In April, when Leslie and Brian Brille, the global head of investment banking for Bank of America, put their East 69th Street mansion on the market for $32 million, only three years after they bought it from Jim Henson’s estate for $12.4 million, this reporter wondered about fickleness.
“He decided,” broker Carrie Chiang said about the banker earlier this year, “he wants a doorman.”
In retrospect, it was unfair of The Observer to even bring up fickleness, considering that the house has been bought up by a couple who have reached an entirely new, genuinely awesome, word-redefining level of picky, vacillating indecisiveness.
According to a source, Warner Music Group chairman-CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr., an heir to the Seagram liquor fortune, and his wife, Clarissa, have paid $28.5 million for the house, which was bought by Jim Henson in 1977 and turned into Muppets headquarters.
In under 12 months, the couple has now been involved in no less than six of New York City’s biggest sales: Last October, they sold their 31-foot-wide townhouse on East 64th Street to the oil magnate Len Blavatnik. The couple had paid $4.375 million for the house in 1994.
Nine days later, they paid $18.75 million for a 10-room duplex in the limestone Carhart Mansion on East 95th Street. This month, they reportedly sold the unfinished 7,140-square-foot place, most recently asking $21.75 million, to the Jimmy Choo cofounder Tamara Mellon.
Back in January, Mr. Bronfman bought a $19.5 million, 11-room co-op at 1040 Fifth Avenue, Jackie Onassis’ old building. Within a week, he listed it for $24 million, and in June The Observer reported that it had gone to contract for somewhere around $20 million or $21 million. (In between, the couple was said to be renting an Upper West Side duplex that had been on the market for $31 million.)
One hopes the family will settle down more permanently into the Muppet mansion on East 69th Street, though the gutted, 40-foot-wide red-brick townhouse still needs a great deal of work. “We spent two years making an amazing set of plans to build a very special family home,” Ms. Brille, their seller, said in April. “I just personally don’t have the ability to manage the renovation. I’m done. I don’t want to do any more plans.”