The Nay-Sayers Were Right: Observer Manse Sells at a Loss

We love you, No. 54, but you're bringing us down.

We love you, No. 54, but you’re bringing us down.

Last week, when we wrote up the contract signing on The Observer’s old Upper East Side home, the brokers we spoke with were skeptical that the house would fetch its ambitious $28 million ask.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be low,” one veteran townhouse broker of 54 East 64th Street told us. Another concurred, throwing in a dig at Douglas Elliman super broker Dolly Lenz, whom the source claimed “tends to kind of dump her stuff.”

While we were not privy to the price negotiations behind the sale of the salmon-tinted mansion, the gossip about the low price turned out to be quite prescient.

If anything, in fact, the brokers we spoke with weren’t pessimistic enough. The property transfer deed hit city records around noon today, and it’s worse than we expected: $18 million on the dot, or a full $2 million less than the previous owner purchased it for from Irish businessman Derek Quinlan in 2011. Not to mention that it’s a breathtaking $10 million less than its ask. Selling at a deep discount after less than three months on the market, it sounds like the seller—a vaguely-named LLC, who, as we reported last week, may be Middle Eastern given that they took out a mortgage from a Lebanese bank—must have been highly motivated to cash in on the brick-faced home. Even if it meant taking a loss.

We aren’t sure who the buyer is—they’re listed only as an LLC with a care-of address at a fancy Park Avenue law firm—but the transfer deed listed the property as an office building, despite its location in an exclusively residential zone. Maybe another newspaper will be moving in?