The first floor of the 120-year-old Hugh O’Neill Dry Goods Store on Sixth Avenue and West 20th Street once had silk and lace, the second had children’s clothes, the third had rugs and the fourth had workshops. Now the top tier has a bombshell TV sex crimes detective plus Metallica’s manager in two multimillion-dollar penthouse apartments.
According to city records, Jayne Mansfield’s daughter Mariska Hargitay, who won an Emmy last year for playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, spent $7 million last month for a penthouse at the block-long O’Neill Building in the Flatiron District.
She’s upgrading from a downtown penthouse at 19 Beach Street, which sold last month for $5.1 million to Shawn Mays and Ouma Sananikone. Ms. Sananikone, according to a news report, is a “former Laotian refugee” and a big Australian businesswoman.
That apartment, the actress told The Observer earlier this year, was “warm and clean and peaceful. … If we didn’t need more space we wouldn’t be moving.”
According to her designer, Jeffrey Bilhuber, that Beach Street place had “an American clarity and a New York pizzazz. Is that being too abstract?” he said. “This apartment represents why people want to look for places to live in New York City!”
But the just-converted O’Neill Building, a cast-iron holdover from the Ladies’ Mile retail heyday, isn’t bad either. Rock manager Cliff Burnstein and Sabra Turnbull bought the second top-floor penthouse, paying $7,215,000, a tad more than Ms. Hargitay.
It’s hard to guess from his management roster what Mr. Burnstein’s apartment will look like: On the one hand, he manages the metal gods Metallica, but then he also manages the funkier Red Hot Chili Peppers, the blues duo the Black Keys and the folk singer Gillian Welch.
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