No Retouching Needed: Photo Whisperer Flips Selldorf-Designed Village Townhouse

Buyers with a little more girth might need a bit of retouching to squeeze into this 15 footer.

Buyers with a little more girth might need a bit of retouching to squeeze into this 15 footer.

Master photo retoucher Pascal Dangin might make his living zapping the life-sustaining fat off of models and actresses, but it looks like he’s going to make his fortune in real estate.

Mr. Dangin bought a three-story townhouse in the West Village for $5.8 million in October 2007, right as the housing market was beginning to take a turn for the worse. After a starchitect renovation and a few years waiting for the market to return, he’s now cashing out: Mr. Dangin just sold 281 West Fourth Street to the not-so-staidly-named Crazy Snack 05, LLC for a healthy $9.55 million, according to city records (maybe someone had already snagged 281 West Fourth Street LLC?).

The townhouse, which sits near the corner of West Fourth and West 11th Streets, where the space-time continuum (or at least the Manhattan street grid) collapses in on itself, includes a planted roof deck and cellar—with two dryers by the looks of the listing photos, which makes us wonder if Mr. Dangin didn’t go a little overboard with the clone tool.

The house started out asking $9.75 million, which was at one point reduced to $9.6 million before eventually selling for $50,000 shy of that price. Abigail Agranat and Andrew Darwin of Douglas Elliman had the listing.

While it contains 2,720 square feet of space and three bedrooms, the home is a bit narrow—city records give the lot width as a hair over 17 feet, and the floorplans show that the interiors are only 15 feet wide. Given the lack of closet space (the two bedrooms on the second floor have none), we wouldn’t recommend it for a family (no word on whether there are any little Crazy Snack 05s in the picture).

That said, the Corsica-born photo retouching maestro probably didn’t need to Photoshop the listing images to make the place sell—the house was recently given an Annabelle Selldorf gut renovation, complete with a large wood and steel spiral staircase and “antique slab stone floors imported from France.” (Which raises the question: isn’t all stone “antique”? We weren’t aware that they were making it any more!) The interiors are decked out in classical style, although the house doesn’t appear to have any of its original touches—which we can forgive, given that the house dates to 1869, back in the days when Photoshop was still in beta.