Last year, the era of debauched Manhattan townhouse prices surged valiantly onward. Two Bronfman heirs both sold their mansions for just under a dozen times what they each paid in 1994, while cellphone magnate George Lindemann’s daughter Sloane began to quietly ask $62 million for the Upper East Side house she and her husband bought for $11.5 million.
So far, 2008 looks like it might match up. According to a listing with Brown Harris Stevens’ Brian J. Manning, the double-wide, 41-foot-long, 23-room, two-elevator Georgian mansion at 8 Sutton Square, which the Chinese television personality and cosmetics titan Yue-Sai Kan sold last June for $22.25 million, came back on the market this past week. The asking price is nearly $30 million.
The markup is $7.5 million, even though the seven-month lapse between the sale and the re-listing means Ms. Kan’s buyer almost certainly didn’t do any serious renovation to the East River mansion.
And that buyer turned seller is the fashion trade-show magnate Elyse Kroll.
On Tuesday, a source gave The Observer the buyer’s last name; and when the buyer filed a $16 million mortgage agreement in city records last year, the given billing address was 30 Sutton Place—the only Kroll there, records show, is Elyse. Mr. Manning had no comment, and Ms. Kroll’s assistant said, “I know nothing!” She hung up on a reporter twice, and did not respond to an e-mail.
It isn’t clear why Ms. Kroll, whose firm ENK International runs 16 shows in New York and five in L.A., would want to sell. But her lofty asking price might make things awkward if she runs into Ms. Kan, who still owns the house next door.
Ms. Kroll’s mansion was combined from two townhouses, which means Ms. Kan at one point technically owned three Sutton townhouses in a row. “Why do you think they call me the most influential woman in the last 20 years?” she told The Observer in 2001. “I opened China up. I opened it up in television, truly the first one. I opened up color in their lives, cosmetics. I even have dolls, I have books.”
Two sources said Ms. Kan took a large room from 8 Sutton Square and added it to her own house next door, before her sale to Ms. Kroll. “Yue-Sai Kan is a smart cookie,” one source said.
But it is unlikely Ms. Kroll was disgruntled about her space, with or without that room. There’s a regal circular staircase along with those dual elevators, hand-pegged floors, a mahogany-paneled library, a garage and rolling gardens overlooking the East River.