Street, in which he’s entertained everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Karl Rove over the years, for $9.5 million.
Mallory Factor, the founder of the monthly lunch known as the Monday Meeting, a powerful Grand Hyatt get-together of national Republicans, sold the house to Perry Dean Rogers president Steven Foote, the architect who renovated Branford and Saybrook colleges at Yale.
According to Mr. Factor, the townhouse was built in 1908 for real-estate mogul Douglas Elliman; furniture-design icon Angelo Donghia owned the house too, from 1968 to 1988, keeping an entire floor for his work.
The building is located on one of three blocks between Third and Lexington avenues that have been included within the Upper East Side Historic District. At 8,750 square feet, the home has eight bedrooms and six baths.
“There’s a sixth floor for houseman living space,” said Mr. Factor’s broker, Roger Erickson, the senior managing director of Sotheby’s International Realty. “And an English basement”–complete with exercise room and wine cellar–“yet from the street it looks like a four-story.”
Mr. Factor bought the house in 1999 for $5.05 million. “He went to a dinner party there and liked it so much that he bought it that night,” explained Mr. Erickson.
Though sentimentally attached to the enormous house, the Factors said they needed a house configured with more family space.
“We didn’t have the heart to dismantle what we considered to be a magnificent formal-entertaining home,” explained Mr. Factor.
A Web site run by the nonprofit group Public Citizen reports that in 2002, Mr. Factor hosted a “$10,000-a-plate fundraiser in his home to help the GOP regain U.S. Senate control.”
“The President wasn’t there,” Mr. Factor said.
Live Under Barbara Walters, For $19 M.
The residence of the late Lilyan Spitzer Lindemann, who passed away last May, has just hit the market for a staggering $18.9 million.
The full-floor apartment is just one floor below Barbara Walters’, at the co-op building at 944 Fifth Avenue.
Designed by Nathan Korn, the 14-story prewar building has had other boldface residents besides Ms. Walters, including Peter Guber, the former chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment, who now heads Mandalay Entertainment Group.
The Lindemann apartment has four bedrooms, three and a half baths and five maids’ rooms. There is also a living room, library, private gallery and central reception room.
Some notable details include Louis XV–style paneling, French doors and marble floors.
Located just a few blocks from the Metropolitan Museum, the fifth-floor spread includes Central Park views.
While the Lindemann estate is trying to unload this tony residence, the grandson of Lilyan has been busy in the luxury co-op market, too. Art collector Adam Lindemann and his estranged wife Elizabeth recently sold their apartment at 730 Park Avenue, according to The New York Times. Slightly more expensive than the 944 Fifth digs, that apartment was listed at $21 million.
Brokers Edward Lee Cave and Caroline Guthrie have the listing. Ms. Guthrie did not respond to several calls for comment on the estate sale.
The Green-House Effect: $7.7 M.
A latter-day architectural landmark at 156 Reade Street in Tribeca has just been sold for $7.7 million.
The unusual façade of the 6,000-square-foot residential townhouse—one of Tribeca’s early “green” buildings—was fabricated in 2000 and 2001 from a single piece of black-painted recycled steel, interrupted only by towering windows.
But most advanced of all is the building’s geothermal heating and cooling system: Like three nearby townhouses designed by the same architect, the home is heated and cooled by pipes stretching 1,200 feet below ground.
The four Reade Street townhouses were built on spec by the late architect John Petrarca, and when they were done, he moved his family into 156. His widow, Sarah Bartlett, was the seller in the building’s latest transaction.
Completed only months before Sept. 11, critic Alexander Gorlin called the home a Tribeca “landmark,” pointing out that though it is barely six blocks removed from Ground Zero, its unique “structural and ventilation systems minimized environmental dust and debris.”
Aside from arcane architectural inducements, there are amenities with more universal appeal for a Manhattan townhouse: In addition to four bedrooms and a solarium penthouse, there are 875 square feet of terraces.
Bruce Ehrmann, the Tribeca broker and executive vice president at Stribling & Associates who organized the deal, estimated that the townhouse had been on the market for seven months, but would not discuss prices. Still, the attractions of a “green” house are certainly greater than they were when Petrarca was selling the three houses neighboring his, Mr. Ehrmann remembered.
“I advised that the houses really couldn’t be sold on the basis of ‘green’—it really wasn’t what [buyers] wanted to hear in the multimillion-dollar range. But now that’s all different,” admitted Mr. Ehrmann, reached by phone on vacation in Montpellier, France.
But Petrarca had a knack for selling odd properties. Before building the townhouses, Petrarca and his family had lived in the triangular-shaped building next-door at 158 Reade Street, which the architect had bought 20 years earlier for $120,000. The building is only 11 feet wide in the front and three feet wide in the back, totaling 1,800 square feet.
But in July 1999, Petrarca reached an agreement with the filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen to sell them the building for use as their new offices for $1.5 million.
“It was going to be their house for their entire lives,” said Mr. Ehrmann about Petrarca’s original plans for the townhouse his widow just sold. The architect died in 2003 of lung cancer.
“A wonderful, wonderful man,” Mr. Ehrmann said. “An historic preservationist, a visionary architect, a gentle person, an intellectual.”
Test-Prep King Scores $7.2 M.
Jonathan Grayer, the chairman and C.E.O. of test-prep company Kaplan, has recently sold his Upper West Side condo for $7.195 million, according to city records.
First listed in February for $6.995 million, the apartment was quickly scooped up: A contract was signed less than a month later.
Since September 2000, Mr. Grayer has owned the 10-room apartment on West 86th Street (and still maintains a residence in Westchester).
The 4,100-square-foot apartment includes five bedrooms and four and a half baths. (And the master-suite bath includes a Jacuzzi tub.)
Two balconies offer plenty of outdoor space, with views of southern gardens below.
Built in 1998, the Westbury House condominium features a state-of-the-art gym as well as a children’s play area.
Broker Lisa Lippman, of Brown Harris Stevens, had the listing. She declined to comment. Through a spokesperson, Mr. Grayer declined to comment.