Nate Berkus Moves 650 Feet, Buys $5 M. Village Penthouse

"One is transported to Florence," reads the listing. If only Florence had 14-story buildings.

“One is transported to Florence,” reads the listing. If only Florence had 14-story buildings.

Maybe he just wanted another apartment to decorate? Interior designer and daytime (soon primetime) TV host Nate Berkus loves Greenwich Village—so much so that he’s willing to go through all of the Sturm und Drang of moving, only to find himself a two-minute walk from where he started.

Two weeks ago The Observer broke the news that he had sold his West 9th Street co-op for $4.95 million. And now Mr. Berkus has picked up a $5 million co-op at 39 Fifth Avenue, at 10th Street, according to city records—a Bing & Bing-built, Emery Roth-designed building wedged in between two other tall pre-wars on lower Fifth Avenue.

With nearly identical prices, the move looks more like a sideways trade than an upgrade. In fact, in many ways the apartments are very similar: same neighborhood, same price, same number of bedrooms (three), same number of floors (two), same general style (pre-war). There are some differences, though. The new pad is much higher up—on the 15th floor, it’s practically a high-rise for the neighborhood, so Mr. Berkus will be getting an elevator for his money (not to mention a doorman, which may come in handy when he starts showing up on hundreds of millions of Americans’ TV screens during prime time for his new American Dream Builders show on NBC). It’s also an upside-down apartment, in which you enter onto the top floor, which contains the main living space, before descending down onto the bedroom level.

Luckily for this kitchen, its new owner is an interior designer.

Luckily for this kitchen, its new owner is an interior designer.

Since both units were co-ops, we can’t compare the overall square footage, but his new apartment looks a bit smaller, as it lacks the two (small) home offices of his old digs, not to mention the 300-square-foot den. And while the new apartment doesn’t have as many skylights as the old one (every bedrooms on 9th Street had one, in one case in lieu of an actual window), it makes up for them in quality—the chef’s kitchen (what other kinds is there in a $5 million apartment?) features rounded skylights that wouldn’t look out of place in a mid-1950s railroad observation car.

Leaving the apartment is opt-in email marketing pioneer and one-time AOL cyber “sexpert” Rosalind Resnick. We couldn’t reach Emily Beare at CORE, who had the listing (and also the listing on Mr. Berkus’s old place), for comment, or her partner Tony Sargent. The duo appears to have opted out of discussing their famous clients’ new abode.