The hit HBO series Six Feet Under met its end in 2005, and ever since, its creator, Alan Ball, who got his start in the New York theater scene, has been pining for home.
“I sold myself to television and moved out here,” he explained on the phone from California. “I mean—I love L.A., but I miss New York terribly.”
This summer, after 11 years of living in the Hollywood Hills, the 49-year-old Oscar-winner dried his tears on a 2,215-square-foot loft in Chelsea, which he bought for $2.495 million.
But the move isn’t only personal, he said.
“When Six Feet Under ended, it was such an exciting thing to dive into different projects,” he said. “It was five years of peering into the abyss.”
Filming is slated to begin in New York this fall on Mr. Ball’s adaptation of the Alicia Erian novel Towelhead, and in January his first play in a dozen years, All That I Will Ever Be, hits the New York Theatre Workshop.
“Rather than stay in a hotel for five months, why not get a place?” he said. “I’ve wanted to get one, and now I have the perfect place to do it.”
His new apartment, in the 11-story Chelsea condo called the Dance Building, has 53 feet of downtown-facing windows that open onto a private balcony.
“The condo is a beauty and the neighborhood is so convenient,” he said. “The production company is two blocks away!”
He’ll keep his place in the Hollywood Hills, which gives his three dogs room to roam. And despite the size of his new loft, he said, his dogs won’t be staying with him when he comes to New York.
The building takes its name from the venerable Dance Theater Workshop, which makes its home in the building’s bottom three floors.
Halstead broker Ivana Tagliamonte, who represented seller Mitchell Schnapp, said that the 12 apartments above aren’t troubled by the pitter-patter of little feet.
“They have double-insulated walls and floors,” she said. Her client made a packet on the place: He paid $1.325 million for the loft in July 2003.
Mr. Ball was represented by Brown Harris Stevens’ Norberto Bilgoraj.
Lizzie Grubman’s Big ‘Break-Through’
The omnipotent entertainment lawyer Alan Grubman has bought his daughter Lizzie–the young P.R. honcho–a one-bedroom apartment at the Savoy, on East 61st and Third Avenue.
The deal surfaced in city records last month, though a contract was signed back on Jan. 31, one day after Ms. Grubman’s 35th birthday.
Why might it be a good present? She’s already in the building: Back in November 2000, Ms. Grubman bought units next door to and below the new apartment. Though sales prices aren’t available, city archives show that three years later she sold the duplex to her father. She still lives there, though, and Mr. Grubman remains on Park Avenue.
As for the Savoy: “I thought that the building was fabulous, I would like to go back there,” said the seller, Long Island real-estate agent Dawn Iseson. Any reason in particular? “It was the only building that was non-union, so if everyone else went on strike it was still operating.”
Then there’s the shopping. “You’re right across from Bloomingdale’s,” said Ms. Iseson, the branch manager for Century 21 Laffey Manhasset. Plus: “You have parking right on the street until 7 in the morning.”
More romantically, Ms. Iseson said that her old condo had memorable views up the East River, over the 59th Street Bridge. “And there’s a panorama to the West Side, because I had the balcony.” As for the décor: “It was redone last year; a nice easy flow. It was all done to the nines!”
Ms. Iseson represented herself during the deal. She hadn’t been looking to sell, and didn’t have much work to do. “It was the buyer’s broker who came to me,” she said. “Carol Cohen.”
That would be the Carol Cohen of the Corcoran Group, longtime business partner of Deborah Grubman, Lizzie’s stepmother.
Reached at their offices, the three women each declined to comment. So did Mr. Grubman, contacted through his assistant.
Deeds show that Ms. Iseson bought her apartment in June 2004 for $737,500. According to online database PropertyShark, the place is 736 square feet–so is Ms. Grubman’s lower-floor apartment. Her unit upstairs, next door to the old Iseson residence, is 1,388 square feet.
How will Ms. Grubman fill all that space? Fortunately, she and her husband are with child.
When Ms. Iseson was asked if she knew why the inimitable Allen Grubman had bought her apartment, she said: “His daughter Lizzie, who lives next door, is breaking through.”
Did this Long Island broker realize the identity of Ms. Cohen’s breaking-through client from the beginning? No.
But: “Let’s just say at a certain point I knew it was her. It made sense that someone above or below would want it.”