Two 28-Year-Olds Swap a $2.42 Million Pad at the San Remo

Harlem

24 Hamilton Terrace

Five-bed, four-bath, 2,772-square-foot prewar town house.

Asking: $435,000. Selling: $345,000.

Time on the market: one day.

IT TOOK 300 DAYS TO WIN THIS 100-YEAR-OLD RELIC. “On April 12, it turned 100,” said Sophia Pachecano of the 16-foot-wide, three-story limestone town house she and her architect-husband Roy bought on June 8. It may be old, but the house, on Hamilton Terrace, which runs between West 141st and 144th streets just north of the City College campus, still has its looks: five fireplaces, pocket sliding doors, parquet floors, ornate ceiling plaster work and a stained glass window in what was probably once the master bedroom on the third floor. Ms. Pachecano said they’ll use the third floor room as a library. “We started looking last June,” she said, “We started in central Harlem, but also in Brooklyn and Hoboken. Then we discovered Hamilton Heights and fell in love with it.” Broker Willie Suggs got them a sneak preview of this house just days before an open house scheduled for the first weekend after Labor Day in 1997. They fell for it and offered the asking price. That was the easy part. Getting a contract out of the seller and getting it closed took months. Because of a boiler room fire and beam damage that was subsequently discovered, along with termites that had munched their way around the cellar floor, the owner agreed to a reduced price. “The whole basement has to be redone,” said Ms. Pachecano, “but otherwise, it’s just a lot of stripping.” Then the owner switched attorneys three times, gumming up the process. But the Pachecanos remained loyal to it. Broker: Willie Kathryn Suggs Licensed Real Estate Brokers.

Upper West Side

353 Central Park West, near West 95th Street

Three-bed, four-bath, 2,733-square-foot postwar condo.

Asking: $1.776 million. Selling: $1.7 million.

Charges: $2,386. Taxes: $459.

Time on the market: one month.

THE LAST LAUGH COST EXACTLY $1.7 MILLION. There are only 16 apartments in this building, which went up in 1992, mimicking prewar style with its moldings, fireplaces, gallery entrances and maid’s rooms. Shortly thereafter, the sponsors found themselves at the bottom of the market, and not wanting to have a million-dollar-apartment rummage sale, they rented some of the units out (tenants included Al Pacino). If you hadn’t noticed, the tables have turned and, not wanting to be complete fools, the sponsors got the tenants out-quick-and began selling the apartments off. This is the last one to go. The purchasers are a nonslacker 30-ish couple who made an offer of $1.65 million without even seeing the view of the park. But once broker Eric Ozada brought them over and gave them the 50-cent tour, they upped their offer to $1.67 million on the spot. Right then and there, the broker rang up the sponsor. Haggling ensued, and the cash-rich couple upped their offer first to $1.68 million and then to $1.7 million, which the sponsor found agreeable. With that, the couple said, Wrap it up, we’ll take it. Broker: William B. May Company (Eric Ozada).

146 Central Park West (San Remo)

Three-bed, three-bath, 2,600-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $2.45 million. Selling: $2.42 million.

Maintenance: $2,400; 48 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: three months.

TWO 28-YEAR-OLDS PLAY CO-OP TAG. The fabled, celebrity-hived San Remo has long been home to some of the most costly apartments in the city; Bruce Willis and Demi Moore broke records there when they bought their $8 million duplex in 1989, and one of Goldman, Sachs & Company’s soon-to-be-dipped-in-gold managing directors, Kevin Kennedy, is pushing through that ceiling with his impending $9.5 million purchase. But here’s what you get for $2.4 million. This nine-room co-op has a side park view (lean your head out the window and you can see what fellow residents Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Scott Rudin and sublessee David Geffen see). Thanks to a meticulous, just completed $600,000 renovation, it’s in mint condition. The buyer is a 28-year-old who’d done a whirlwind tour of 22 apartments before he walked into this place and made an offer on the spot. The seller, who is also 28, wasn’t going to give him any Gen-X discount, so she said, I want more. The walls closing in on him (well, the neighbor was interested in buying this apartment and combining it with his), he upped his offer. The seller had lived in it for only a year. And she left him a few gifts: six TV’s, through-wall air conditioning, a full-tilt stereo system and a bottle of champagne. Broker: William B. May (Lorri Gorman); Koch Realty (Phyllis Koch).

