If an Upper East Side real estate broker tells you in her nice North Carolina drawl that one of her new listings is “a dreamy apartment,” that she “wouldn’t change a hair” and that it’s got a “beautiful terrace overlooking the park, you look down and watch the polar bears play, it’s just heavenly—heavenly,” it’s best not to believe her. Fancy real estate, even the brass-gated kind, is rarely what it’s cracked up to be.
But there are exceptions. “It’s been heavenly and peaceful,” Ruth Stanton, who lives next to John and Susan Gutfreund at cosmic 834 Fifth Avenue, once told The Observer about life there. “Aside from the chauffeured limousines, you don’t see the people come and go,” her downstairs neighbor Jan Abrams added. “That’s one of the reasons people chose to live in a building like this.” It’s the kind of co-op where Rupert Murdoch will spend about $400,000 to enlarge the exercise room in his $44 million triplex.
And it’s a building where listings are hugely rare. But the Southern-born Barbara Fox, who runs an eponymous boutique brokerage, just listed a 13th-floor, 11-room, 4,750-square-foot duplex that belongs to Judy and Hal Prince, the venerated Broadway producer and director.
Their listing price is $33 million.
That’s high, especially in this era, though earlier this year, Laurie Tisch spent $29 million on a unit in 834 Fifth that needed an enormous amount of work. “There are still people around who want it,” Ms. Fox said. “I’ve been showing all day.”
She would not comment on her clients, but was willing to describe the apartment. “The only thing somebody would want to change is the décor, because it’s a very personal statement of the owner’s,” she said. “It’s very traditional, and very, very elegant.” The duplex’s top floor has three proper bedrooms, a dressing area, two terraces, a maid’s room and a laundry room. “This is not a big family apartment,” Ms. Fox said. “It’s more for a couple with maybe older children.”
She would not say why the owners are selling. “I really can’t talk about it. I hope you understand that.” The 81-year-old Mr. Prince, whose first musical was 1954’s The Pajama Game, has won more Tonys than anyone else. “And they’re all in the apartment. Bye!” Ms. Fox said, ending the interview.
Update: The floor plan, which once said the top floor had two proper bedrooms and a “media/bedroom,” changed the latter to an official bedroom.
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