Last October, a few months after the 81-year-old fashion designer turned real estate executive turned Showgirls producer Charles Evans died, his penthouse triplex at 895 Park Avenue went on the market for $29.5 million.
And it almost sold for the full asking price.
One year and three weeks later, after a second relatively excruciating near-sale, Mr. Evans’ 14-room, four-bedroom sprawl, already cut to $25 million at the end of May, is about to be cut again to $20 million, according to a source. As of this Tuesday, the listing on Stribling’s Web site—where floor plans show four fireplaces; four walk-in closets (plus a dressing room); two levels of massive terrace space; a master suite with its own bedroom-size study; one wet bar off the upstairs media room; and another bar off a downstairs gallery—had not yet reflected that price change.
Last November, The Observer reported that the triplex had gone to contract after only 28 days on the market. All was well with the Upper East Side! (Though, ominously, Citigroup’s Chuck Prince and Merrill Lynch’s Stan O’Neal had both just lost their jobs.)
Then came news that a hedge fund type and his wife, who had gone to contract agreeing to pay full asking price, backed away from their deal because of a divorce. A source said then that the husband had wanted to finish the purchase, but his wife opted to back out; either way, they ended up leaving a multimillion-dollar deposit.
By the end of March, a second couple was in contract to buy the apartment—this time for somewhere around $25 million, that source said this week. By the end of May, the co-op board at 895 Park Avenue, the kind of building with very significantly surnamed philanthropist families (Rose, Tisch), Blackstone executives (Art Newman) and massive Republican fund-raisers (Lew Eisenberg), turned the couple down.
Is the new $20 million tag a bargain, considering the three-floor sprawl’s 34-foot-long living room and 71.5-foot-long terrace space (both overlooking Central Park), the two bars, and the hand-painted tiles lining the entrance gallery? Or would that divorcing couple’s $29.5 million deal have been grotesquely inflated? And do words like grotesquerie and inflation even matter to people who can afford $12,655 monthly maintenance fees?