Recent Transactions in the Real Estate Market

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Park Avenue in the East 70’s

Four-bed, five-bath, 4,000-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $3 million. Selling: $2.8 million.

Maintenance: $4,000; 35 percent tax-deductible.

Time on market: two weeks.

THE GYPSIES OF PARK AVENUE Life’s rough: You live in an elegant eight-room apartment, but the family’s getting bigger. You put it on the block, and it sells right away at a record price within the building. In the meantime, your broker is looking for those 12 rooms you need. But there’s nothing out there. Why? Your broker says something about capital gains taxes and $75,000 apartments bought in the 1970’s that are now worth $750,000. You look at more than 70 apartments, anyway, but come up cold. Meanwhile, you have eight rooms of furniture that need a home. You see a nice layout, Park Avenue in the 70’s, so the address is right, but the place is boring. “It was bland and styleless,” remembered the broker. “They were trying so hard to make it to anybody’s taste that they made it to nobody’s.” Your broker finds another apartment in the building with the same layout. The owner realizes he may be sitting on a gold mine, tests the open market for a few weeks, then turns around and accepts the buyers’ offer. Broker: William B. May Real Estate (Suzanne Sealy).

If Zorba’s Walls Could Talk …

It’s an open secret Iolanda Quinn is plenty mad at her divorce lawyer, Raoul Felder, for not squeezing enough green out of her ex-husband, 82-year-old actor Anthony Quinn, in their August divorce settlement. But, as The Transom reports this week on page 3 of The Observer , Mr. Felder did get her the couple’s 13-room co-op at 60 East End Avenue. Now Mrs. Quinn is liquidating the pad for a terrific price of $2.5 million, according to real estate sources.

A fellow resident in the building has made an accepted offer to buy the apartment, on the 32nd floor of an elegant, early-1970’s high-rise-thereby avoiding the trouble of brokers and broker fees. The apartment, which has great views of the East River, was a somewhat rough combination of two apartments, one with seven rooms, one with six rooms. Since the randy Mr. Quinn has fathered 13 children by two wives and three mistresses (including two with his latest, a 35-year-old woman who used to be his secretary), they probably needed those seven bedrooms and 8.5 baths. Maintenance is just under $5,000 a month. Mrs. Quinn’s new lawyer, William Betts, would not confirm the sale.

Mrs. Quinn, who is 62, met her husband in 1961 while working as a wardrobe assistant on the set of Barabbas. Before 60 East End Avenue, they lived in a terraced penthouse at the Adams Hotel on East 86th Street. They left when it was sold, gutted for condos and renamed 1049 Fifth Avenue.

Real estate sources say the East End apartment could use a little fixing up. No word on where Mrs. Quinn will hang her hat in New York, but so far she hasn’t sold the couple’s lovely villa near Rome.

Upper West Side

West End Avenue near 92nd Street

Two-bed, two-bath, 1,600-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $579,000. Selling: $579,000.

Maintenance: $1,147; 50 percent tax-deductible.

Time on market: eight weeks.

KEEP THE WINDOWS, SCRAP THE REST The single woman who moved into this Victorian-era building didn’t buy just to be near Morgan Freeman (Kiss the Girls), the building’s best-known resident: she was gunning for a view of the Hudson River. Her previous apartment was very similar (same layout, on 90th Street) but didn’t have the views. The determined buyer was willing to put up with boxing it up, moving it out and setting it up for a vista or two. She wasn’t your typical prewar purchaser, however; preferring simplicity to charm, she stripped the apartment-goodbye, french doors, stained glass windows and original wainscoting-and ended up with a loft-style space. Broker: Orsid Realty Corporation (Olga Fisher).

2250 Broadway near 81st Street

Two-bed, 2.5-bath, 1,415-square-foot postwar condo.

Asking: $525,000. Selling: $512,000.

Charges: $896. Taxes: $649.75.

Time on market: two months.

10 West 66th Street (Park 10)

One-bed, two-bath, 1,000-square-foot postwar co-op.

Asking: $425,000. Selling: $425,000.

Maintenance: $925; 47 percent tax-deductible.

Time on market: one week.

UPPER WEST SIDE COUPLE RISES After four years of living in a street-level duplex maisonette at 2250 Broadway, Mina and Gordon Kuhn, a paralegal and a restaurant manager, were looking to move high above the din of baby gap stroller traffic. From the sidewalk, the maisonette had a nice prewar look-but inside, it’s clear the apartment was really part of a high-rise building that was erected behind the preserved facade of an old structure. They decided they could live in smaller space but wanted some fresh air. The broker who sold their maisonette, Dexter Guerrieri, went looking for the new apartment and quickly found a 15th-floor co-op just down the block from the massive Reebok sports club-where Ms. Kuhn happens to work out. The balcony looks north, affording a nice glimpse into the windows of the Hotel des Artistes on 67th Street. Broker: Vandenberg Real Estate (Dexter Guerrieri); Corcoran Group; Marilyn Korn Real Estate.

