Of all the indignities the greatest ballplayer on earth has suffered this year, like having to admit on television that he spent three years on steroids, or leaving the World Baseball Classic to undergo hip surgery, surely nothing could bother Alex Rodriguez more than being forced to take a mere two-bedroom rental at 15 Central Park West.
But when he went for 82-year-old steel magnate Leroy Schecter’s $40,000-per-month, 3,103-square-foot, 35th-floor, three-bedroom unit in the limestone high-rise, it turned out someone had beaten him to it. “It was just unfortunate; I sort of felt bad about everything,” said Emily Beare of the CORE Group, Mr. Schecter’s agent.
In January, the player’s broker called to say Mr. Rodriguez would be coming to see the space, but he was held up. In the meantime, Henry Silverman, founder and ex-CEO of the Cendant Corporation, which bought Corcoran eight years ago, dropped by. He had already been renting in the building after a much-publicized split from his wife: “It was too small,” Ms. Beare said about his first place. “Didn’t have the views; on a low floor.”
Mr. Silverman and his girlfriend liked Mr. Schecter’s place, the agent said: “She loved it. They loved it. I mean, they fell in love! I showed them the apartment and as soon as I left, before I got on the subway, the broker called and said they’d take it.”
But pity the Yankee third baseman. “I knew Alex wanted it, but Henry made a decision immediately, so I felt I had to move along.” Yet Mr. Schecter’s 2,367-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment next door was available for $30,000 per month. Mr. Rodriguez’s people asked for a discount. “We just said, ‘No, there’s no negotiating.’ And they said, ‘Fine.’”
So the star, whose four-bedroom pied-à-terre on Park Avenue sold for $9.9 million this month, will make due with a place half its size. His broker, Adam Modlin, had no comment.
But why is Mr. Schecter renting out his units in the first place? Last year, after all, he put his seven-bedroom mansion on Florida’s Indian Creek Island on the market for $32 million and spent a few months in 15 Central Park West. “It was cold, it was cold!” he explained from Florida. New York City ice was a nuisance. “I fell on my back one day walking my dog and I said, ‘That’s it.’”