Upper East Side
530 East 76th Street (Promenade)
Two-bed, 2.5-bath, 1,800-square-foot postwar condo.
Asking: $840,000. Selling: $790,000.
Charges: $1,576. Taxes: $750.
Time on the market: one year.
DELI MEAT KING SAVES DOCTOR COUPLE FROM UNCERTAIN RENT. Frank Brunckhorst, scion of the family that owns the popular Brooklyn-based meat products company Boars Head Provisions, just sold this apartment. About a year ago, Mr. Brunckhorst decided to go whole hog and buy one of the building’s duplex penthouses; his new apartment tips the scales at 2,500 square feet and has a double-height living room. While his decorator was busy garnishing the penthouse, his broker (and next-door neighbor) Eric Ozada was shopping around his old condo. Meanwhile, several floors below, a Brazilian plastic surgeon and her doctor-husband, who is French, were happily renting a two-bedroom apartment for $3,400 a month. But when their lease came up, their landlord got piggy and upped the rent to $4,700. The couple tried to remedy the situation, but, unfortunately, their landlord was too pigheaded. “They loved the building and had lived there for three years,” said Mr. Ozada. “They actually wanted to buy the unit they were living in, but the owners weren’t reasonable.” So Mr. Ozada hooked them up with the deli ham prince and his blue-ribbon apartment. Broker: William B. May Company (Eric Ozada).
190 East 72nd Street (Tower East)
Three-bed, three-bath, 1,700-square-foot postwar co-op.
Asking: $795,000. Selling: $725,000.
Maintenance: $1,855; 16 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: one month.
THE ONLY WAY TO FIND A VACANT APARTMENT IS DURING A FIRE DRILL. “People either size up or down, but don’t leave,” said broker Margery Hadar, who lives in Tower East, a cream-colored 1960 high-rise. This high-floor apartment is a postwar take on the “classic six” and, like all the units in the building, has a glassed-in corner dining room. An older couple sold the apartment to a fresh-faced investment banking couple, former renters on the Upper West Side. But, unwilling to give up the primo location (near Third Avenue) or the building’s other amenities (there’s an in-house tailor who’ll come up to your apartment, take your measurements and deliver the altered garment when he’s finished), the veteran residents decided to move to a two-bedroom apartment just a few floors below. Despite the unusually low 16 percent tax deduction for the maintenance fees, the building is strangely impenetrable to outsiders because of the musical chairs effect: “It’s so tight because you can’t get anyone out,” said the broker. And when the residents have paid off the mortgage and bought the land lease, as they plan to do, will the building be even more popular? Broker: William B. May (Margery Hadar); Ashforth Warburg Associates (Marlene Hartstein).
Park Avenue in the East 60’s
Two-bed, two-bath, 1,500-square-foot postwar co-op.
Asking: $950,000. Selling: $910,000.
Maintenance: $2,036; 66 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: one month.
THE MILLION-DOLLAR MARCH ON 10021. Just because it seems like everybody has a million bucks to drop on an apartment these days doesn’t mean that they do it casually. Take the couple who bought this apartment. They were referred to broker Jane Goldberg once they decided to sell their one-bedroom condo in the East 80’s. But they weren’t willing to dump their cool million into just anything . Said Ms. Goldberg: “They wanted a fabulous location and an apartment that needed no work.” Thus began the Long March across 10021. “I think we must have looked at something close to 75 apartments over two or three months,” said the broker. After finding a couple of places they liked, they did an abrupt about-face. “They changed their mind midstream,” she said. Eventually, the search for just the right place would resume. The one in which they finally landed is across the street from Donald Trump’s 610 Park Avenue gut job. It has four and a half rooms on a high floor with three open exposures, each with views. The couple even loved the way it was decorated. Still, they weren’t easy to convince: They came back again and again, taking notes and mulling it over until they were willing to commit. The sellers were Venezuelan and had been using the place as a pied-à-terre . They never met the finicky buyers. Broker: William B. May (Jane E. Goldberg); Corcoran Group (Julia Menocal).
