Giant Dakota Apartment in Contract

56369045 Giant Dakota Apartment in Contract“Awful things happen in every apartment house,” said Rosemary Woodhouse (played by a pixie-cut Mia Farrow) of The Dakota in Roman Polanski’s thriller, Rosemary’s Baby. The film, set in the Central Park West gothic-gabled property, helped make the exclusive co-op the most legendary apartment house in New York City. And, like Ms. Farrow said, awful things do happen in every apartment house, including this one (John Lennon was shot outside its West 72nd Street entrance).

The building, which has harbored stars such as Lauren Bacall, Rudolf Nureyev, Rex Reed, Albert Maysles, Judy Garland, Carly Simon and Yoko Ono, is one of the most prestigious addresses in the city, if not the world. But why, then, did one of the largest apartments in the building, with a 29-foot corner living room, linger on the market for almost two years, suffering an almost 50 percent price cut? Like Rosemary’s Baby, that remains a mystery. However, what we do know is that finally the 10-room apartment with views of the interior courtyard (mentions of park views are conspicuously absent from the listing) has gone into contract with the final asking price at $12.5 million, according to the Web site Streeteasy and a source close to the deal.

The four-bedroom apartment was listed by Brown Harris Stevens John Burger, who also has the $29.5 million listing for Conan O’Brien’s duplex at the neighboring Majestic. Of the apartment, Mr. Burger told The Observer, “It’s very special. The owners did a two-year renovation to restore the original classic Dakota architectural details. Lots of people do renovations, but to do a restoration is really a labor of love.”

cmalle@observer.com