Money Never Sleeps at Screenwriter’s Hell’s Kitchen Co-op

RIP cornice.

RIP cornice.

Journalism has never been the most remunerative field, but Stephen Schiff figured out a way to make it work for him: write a Hollywood screenplay. Lolita and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps may not have been the most critically-acclaimed films of all time, but they seem to have done well enough for the former New Yorker journalist—he just sold his four-bedroom Hell’s Kitchen pad for $1.9 million.

The co-op apartment (which advertises “very low” maintenance of just $2,100 a month) at 325 West 52nd Street is fairly spacious, with three bedrooms on the entry level and another one down below. (It sits at the bottom of the building, though, so the new buyer may not be able to pull a Winnie Gekko and walk around the apartment with her pants off while blogging.)

The co-op features separate dining and living rooms, along with a media room and a laundry room, not to mention a den, a sizable hallway on the lower level, three fireplaces and an atrium up top. And, babbles the broker—Wendy Stark, who, ever the good Corcoran employee, declined to comment—”an unheard-of amount of space.”

The building was actually once a few separate structures that were combined in 1981 when it was turned into a co-op (we’re not sure how long Mr. Schiff has lived there, though it was long enough to not yield any trace of his purchase in digitized property records).

Hopefully not the direction the New York City real estate market is heading.

Hopefully not the direction the New York City real estate market is heading.

“While the lobby and common hallways have a more modern appearance and a central elevator was added,” reads the listing, “many of the desirable prewar details were preserved.” And while the buildings’ cornices were sadly lost to history somewhere along the way, the stately white façade is still intact, with the former doorways aside from the main entrance retained but stripped of their stoops and turned into heavily-decorated windows.

The building sits between Eighth and Ninth Avenues on a relatively low-rise block, but the buyers—Andrew and Lauren Cutson Janian—will still be able to gaze up at the towers of Midtown West. If they squint really hard, they may even be able to see the stock chart superimposed over the skyline.

And if the recent real estate craze turns to bust (they call it Tulip Mania!), at least Mr. Schiff got out while the getting was good.