Back when the New York real estate market was still so barbarically lush, the children of barons lived well. The Turkish billionaire Husnu Ozyegin’s son bought a $6.2 million apartment on East 66th Street, which was smaller than the $7.25 million Soho duplex that Time Warner magnate Steve Ross’ youngest child got, which was smaller than the new $16.5 million townhouse for Pittsburgh billionaire Henry Hillman’s grandson, which was smaller than the $32 million and $33.6 million co-ops Hummer magnate Ira Rennert’s two daughters got last year.
But hedge fund deity Steven A. Cohen, who was No. 97 on this March’s Forbes billionaire list, has a child who will be living slightly less sumptuously. According to city records, a pseudonymous corporation paid $2.7 million for a 1,921-square-foot duplex loft at 99 Warren Street. The billionaire’s wife, Alexandra, signed the deed as the corporation’s vice president, but a source said the apartment is for a 20-something son.
It’s appallingly ill-mannered to complain about $2.7 million duplex lofts, and yet the cost was barely a third of what Mr. Cohen spent on The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, the formaldehyde-suspended Damien Hirst shark. Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesperson for Mr. Cohen, had no comment.
Reached Monday night on his cell phone, Corcoran senior vice president Tim Melzer, who listed the apartment and happens to live next door, had no comment. (During a brief interview, a woman passing by Mr. Melzer’s new Lamborghini-based Audi R8 asked him to rev the engine. He did. “Oh,” she said loudly, “yeah.”)
The seller, anesthesiologist Jason Byers, bought the apartment for $2,585,000 only last year, but then couldn’t sell off his home in Far Hills, N.J. He also tried renting out the duplex: “I had to go to court in order to get the right to do it—that was kind of a battle. And then when I did finally get a renter, he ended up bailing on me. He signed a lease”—$15,500 monthly for one year—“and then just left. So I’m sort of still pursuing that.”
On the plus side, the duplex ended up selling for more than it cost last year. “You can say I made a profit. I say, well, to hell with it! This is where I wanted to be and now I’m not there,” the doctor said. “I wish I was still there, but, hey, that’s the way it worked out. … I still lust for the place, you know?”
Nevertheless, he was happy to meet Ms. Cohen, whose son wasn’t at the closing. “She showed me a picture,” he said. “I think I showed her pictures of my kids, too.”