Inheritance For Sale: This Chelsea Townhouse May Be the Best Deal in Real Estate History—Also, the Saddest
The townhouse at 338 West 15th Street opened its doors to potential buyers on a hot spring day, when Chelsea’s sidewalks were thick with tourists spilling over from the High Line and the chill of winter felt like a hazy and half-forgotten dream.
Standing inside the house’s front parlor, a grand but shabby room illuminated by light from copious windows, Dexter Guerrieri, the owner, was eager to discuss his vision for the home, a vision that he had honed over his years as president of the boutique brokerage Vandenberg, the Townhouse Experts. What he described was a six-story “elevator mansion” with a glass-walled penthouse, giant soaking tub, ensuite bathrooms, roof deck and chef’s kitchen with a 48-inch-wide Subzero refrigerator and an eight-burner Viking range.
Mr. Guerrieri is selling this vision (in the form of architectural plans), along with the rundown four-story house that has been changed only sparingly since it was built in the mid-1800s, for a grand total of $6.95 million. It may be a daring asking price, even considering a beautifully renovated townhouse a few doors down selling for $7.9 million, but whatever he gets, Mr. Guerrieri’s real coup was buying the property for $500,000 in 2010.
In a move that was either a smart investment or a swindle, Mr. Guerrieri and his wife, Jane Ordway, took possession of the property from two elderly women after a protracted legal battle over the validity of a purchase agreement signed 30 years earlier. But the past was not something Mr. Guerrieri wanted to discuss that day.
“I don’t want the focus to be about that,” he said shortly when The Observer asked about the circumstances of the purchase. “I just want it to be about the house, what’s wonderful about the house.” Read More