The story of 11 East 74th Street is the story of the new New York, or at least that slice of Manhattan where the townhouses come with six stories, seven bedrooms, walnut paneling, and marble-saturated bathrooms. In 2006, a family of developers named the Rinzlers paid $11,230,700 for the house, and a year later put it back on the market for $35 million, a tag that fell to $32.5 million, $29,275,000, $26,975,000, $24.95 million, and then to $20.95 million last month.
But on the afternoon of May 14, the 10,800-square-foot townhouse is going to auction with an opening bid of $15 million. (Brokers involved, plus the executives at the newly formed Bid on the City, which is handling the process, prefer the phrase “sales event.”)
Bid on the City’s Ukraine-born founders Vlad Sapozhnikov and Albert Feinstein said in an interview on Wednesday that 11 East 74th Street will be their firm’s first sale, though on May 17 they’ll be selling off four much smaller apartments. The townhouse’s brokers, Rachel Koenig and Lisa Simonsen, are keeping their listing, though Mr. Sapozhnikov said that under normal circumstances his firm would be handling pre-sale marketing, with a focus on “foreign buyers and ethnic buying.”
Ms. Koenig—who contacted Bid on the City after reading about them in The Times—said there’s an undisclosed reserve price that’s above the $15 million minimum bid. “Once the reserve is met,” she explained, “it will go to the highest bidder.”
How many people have signed up for the auction? None so far, Mr. Feinstein said, because sign-ups begin on May 5, the day after an appointment-only open house.