From Movies to Music: HBO Honcho Sells UES Townhouse to Beatport Owner

It's no Graceland, but 151 East 72nd Street will have to do for Mr. Sillerman.

It’s no Graceland, but 151 East 72nd Street will have to do for Mr. Sillerman.

After his $50 million golf venture on the Caribbean island of Anguilla went spectacularly awry, Robert F.X. Sillerman told the New York Post, “I think I have shown conclusively I’m not knowledgeable enough about the real estate business.”

Poor judgment in the West Indies aside, we’re betting that the music industry Renaissance man—Mr. Sillerman’s business interests range from the concert promoting titan that became Live Nation to Elvis’s old Graceland estate—will do a lot better with his latest purchase: a $12 million limestone townhouse on the Upper East Side.

The five-story, 18.5-foot-wide home was sold by HBO CEO Richard Plepler, who was not easily parted with the townhouse. After buying 151 East 72nd Street for almost $8.2 million in 2002, he got greedier than a Valyrian slave trader and tried to double his money by asking $18.5 million in 2008. While he may have had some takers a year earlier, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy not a week later, prompting his broker, Jaar-Mel Sloane of Sloane Square, to pull the listing a short time after.

Three and a half years later, Mr. Plepler and his broker tried again, listing the unit for $16.5 million. With no takers half a year later, they finally arrived at a more reasonable asking price: $13 million.

Two months later, a deal was struck—a deal that we now know was for $12 million, according to city records.

The house itself is a bit of an odd duck. Despite its five levels, it only has three bedrooms, though they’re all labeled “master bedroom” on the floor plan. What appears to be the real master is two stories tall, with half of the second being open to the first. And while the house doesn’t have a proper backyard, it does have an addition that provides for a sky-lit dining room and terrace above.

To enter the house, Mr. Sillerman will have to descend half a level below-grade—we’ll call it a limestone take on the New York City club experience.

Mr. Sillerman’s neighbors will be pleased to know, though, that despite his February acquisition of Beatport, the online electronic dance music megastore, there will be no grimy dubstep or booming bass emanating from 151 East 72nd Street: his own tastes lean towards Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, according to The New York Times.