Office With Benefits
The ultra-luxurious Zeckendorfs-developed residential condominium 15 Central Park West has a ground-floor office space available for lease. A fun perk: access to the building’s amenities.
The 2,177-square-foot loft space with two bathrooms can be used for commercial purposes or as live/work space. The space, available raw, is on the southeast corner of the Robert A.M. Stern-designed building and is being listed by A&I Broadway Realty’s Valentina Sharapan.
Many consider 15 Central Park West to be the non plus ultra of Manhattan residences—all the beauty, grandeur and park views of a Fifth Avenue Candela or a Central Park West Roth, with none of the finicky plumbing, slipshod air conditioning, useless maids rooms or snooty co-op boards to contend with. Perfection, in other words, for those who can afford the rapidly escalating cost of buying there.
But can you improve on perfection? Leroy Schecter certainly thought so. Last summer, Mr. Schecter, the chairman of Marino-Ware Industries, a steel building products manufacturer, launched into a fiercely ambitious gut renovation to combine two units on the 35th floor into a palatial spread with an even more ambitious ask—$95 million.
In years past, diplomats, movie stars and the crème de la crème of New York society clamored for entry into River House—the art deco co-op on the East River so elite, so elevated, so refined that it famously prohibited the use of its name in all advertising materials. It admitted only the staidest and most moneyed of applicants, snubbing movie stars and the young socialites alike, among them Diane Keaton and Gloria Vanderbilt.
But in the years since the snootiest of all co-ops first opened its closely-guarded gates, society has changed. There was World War II, and then all the hippies and feminists and radical activists of the 1960s and 70s, the yuppie splendor of the 1980s, the rise of the internet and these days, a real estate market swayed by the whims of Russian billionaires. Along the way, River House lost its place at the pinnacle of New York society. The closing prices of its well-appointed apartments lag tens of millions of dollars behind other top tier co-ops, Beekman and Sutton places have declined in prominence and the social register is now a quaint anachronism, like women wearing hats and gloves when they leave the house.
The late Helen “Peggy” Scholz’s old Upper East Side co-op is about as old world as it gets (during the 1910 census, five of the 13 families in the building listed their occupation as “own income”). With its tromp-l’œil fresco, wood-panelled library and wood-burning fireplaces, Ms. Scholz had lived in her 863 Park Avenue apartment since 1939. She moved into the unit with her husband, composer Ernest Schelling, who promptly expired that same year (the apartment had previously been owned by a cousin of Ms. Scholz, till Mr. Schelling bought it in the 1920s).
But Ms. Scholz passed away in 2007, and the estate of Brooke Astor’s step-daughter has finally found a buyer for the apartment: the decidedly new money Patrick Moxey and wife Bernadette Cruz.
And… scene! The eclectically-decorated townhouse of Broadway legend Hal Prince may not suit all tastes—although with zigzags, polka dots, stripes, cheetah print, florals, blood red carpet and even what appears to be some interior astroturf, the home certainly has something for everyone—but it has won the heart of a buyer.
The Georgian-style townhouse at 48 East 74th, which was more recently asking $19.95 million, is in contract, The Observer has learned. For how much, we cannot say, as Brown Harris Stevens broker Paula Del Nunzio would not divulge any details when we called her for comment. But if Mr. Prince even gets close to his ask, he will have a success on the level of one of his Broadway smash hits (among them Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story) given that he paid a mere $12.5 million for the place when he bought it back in 2009. (Only in Manhattan could $12.5 million be preceded by a mere.)
As the summer rolls on, the collective consciousness of New York once again moves to its beach-filled brother, the Hamptons. Amongst the mansions and the mega-mansions, it’s not just the number of visitors that’s booming—the Hamptons Real Estate market is back.
Even if values still can’t compare to their dizzying pre-2008 heights, buyers are Read More
56 West 11th Street Realty LLC has purchased a 31,000-square-foot building at 56-58 West 11th Street in Greenwich Village for just under $18.5 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The nine-story building, built in 1912, features 36 residential units, with what broker Howard Morrel, who arranged the off-market sale, said is “virtually guaranteed upside” in Read More
Sex and the City creator Darren Star may have inundated the West Village with flocks of would-be Carries lining up outside of Magnolia Bakery and blocking the sidewalks as they ponder their love lives via interior monologue, but when Mr. Star rested his head at night, he headed uptown to his 35th floor apartment in the Trump International Hotel and Tower on Columbus Circle.
At least, he used to—the Melrose Place- and Beverly Hills, 90210-creator just offloaded his sky-high pad, according to city records filed this morning, for a lucky $13 million.
Mr. Star’s broker, Brown Harris Stevens managing director John Burger, was tight-lipped about the buyer, who was listed on the deed only as Beverly Park Corporation, domiciled on Wilshire Boulevard (coincidentally, just down the road from Mr. Star’s lawyer).
When Jann and Jane Wenner split in 1995, the coupled stayed married, putting off the legal wrangling that would inevitably arise when they split their publishing empire. Mr. Wenner borrowed $7,500 from his own family and from the family of his wife to found Rolling Stone, and once it grew into an empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars and includes Men’s Journal and Us Weekly, it would be understandable if the vagaries of divorce just didn’t seem worth it.
Until, that is, 2011. Mr. Wenner had been living with his partner, Matt Nye, a former Calvin Klein model 19 years his junior with whom he’s raising three kids, and Ms. Wenner finally wanted out. (There was speculation that the divorce was finalized because Mr. Wenner and Mr. Nye wanted to formally marry each other, but despite the legalization of gay marriage in New York, that never came to pass.) There was a little acrimony in the divorce, including a lawsuit filed by Ms. Wenner’s Amagansett groundskeeper, but things seem to have gone as smoothly as a divorce can be expected to go and Jane Wenner got to keep the couple’s Upper West Side townhouse, at 37 West 70th Street.
Not often do penthouses at Manhattan’s “Good Buildings” (as per Tom Wolfe, according to whom there are only 42) come on the market, but today is one of those rare days: the south penthouse at 10 Gracie Square was just listed for $23 million.
The white-glove building sits in the rarefied hinterlands of the far East Side, overlooking Carl Schurz Park, and once had a yacht mooring onto the East River, sadly disfigured by the FDR (which is decked over beneath the ritziest buildings—a coincidence, we’re sure). Moreover, the penthouse occupant gets an up-close view of the building’s rooftop fixture, which is rumored to be, along with that on top of 1040 Fifth Avenue, the inspiration for 15 Central Park West’s crown.