East Midtown

250 East 54th Street (Mondrian)

Two-bed, two-bath, 1,300-square-foot postwar condo.

Asking: $565,000. Selling: $550,000.

Charges: $903. Taxes: $682.

Time on market: two months.

MOTHER KNOWS BEST One day not too long ago, broker Katie Rosenberg got a call from Italy from a friend of 25 years: “find my daughter an apartment.” Of course, few things kill a friendship quicker than an apartment hunt, and this one barely made it. Ms. Rosenberg took the daughter, who had landed a good job, to see 40 apartments in three weeks; they were all one-bedrooms in the $350,000 range, located in the East 30’s, East 60’s and on the west side. Suddenly, mama booked a flight. “she didn’t know what was happening here,” the broker said. So broker, mother and daughter went back and forth between Upper East and Upper West; they almost unpacked at a building called the Alfred on West 61st Street. But the daughter ended up at the Mondrian on Second Avenue, with a big wall of windows taking in Midtown. “now they’re happily ensconced and pretty well furnished,” said Ms. Rosenberg. “and I just got out of Bellevue.” Broker: Prudential/M.L.B. Kaye International Realty (Katie Rosenberg).

Gramercy Park

28 East 21st Street

One-bed, one-bath, 600-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $215,000. Selling: $210,000.

Maintenance: $688; 60 percent tax-deductible.

Time on market: one month.

DESIGNING MEN It makes perfect sense that an architect bought the garden apartment in a circa 1850, four-story stucco brownstone. After all, Richard Morris hunt, the fellow who designed the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall and the big stone box upon which the Statue of Liberty stands, owned the house from 1871 until 1877. And while hunt then moved into a house he designed for himself on Cortlandt Street, his son kept an architectural office on 21st Street through the turn of the century. The 25-foot-wide house was divided up but is historically intact. It is surrounded by those big loft buildings full of computer companies, ad agencies and ravenous art-yuppies in black who dine at the airy restaurants on Park Avenue South. The co-op is about to get working on restoring the facade. Meanwhile, the architect is about to get going on restoring the wainscoting, french doors, tiles and arts and crafts fireplace of his cozy new home. Broker: Stribling, Wells & Gay (Vals Osborne).

243 East 17th Street

Four-story, 6,550-square-foot town house.

Asking: $1,650,000. Selling: $1,595,000.

Time on market: two weeks.

HOUSE OF MIRTH Selling this town house between Second and Third avenues was a saga: there was a rent-stabilized tenant with rights of first refusal; three serious bidders; a silent partner; and an owner under a tight deadline to sell (she was under contract to buy a house uptown). The contract was finally signed at midnight by the third set of buyers after nine hours of deliberation in an all-cash deal. Said seller’s broker Eva Marie Bozsik: “I regret not writing every single day down.” The house was built in the 1800’s by a judge; its 28-foot width is unusually wide by Manhattan standards. (the good judge erected smaller houses for his daughters on either side.) The seller in this transaction had grown up in the building; her family had been living on the premises for half a century. Broker: Corcoran (Eva Marie Boszik, Tina Silver, Sara Gelbard).

61 Irving Place

Two-bed, two-bath, 1,100-square-foot loft co-op.

Asking: $350,000. Selling: $350,000.

Maintenance: $ 1,425; 75 percent tax-deductible.

Time on market: two months.

STELLA! In the 1970’s, artist Frank Stella, left, would occasionally get a hankering to create something in metal and, when he did, he turned to the metalsmith who just sold this apartment. Over the years, the metalworker has collaborated with many great artists, but finally decided to be the master of his own fate and decided to start his own foundry in upstate Newburgh. He bought this apartment two years ago, for $240,000, and just sold it to a Florida couple for $350,000. At one time, the building was a school for the deaf. The couple employed their son, an attorney from New Jersey, to represent their side of the transaction (law school finally paid off!). They’ll use the apartment as a pied-à-terre. Broker: Corcoran (Susan Caldwell).


The sale of a condominium apartment at 220 East Fifth Street was reported in the Oct. 13 column under the title “First, We Kill All the Real Estate Brokers.” The sentiment was misdirected.

Recent Transactions in the Real Estate Market