Despite his illustriously shaggy hair and dirty mouth, sexagenarian Scottish comedian Billy Connolly isn’t (yet) a humor icon in America. Maybe that will change for New Yorkers: He and his wife Pamela, a comedienne turned psychotherapist, have bought an apartment in the Flatiron district.
According to city records, they paid $3.85 million for a 10th-story loft at 105 Fifth Avenue.
Century-old arched oak windows skirt the 2,900-square-foot co-op’s main space, making for bright semi-circle Flatiron vistas. “Open city views, toast the sunset with friends!” says the listing with Corcoran Group vice president Jerry Senter. (Mr. Connolly, called the Big Yin—meaning “Big One” to fellow Scots—no longer drinks, though he apparently consumed 30 brandies on an early date with his future wife.)
Mr. Connolly has said that he would buy in New York because his three youngest daughters attend college here. Lucky for them, the 38-foot-long main space divides the parental master suite from the two guest bedrooms. Better yet, that guest wing has its own entrance.
Is Fifth Avenue domestic bliss bad for standup routines? “If you’ve got a big house, talk about a big house,” he told the press last spring, during a five-and-a-half-week run at Off Broadway’s 37 Arts theater.
New Yorkers who attended probably knew Mr. Connolly from his early-90’s run on the silly sitcom Head of the Class. Plus, his wife, billed as Pamela Stephenson, was briefly a cast member on Saturday Night Live in the mid-80’s.
Last month, Mr. Connolly acclimated to Manhattan in high style, joining Sirs Richard Branson and Paul Smith in promoting the West Village’s kitschy “Little Britain” district. So why didn’t the Connollys choose a Village apartment? Mr. Senter wouldn’t comment for this story, and said the couple wouldn’t either.
Their sellers, who are listed in city records as Wilba Jean and D.M. Hussey, likewise could not be reached.
‘Hard-Luck Apartment’ in Belaire Fetches $4.3 M.
Five months after a Yankee pitcher crashed his plane into her building, and four years since spending a night in the apartment, 67-year-old Seema Boesky has sold her Belaire Condo penthouse for $4.3 million.
“I used to have more of a social life there,” said Ms. Boesky, the ex-wife of iconic inside-trader Ivan Boesky. “And if I was out late in the evening, I would stay over.” But eventually that pied-à-terre atop 524 East 72nd lost out to her Westchester mansion.
“First of all, this apartment was a hard-luck apartment,” said listing broker Donna Olshan, who owns Olshan Realty. “Certain apartments have karma, and this one had very strange karma.”
She would know: The broker was alone in the apartment, preparing to show it, when 34-year-old ballplayer Cory Lidle crashed a small plane a few floors below. “And all of a sudden, there was this amazing explosion …. The teacups—everything was shaking.”
She said the crash below didn’t damage the penthouse, although firemen jimmied the apartment’s kitchen entrance. (“They had the sense not to jimmy the beautiful wooden front door.”)
The buyer, real-estate investor Mohammad Iqbal, signed a contract that month. A year earlier, another contract didn’t survive tragedy: “I put it on the market in October 2005, and within two weeks it was under contract,” Ms. Olshan said. “And two weeks after that, the buyer dropped dead of a heart attack.”
Ms. Boesky, who raises money for a mutual fund and writes “Seema Says” columns for Westchester WAG magazine, has sweeter memories. “It was really a great apartment. Tony Randall took me out once, and he walked in and the exclamation was, ‘Wow! This is quintessential New York.’”
She said she is still friendly with Mr. Boesky, whom she divorced (messily) in 1993. “He has a very young, beautiful, gorgeous wife who I love. Oh, yes—we’re best friends!”
And Ms. Boesky has apparently known better spreads than the Belaire penthouse: “I owned the Beverly Hills Hotel …. My father purchased it for me when I was 13 years old.” The details of that ownership were disputed during the divorce: “I was the one with the wealth,” she told The Observer. “Most people don’t know that.”
Billionaire Unloads Time Warner Spread for $8.55 M.
The Upper West Side’s wealthiest building, the ritzy Time Warner Center, has tragically lost one of its wealthiest owners. Billionaire philanthropist Jon Stryker has sold his 62nd-floor apartment in the south tower for $8.55 million.
The buyer is listed in city records as MJBW NYC Residential L.L.C., with an address care of the Fort Worth hedge fund Kleinheinz Capital.
Listing broker Scott Stewart, a Corcoran Group senior vice president, wouldn’t discuss the deal, though he described the apartment’s billionaire credentials. “This was beautifully decorated in French and Dutch mid-century antiques,” he said. “It was in pristine condition, and the owner did a meticulous job renovating it.”
The meticulousness paid off: Mr. Stryker only paid $6.2 million when he bought the A-line apartment from real-estate/hotel developer Brian Stolar in April 2005.
Mr. Stryker, a medical-supplies heir who supports environmental and gay-rights causes, will be leaving behind an angular, glassy master bedroom. “You can see down from the Statue of Liberty up to the George Washington Bridge,” Mr. Stewart said.
The master bathroom (“really off the charts”) has a wall of windows overlooking the Hudson River—which doesn’t jeopardize privacy, because nothing in sight is as leggy as Time Warner. And on the apartment’s other side, a gargantuan living room faces Central Park.
The broker said that planes can be seen taking off from LaGuardia from the apartment.
All that height turns Columbus Circle into a little U.F.O.: “All the lights,” Mr. Stewart said, “and the fountain, and the cars circling around! It made the whole thing look like it was taking off.”
‘Perfectionist’ Party Planner Tutera Nabs $4.49 M. Flatiron Flat
Superstar party-planner David Tutera has very particular tastes, so he looked at more than 75 New York apartments before settling on a full-floor condo at East 21st Street’s Infinity Flats listed at $4.495 million.
“[N]othing was the right fit,” Mr. Tutera’s publicist wrote in an e-mail to The Observer.
The 4,109-square-foot Infinity sponsor unit is brand-new, and yet Mr. Tutera (who designs soirées for Elton John, Al Gore, Barbara Walters and the Rolling Stones) won’t be having a housewarming bash anytime soon.
“Well, I’m a perfectionist,” Mr. Tutera said, “so it’ll probably take six months.”
He and his partner Ryan first want to paint each room a different color. “Our kitchen is going to be red—bright, bright, bright—kind of a Chinese red. The living room will be sunset colors, mustard yellow and a chocolate brown. The bedroom will be a buttercup yellow.”
They’re moving from a smaller apartment at 151 West 17th Street, which sold last month for $2,425,000. (It was listed by Tamir Shemesh, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman, for $2.5 million. Mr. Shemesh also represented Mr. Tutera in the Infinity Flats deal.)
The old apartment (photos above) had an 800-square-foot private garden, where the couple kept ponds stocked with turtles. “Our dining-room table sat, I don’t know, 20 people—and the outside I can do, easy, 40 people for cocktails,” said Mr. Tutera. He drinks a “vodka martini, up, with a twist, on the rocks.”
The new apartment has a 20-foot-long media room (with a wet bar), a hefty eat-in kitchen (plus a pantry), three bedrooms and a 13-foot-long walk-in closet. It lacks outdoor space, though; as recompense, the couple also owns 10 acres in East Haddam, Conn.
And even though Mr. Tutera also has a “huge office” in the city, there’s a home office in the new apartment. “So I’ll just use it,” he said, “as a place to plop down in front of the computer.”