I Want Candy: British Mega-Developer Picks Up Morris Mansion for $35 M.

The house that Candy will re-build

The house that Candy will re-build

Clearly, Christian Candy—one half of uber-posh London development duo Candy & Candy—was not deterred from flashy New York real estate investments by brother Nick’s recent scuffle over a pair of apartments at One57. Mr. Candy—that is, Christian—has closed on the 104-year-old Morris Mansion at 19 East 70th Street, The New York Times reports. At $35 million, the sale was (shocker!), the biggest deal of the week.

The Candy family’s new limestone palace, the former Knoedler Gallery, will reportedly require a gut renovation costing in excess of $20 million, but Mr. Candy is no stranger to such construction. It was not so long ago, after all, that he acquired and retooled a penthouse triplex at the Plaza, a maneuver for which he hopes to profit by some $23 million, though it remains to be seen if the property’s current asking price of $59 million will pan out. And of course, he can also count One Hyde Park to his credit.

A Corcoran agent familiar with Mr. Candy’s displeasure with the Plaza told the Times that the developer simply felt his family had outgrown the somewhat attic-like space, but we can’t help but wonder whether he was turned off by the idea of living in another developer’s building after his brother’s spat with Gary Barnett. (Mr. Barnett claimed that he turned Mr. Candy down because the London developer wanted flip the units before the building was even completed; Mr. Candy claims he found the product shoddy and walked away.)

Is all this big-ticket Manhattan shuffling simply posturing for Mr. Barnett’s benefit? As New York reported last year, as far as prices go, the Candys’ ultra-luxury One Hyde Park is among the only developments worldwide that is roughly comparable to One57.  At least Mr. Candy can rest assured that by buying and renovating a townhouse, when he flips the property in the future, the credit for any brilliant returns will accrue to him, and only him.