Equity God Neidich Buys Downtown

daniel neidich gary cohn 08 Equity God Neidich Buys DowntownWhereas everyone accepts that Soho isn’t really a neighborhood anymore, just a well-groomed mall for cologned tourists, Nolita is still wavering between scruffiness and snobbery. Mustachioed hipsters haven’t fully taken over the neighborhood, though neither have balding financiers.

But this summer, the first apartments have closed at 211 Elizabeth Street, which would be an obnoxious new condo if it were built with glitzy glass instead of hand-laid brick. It’s wise-looking, even if it is expensive.

Last month, a two-bedroom condo sold for $2.984 million to the financier Dan Neidich, who’s been called the godfather of real estate private equity (and a “Rottweiler”). He started and ran Goldman Sachs’ gargantuan Whitehall Funds, then founded Dune Capital with Steve Mnuchin five years ago.

But Mr. Neidich and his wife won’t be moving in. “We’re 50-plus. … We live on the Upper East Side, and we have grown kids,” he said. “This is a quality of building that parents would live in, but they’re not going to. Look, I love Café Habana”—the posh Cuban eatery where models nibble at grilled corn—“but I’m not going to live across from Café Habana.”

So one of his three 20-something kids, probably the one who currently lives on Avenue A, will take the 1,606-square-foot apartment. “You know, we’ll have to see. … It’s a fancier building than they live in now. So it’s a question of when they are ready.”

Either way, the family will be treated well. “I’m actually one of the developers of the building, in full disclosure,” he said. He could’ve picked any of the units, but didn’t want the penthouse. “It was more money than we wanted to spend. We weren’t going to have our kids in the penthouse, and we weren’t going to live there.”

Listing broker Mary Ellen Cashman said that the penthouse recently sold for $6.68 million, and records show that a $1.7 million unit just closed, too. “And we have another one in contract that hasn’t closed yet,” she said, “but will shortly.” After a long post-collapse hiatus, the remaining 10 units are coming back on the market in the next few weeks. “We’re very happy,” she said.

mabelson@observer.com