Buyers Swoon For Andre Kikoski’s Architecture, But Not His Apartment

  • Andre Kikoski has earned accolades for his dramatic designs, among them the Guggenheim Museum’s new restaurant and Long Island City’s Z Hotel. Unfortunately, it appears that not even the touch of a rising starchitect could do much for his two-bedroom, 2.5-bath apartment at 860 United Nations Plaza.

    Ms. Kikoski and wife Kim Donaldson have sold the 27th-floor spread for a mere $1.83 million, which is not particularly impressive considering that they bought it for $1.55 million back in 2005. What’s more, Mr. Kikoski really did his best to transform the co-op into something exceptional: walls of a third-bedroom were removed to create more openness and the walls were painted white and pale blue to “reflect the water and sky outside,” according to The Wall Street Journal, which admired Mr. Kikoski’s home renovation handiwork back in 2010.

    We guess even the loveliest renovation only goes so far in a slightly stodgy tower on United Nations Plaza? Mr. Kikoski and Ms. Donaldson first tried to get $2.65 million when they first put it on the market last November. But gut renovation be damned, buyers Michael Levine and Kim Lemon were bargain hunting; they waited until the apartment’s asking price sunk to $1.85 million and then negotiated a slight discount on top of that.

    Certainly, the listing, held by Brown Harris Stevens broker Michele Conte, does its level best to convey the apartment’s atmosphere: “six already generous rooms were transformed into exceptionally spacious, loft-like 5-room masterpiece that flows like the river outside its glass walls.” Plus, there are plenty of Architectural Digest-worthy finishes: blue granite slab counters, white marble mosaics and a “white Orion marble slab w/Sir Norman Foster and Lefroy Brooks fixtures” in the bath. We hope that the buyers had google access to decipher that one.

    Plus, at least Mr. Levine and Ms. Lemon can rest assured that the 150-bottle wine cooler is the real deal and not just a passing fancy: Ms. Donaldson is the co-founder of Bottlenotes.com, an online wine social networking community.

    kvelsey@observer.com

  • It's undeniable that Mr. Kikoski has worked wonders with his United Nations Plaza apartment.

  • Odd fact: in the middle of the table there is a trough filled with Swarovski crystals and seashells.

  • The kitchen, like much of the apartment, has been repainted in muted grays, blues and dull whites.

  • Now that's a nice view.

  • Another view picture. Were the baths and bedrooms not photogenic enough?

  • Ms. Donaldson and Mr. Kikoski. (Patrick McMullen)

  • Something for the architecture buffs.