Upper West Side
233 West 99th Street
Two-bed, two-bath, 1,500-square-foot prewar co-op.
Asking: $365,000. Selling: $355,000.
Maintenance: $1,410; 33 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: seven weeks.
HONEY, I MOVED THE KIDS NEXT DOOR. Broker Susan Nierenberg put a sixth-floor, one-bedroom apartment in this 1934 building near Broadway on the market back in June, only to have several potential deals–with buyers offering only $150,000 or $155,000–fall through. In September, around the time one of the deals collapsed, the one-bedroom apartment next door was put up for sale. The apartment was part of an estate, and the sale was being handled by the building’s management company. Ms. Nierenberg quickly went next door to express her sentiments: “Let’s not eat each other’s lunch” she said, offering to work together on marketing the two 750-square foot apartments. Together they formed a six-room, two-bedroom corner apartment in a neighborhood where a typical six-room went for well over $500,000. “Everybody cooperated: the buyers, the sellers, the building and the city,” reported the broker now that the complicated deal has finally closed. “It’s nice to have everybody win for a change.” The sellers agreed to split the money evenly–$177,500 each. And a change in city law last year allows apartments to be combined without the expense of changing the “certificate of occupancy.” All the buyers–a couple with three boys–have to do is knock a $10,000 door through one wall and gut one kitchen (it’ll become a laundry room and office). One of the living rooms will become a 23-foot-long master bedroom. Now there’s a parents’ wing and a children’s wing, said the broker. Before the hole was put through, however, the mother joked that perhaps they shouldn’t combine them and should just leave one apartment for the three boys. Broker: Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy (Susan Nierenberg); Jordan Cooper Inc. (Carol Miller).
185 West End Avenue (Lincoln Towers)
Three-bed, three-bath, 2,000-square-foot postwar co-op.
Asking: $710,000. Selling: $685,000.
Maintenance: $1,870; 50 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: six weeks.
Raising THE NEXTJETSET. Like Lincoln Center to the east, the eight buildings that comprise Lincoln Towers, with nearly 4,000 units, went up on top of the neighborhood of tenements where West Side Story was filmed. “I actually sold an apartment to the granddaughter of the condemnation lawyer,” said broker Cathy Blau, who lives in the complex. Of course, now the residents have to get used to a sound other than that of the Sharks and the Jets: the construction and incessant marketing of Trump Place, the luxury housing project that was called Riverside South until its developer, Donald Trump, changed his mind and decided he wanted to name it after himself. The developer’s ego aside, the new buildings will not help Lincoln Towers’ river views much. Fortunately, this unit is on a high floor facing east, away from Mr. Trump’s new buildings. When the sellers bought a two-bedroom apartment and the adjacent one-bedroom unit in the depths of the 1991-92 recession, they got them for a song. Then they fused them during a hearty renovation (including installing wired-in stereo). Recently, they saw how much the market was heating up, so they decided that it was time to sell their creation. The buyers are a young professional couple, “lovely, elegant, great West Side people,” said the broker. They don’t have kids (yet), but local P.S. 199 is up and coming. Broker: Corcoran (Cathy Blau).
2 Horatio Street
One-bed, one-bath, 800-square-foot prewar co-op.
Asking: $359,000. Selling: $345,000.
Maintenance: $1,000; 54 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: two weeks.
RENOVATIONS IN REVERSE. There are five “Bing and Bing” buildings in the Village–so named after the developers, two brothers known in the 1920’s for their luxury uptown apartment houses. This is one of them, and the only one that isn’t a condo. It’s a 17-floor building built in 1931 at the southern headwaters of Eighth Avenue. The co-op association recently “un-redid” a 1980’s renovation of the lobby. But the lobby alone doesn’t explain the record-breaking low price for this one-bedroom apartment. It has a fireplace and a windowed (albeit smallish) kitchen. Similar condos are getting $400,000, so this looks more and more like a good deal. Plus, “it’s in a fierce location,” noted Gil Neary, whose firm sold the apartment. Broker: D.G. Neary Realty.