Nicely suited Upper East Side agents openly chat about death leading to plush real estate sales (one broker is said to keep a list of the most aged owners at beloved 740 Park Avenue), but divorce is more gauche than simply passing on, which makes it a trickier subject.
Over the past few months, neighborhood agents have quietly been wondering what will happen to the penthouse at 1040 Fifth Avenue, the chicly restricted limestone building where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis lived and died.
That apartment belongs to the zinc magnate William E. (Bill) Flaherty and his wife, an executive turned writer named Clementina Santi (Tina) Flaherty, who are in the middle of an intricate divorce in Palm Beach. Since last April, their court docket has gone up to 837 items; over a dozen involve the penthouse.
It’s not clear when the co-op will hit the market, but the asking price would likely be well over the $30 million that the old Onassis spread sold for two years ago. A source said the broker Leighton Candler is already involved, though she wouldn’t return phone calls or e-mails.
A few doors down at 1060 Fifth, George Soros paid his ex-wife $24 million for the duplex they’d shared during their marriage, and it’s likely that Ms. or Mr. Flaherty could end up buying their spread from the other, too. Reached at her building, Ms. Flaherty vehemently refused to comment on the divorce or the apartment, but would only say: “I’m like Scarlett O’Hara. The land—the apartment—means a lot to me. I even have a dog named Scarlett, just like Scarlett O’Hara. I’m just as persistent and everything else.” In other conversations, she hung up on this reporter.
(As it happens, Ms. Flaherty wrote a book about her late neighbor in 2004, What Jackie Taught Us, which followed The Savvy Woman’s Success Bible and Talk Your Way to the Top.)
It’s also feasible, though maybe less likely, that the apartment could sell to someone else. Earlier this year, court papers related to the divorce mention Michael Cohrs, the head of global banking at Deutsche Bank, as one potential penthouse buyer.
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