Broadway Baron Scoops Up 74th Street Townhouse

57412577 0 Broadway Baron Scoops Up 74th Street TownhouseLooks like Broadway baron Hal Prince didn’t wait for the curtain to close on his 834 Fifth Avenue apartment before beginning a new Upper East Side real estate production. According to city records, the Broadway producer and director of shows such as Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera and Evita, recently purchased a seven-story townhouse at 48 East 74th Street for $12.5 million.

Though neither the Princes nor the two brokers representing the listing could be reached for comment, it seems the Phantom of Fifth Avenue got a good deal. City records show that he and wife Judy–whose name is also on the deed–paid $12.5 million for the “modern masterpiece” while the Web site Streeteasy has $14.5 million as the last listing price.

Are the Princes hoping to downgrade? In September, Mr. and Mrs. Prince listed their 11-room apartment at ultra-exclusive 834 Fifth Avenue for $33 million through boutique broker Barbara Fox, who apologetically told The Observer then, “I really have no comment. I’m sorry, it’s a confidentiality thing.” According to Streeteasy, the apartment remains an active listing but it seems the Princes are already buying in greener, co-op board-free pastures.

“The clean lines, soaring ceilings, and perfectly proportioned rooms” in the seven-story elevator townhouse make it “at once expansive and intimate.” While the Georgian façade of the 20-foot-wide manse, “belies the brilliantly conceived and state of the art modern interior.” Each story is large and loft-like with floor-to-ceiling windows and “the entire house is flooded with natural sunlight from the rear glass wall and roof.” It sounds a lot nicer than that stuffy 834 Fifth with its wimpy Central Park Zoo views and silly solarium.

Now Mr. Prince can add $45 million in real estate to his record-breaking 21 Tony awards. But the real question is, with two luxury Upper East Side addresses to choose from, which one will Mr. Prince–and his Tonys–reside in? And how difficult will it be to sell their 834 Fifth apartment? Has Mr. Prince counted his chickens before they hatched?

cmalle@observer.com