'You Don't Have to Look Down on Hugh Jackman Changing'

165 charles street 'You Don't Have to Look Down on Hugh Jackman Changing'“It’s really kind of a boring story,” Ron Teitelbaum said, referring to his 14th-floor listing at 165 Charles Street. “I wish I could spin it some way that would be interesting to you.”

Are you kidding? Since when is a sale in one of Richard Meier’s West Side masterpieces not interesting!

After two years of patient waiting–the three-bedroom came on the market in October 2008, a month after Lehman Brothers collapsed–the 2,541-square-foot transparent spread has finally sold, going for $7.35 million, according to city records.

That is only $50,000 more than Andrew Rayburn paid for the pad in 2007, according to StreetEasy, and also the first sale in the building in more than two years. A number of other units have been trying, but appear to have languished for much the same reason as did this one, which had been asking $8.2 million: that damned market. Owners are instead opting for renters, among them a Persian princess.

“They were just waiting for the right person,” Mr. Teitelbaum said of his seller, who runs the Cleveland-based Big Game Capital, a private equity firm whose motto is “Make money, have fun, don’t miss the big plays.” Mr. Rayburn made his first fortune with the sale of Flexalloy, an industrial distribution company, and he has found “the right person” for the other end of the deal, albeit one from Luxemberg. The city record lists the buyer as Valberg Developments–which happens to be a town in the French Alps. This mysterious capitalist must have a thing for skiing.

When asked about the unit–the listing was scant: “Highest South Apartment at Richard Meier’s South Tower. 14th floor south. 10 foot ceilings. Amazing views. Wine Cellar and Storage Room included.”–Mr. Teitelbaum reiterated that there wasn’t much to say. “There’s great southern light,” he said. “But, really, it’s just another one of these glass boxes.”

“You don’t have to look down on Hugh Jackman changing,” the broker added, referring to one of the more notable residents of Mr. Meier’s Perry Street Lofts across the street. And yet most people might view that as an invaluable amenity.

Mr. Rayburn has since settled at 52 East 4th Street, where he bought an 11th floor unit in the Scarano-designed finger on the Bowery for which he paid $2.12 million in October 2009, according to city records. It is not clear whether he looks down on John Legend, his neighbor two floors below, when the R&B star is changing.

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mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo