Most Manhattan apartments sell bizarrely: A condo went from a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet to a Macy’s chairperson this June, and in July post-Trotsky socialists sold their loft to a Sony music executive. But rarely do haute shoe designers buy Fifth Avenue spreads from real estate investors who have served time for accidentally killing two young sisters with a friend’s sports car.
According to public records, a family trust signed by Isaac Chehebar just sold a 1,792-square-foot condo at the shiny Olympic Tower high-rise at 647 Fifth Avenue, closing last month for $3.55 million. Mr. Chehebar struck a group of Brooklyn pedestrians six years ago while speeding in a friend’s Porsche. The two sisters who died were 10 and 15; Mr. Chehebar was 20.
After he served four months of a six-month plea deal for criminally negligent homicide, and after he was given 280 hours of menial labor due to avoiding community service work, the family bought this apartment for $2.5 million.
“It was a place where I could unwind, read my books and get away from the world,” Mr. Chehebar told The Observer, speaking about his favorite room there, the library. “It was wood-paneled, completely surrounded by red wood; nice comfortable rug; nice sofa; a fake fireplace but it appeared as if it was real. And I’d sit back, get home from work and get into my own world.”
But things weren’t necessarily settled. Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes, who arranged that six-month deal, was harangued while campaigning for accepting about $80,000 in donations from associates of Mr. Chehebar’s family, well known for their Brooklyn clothing stores. Mr. Hynes won reelection in 2005 anyway.
The family has at least two other apartments in the building, city records show. “It was like re-creating the atmosphere that we had in Brooklyn, where everyone’s close together,” Mr. Chehebar said.
So he’s learned from the past, he says, and now he’s working on real estate investment. “Ten years from now, I aspire to be at the level of the Harry Macklowes of the world, the Larry Silversteins of the world,” he said.
The listing with Brown Harris Stevens’ Daniela Rivoir, who would not comment, says the buyer will inherit all of the apartment’s furniture, plasma-screen TV’s, and a surround-sound system. According to two sources, all that goes to DJ turned shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti. But maybe he’ll bring in new things anyway: He’s known for footwear like tortoise-heel pumps and silk-and-suede boots with Swarovski crystals.
Where will Mr. Chehebar go? “Right now, I got married, have a child and live in the comfortable suburban area of Brooklyn.”