We bet no calls got dropped when this deal was closing: Lawrence T. Babbio Jr., the former president and vice chair of Verizon, just sold his sprawling penthouse at 720 Park Avenue for $24 million.
Mr. Babbio and wife Sheri‘s former abode is large enough—10 rooms in all, including a 31-foot-by-27-foot living room and five dramatic terraces (yes, five)—that it might require some telecommunications savvy just to reach the apartment’s other inhabitants. Fortunately, the building was designed by Rosario Candela, so the layout is impeccable. Oh, and there’s 90-feet of Park Avenue frontage to coo over, plus a plethora of floor-to-ceiling and panoramic 6-over-6 windows to gaze at it from.
The buyers, Leah and Michael Weisberg according to city records, must have been impressed, given that they paid just under the $25 million ask. Mr. Babbio, who retired from Verizon in 2007, bought the co-op before such things were public knowledge so we can’t tell how much of a killing he made in this deal, but he should have plenty of cash to keep him warm in his dotage. Of course, as is the case with most retired corporate chiefs, Mr. Babbio is staying busy—he’s working as an adviser to private equity firm Warburg Pincus and, naturally, serving on a few corporate boards.
The Weisbergs will be moving in from just up the Avenue—they list their address as 791 Park on the deed. Assuming it’s the same Leah Weisberg who was interviewed in a 1987 New York Times article about buyers shopping for co-ops on both side of the park—shocking!—she’s come down hard in favor of the Upper East Side. Then again, her budget ceiling is no longer $3 million and we’re guessing these days even some Upper East Siders can be found walking around in jogging clothes—one of the advantages of Upper West Side living that Ms. Weisberg spoke longingly of back then.
In any event, the Weisbergs gave the pad a warm reception, snapping it up within a month of its March market debut. Kudos to listing broker John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens—this is the second $20 million-plus deal that he closed at 720 Park this summer (a 14-room spread sold for $23 million in July). We guess someone wasn’t spending much time in the Hamptons this year.