Earlier this month, The Post reported that Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik had a “record deal” for a $150 million triplex penthouse at The Mark on East 77th Street. (A day later, without referring to its previous report, that paper said his letter of intent was for only $125 million; click here to read The Observer’s take.)
But instead of any nine-digit deals, Mr. Blavatnik just closed on something a tad more modest. According to city records, he sold off three Washington Heights apartments at Fort Tryon Gardens, a group of co-op buildings near Broadway and West 190th Street.
His buyer, named David Appelson, paid $180,000 total. By comparison, Mr. Blavatnik closed last month on a $50 million townhouse, and in the past two years alone has bought a $27.5 million 998 Fifth Avenue co-op, plus a $31.25 million mansion nearby.
Why would a petrol-chemicals billionaire want Washington Heights apartments? “I think that a lot of people that own there have owned for a long time, and in fact were investors,” said Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Michelle Churchill, who’s done work in the building.
“It’s had a very, very low owner occupancy for years… Most of the people that owned didn’t live there,” she said. “It’s the nature of the transition of the neighborhood: When it went co-op, it was not the most desirable spot in Manhattan to live. And that’s certainly changing.”
According to the Fort Tryon Web site, house rules say: “Residents may not feed pigeons or other wild birds or wild animals from windows,” plus “water beds, Jacuzzis, saunas, kilns, trash compactors and garbage disposals are not allowed,” and “rags or any other articles may not be thrown into the water closets.”
Rags aside, city records show that Mr. Blavatnik has owned apartments at Fort Tryon since at least June 1989. Oddly, a Russian businessman named Igor Altern is often listed on deeds with him; Mr. Altern has been connected in news reports to the Alfa Group, whose founder Mikhail Fridman is Mr. Blavatnik’s business partner.