Let's Not Make a Deal
With all of its stiff upper lips and even stiffer hairdos, it can be hard to remember that the Upper East Side has long been a haunt of artists. To wit: Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon and Lillian Bassman.
Now, it’s still a popular space for working artists, but they had better be amazingly successful working artists if they hope to buy a studio/living space in the neighborhood. The carriage house and studio of fine art and fashion photographer Lillian Bass, who died last February at age 94, has sold in less than a month for its full $14.9 million asking price.
Penthouse A/B at 129 West 20th Street appears to be a place where nearly anyone would want to live. Flicking through the multitude of listing photos from the many brokerages and brokers who have tried to sell the 4,500-square foot Chelsea loft, one sees an apartment that seems to embody the dream of downtown luxury living: five bedrooms, four mosaic-tiled baths and two expansive terraces pinwheeling off the home’s showy heart: a sun-flooded double-height living room/dining room with 22-foot-high ceilings, two wood-burning fireplaces and an open staircase of wood and steel. The only problem is that it’s a dream no one wants to buy.
The home, which made its market debut at $8 million in April 2006, in the midst of massive renovation intended to set buyers’ hearts aflutter, has lingered there ever since. A handful of renters have come and gone, but none have wanted to sign the deed. Not for $8.5 million (the highest ask), not for $6.45 million (the lowest and most recent ask) and not for anything in between. It’s now listed for rent at $25,000 a month.
When The Observer visited 129 West 20th Street on a recent afternoon, we found an apartment that was many of the things it has claimed to be over the years: “glamorous, dramatic and refined,” just as the first Corcoran listing had promised, as well as “cinematic in scale and scope” like the Prudential Douglas Elliman listing bragged a few years later. (It had, in fact, starred alongside Keira Knightly and Eva Mendes in Last Night and Mariah Carey in an AT&T commercial.)
Last November, after three years of writing about magnificently overpriced New York residential real estate, I moved to the Wall Street beat. It is sober and civilized by comparison. What I feel nostalgic for isn’t the real estate itself. Even though it’s fun to visit cosmic Manhattan homes—like the hand-built third floor of the Plaza, Read More
On Monday, the rare-maps dealer W. Graham Arader III was in the passenger seat of his black Mercedes SUV, thinking about all the wealthy people who have not bought his 12,000-square-foot, 22-room, 10-bedroom townhouse at 1016 Madison Avenue. “People have been clubbed to death by recent events,” he said. “The seals in Alaska had it Read More
The new White House-125 East 70th Street.
Upper East Side brokers often dub East 70th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, as the city’s best townhouse block. And in 2006, it’s been the sight of three big deals, with bold face buyers like Woody Allen, Coach president Reed Krakoff, and Irish businessman Tony Read More
The storied Upper East Side townhouse that just entered the market for $26.5 million was attracting enough attention before anyone knew it was the former home of the philanthropist Paul Mellon.
His widow, Rachel (Bunny) Lambert Mellon, who currently lives in northern Virginia, put the 70th Street townhouse up for sale with brokers Kirk Read More
In mid-March, private
investor Peter Knobel sold his renovated mansion at 20 East 73rd Street for $17
million. The property is spectacular-a 22-foot-wide building located on a prime
block between Fifth and Madison avenues. And Mr. Knobel invested $7 million,
putting in a wine cellar and basement basketball court. But when he got such a Read More
It was the year in Manhattan real estate that the celebrities were humbled, and the billionaires couldn’t buy whatever they wanted. It was the year that Harrison Ford hunted up and down Carnegie Hill just to end up acquiring the neighbor’s place and expanding. When Calvin Klein, after a fruitless search, landed back in his Read More