The townhouse at 62 Bank Street is a fashionable home with a fashionable owner. Former owner, rather, as Robert Duffy, the president and co-founder of Marc Jacobs, has just sold it according to city records.
The property was highly coveted, Douglas Elliman broker Frank Arends told The Observer. “At the end we had a bidding war,” he explained. “I know people still feel bad… People really wanted that house.” The three-bedroom, three-bath townhouse was originally listed for $8 million, but promptly decreased to $6.5 million. It jumped back up after those bids and ultimately sold for $7.05 million, the deed show. Not too shabby considering Mr. Duffy spent just $3 million on the place when he purchased back in 2002.
Mr. Duffy can thank himself, at least in part, for the steep increase in his home value. Not long after he moved in, Mr. Duffy decided “it would be fun to walk to work,” according to Ingrid Abramovitch, author of Restoring A House In the City, and promptly set up a Marc Jacobs store just around the corner on Bleeker Street. Since the boutique’s installation, the block has become a home base for luxury livery, with Ralph Lauren, Cynthia Rowely, Burberry and Juicy Couture all setting up shop. Old timers and NIMBYs alike abhor the changes. (Also within walking distance? Mr. Jacobs himself, who is ensconced at nearby mega-luxe condo Superior Ink.)
Might Lawrence Luhring, co-founder of the Luhring Augistine Gallery, be walking to work as well? His office is located a dozen or so blocks away in Chelsea. There are plenty of townhouses there, but also plenty of art crawl revelers, giddy into the night, so he and wife Lucrecia Zappi-Luhring, a recent graduate from N.Y.U.’s MFA program, have opted to buy Mr. Duffy’s place. Perhaps they wanted something closer to the Marc Jacob boutiques? That or the public schools, which are still a mixed bag up in artists land.
Although Mr. Duffy spent much time and energy (and countless thousands, we imagine) decorating and restoring the home, he maintains the 2,700-square-foot townhouse is just his humble hearth. “I looked at so many townhouses and they were all so intimidating,” he told Ms. Abramovitch. “This one is not grand. It felt manageable.” Still, the three-story home has all the creature comforts one expects from a seven figure residence: two wood-burning fireplaces, white-and-black checkered Italian marble in the dining room, antique fittings in the master bath—the usual.
Mr. Duffy boasted about retaining the home’s original eccentricities in Ms. Abramovitch’s book: “Everything leans and I love that,” he said on one page, and on the next, “When you are in the basement, you look up and see light shining through the floorboards.” Still, Mr. Arends told The Observer about aspects of the house with broader appeal. “A lot of other blocks have bigger buildings so the garden is not so private, but in this case it is,” he said of the outdoor space. “It’s beautiful garden.”
So why did Mr. Duffy leave his carefully constructed crib? He needed another kind of crib, of course! “He wanted to have a bigger space because they adopted a baby,” Mr. Arends said of Mr. Duffy and his husband, Alex Cespedes. They haven’t strayed far from their former roost, however, moving up just a few blocks to 12th Street. The home “is not that much bigger, but just better laid out for them, because it has four bedrooms,” Mr. Arends explained.
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