150 West End Avenue, near West 68th Street

Two-bed, two-bath, 1,350-square-foot postwar co-op.

Asking: $419,000. Selling: $409,000.

Maintenance: $1,185; 50 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: one month.

WIDOW SWINGS ‘REALLY TIGHT’ DEAL. A widow bought this apartment in a 30-year-old white-brick co-op with renovated hallways and lobbies, and promises of an exercise room coming soon. The apartment has some open city views and had been renovated about 10 years ago when the building was converted to a co-operative; there has only been one previous owner. The sellers needed to get out quickly, so Ms. Blau explained, in brokerese, “We priced it really tightly.” It took a month to sell only because it went on the market just before Christmas, one of the slowest sales periods of the year. The buyer signed a contract in January and, since then, prices in the building, and everywhere else, have continued their G-force climb. Broker: Corcoran Group (Cathy Blau).

Midtown

15 West 53rd Street (Museum Tower)

Two-bed, 2.5-bath, 2,250-square-foot postwar condo.

Asking: $1.295 million. Selling: $1.225 million.

Charges: $1,611. Taxes: $1,484.

Time on the market: seven months.

COMING AROUND TO CARL ICAHN’S POINT OF VIEW. Pretty much from the moment it went up, people have been upset at the way Cesar Pelli’s sleek vitrine of a condominium, Museum Tower, was practically dropped onto the roof of the Museum of Modern Art. Built as part of a self-funding addition to the museum in 1985, Mr. Pelli’s tower and mall-like glass escalator sheds were criticized as bringing a certain crassness into the sacred home of Picassos, Giacomettis and that big, drooping Claes Oldenburg fan. On cue, as if to support that contention, corporate raider Carl Icahn bought a penthouse, and then another next door. The buyers of this place were not New Yorkers, but knew what they wanted. Their kids grown, they decided they wanted a place in midtown to base themselves when they were in town (they have several other homes elsewhere). After a quick search of about 10 apartments, they found themselves in Mr. Pelli’s building, and were sold on the formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, strong attention to detail and great light. It needs a tiny bit of work, but nothing like what the museum’s getting. When Japanese minimalist architect Yoshio Taniguchi gets done mucking around with MoMA’s latest addition, you won’t even enter the museum on West 53rd Street anymore, the crumbly old hotel behind Museum Tower will be replaced by coolly futuristic new galleries, and the whole complex will be oriented-surprise!-back to Mr. Pelli’s tower, which everyone tried to ignore for so long. Broker: William B. May (Kathleen Hoffman).

SoHo

122 Spring Street, near Greene Street

Two-bedroom, one-bath, 1,500-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $575,000. Selling: $555,000.

Maintenance: $650; 60 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: two weeks.

ARTISTS CENSORING ARTISTS. This is an artist-in-residence building, which usually means your neighbors are potters, sculptors and choreographers. But the co-op board had other ideas. “They said they wanted not an arty type, but a really quiet business type who goes to work all day, works till late at night and then goes to sleep,” said broker Jerry Senter, who had the exclusive on the loft. “Probably because the rest of them are there working all day.” The loft has 11-foot-high ceilings and a wall of windows that look down Spring Street. A computer guy who works on Wall Street came along; he wasn’t as financially qualified as the millionaire before him, who’d offered to pay in cash but started asking the board for special favors and was ousted. The computer guy, said the broker, “would blend with the co-op better.” He’s got a lot of work ahead of him: the place needs a total renovation, including a new kitchen. A second bath would be nice, too. But the maintenance is low, and the board, of course, granted him a waiver on the artist-in-residence qualifications. Broker: Corcoran (Jerry Senter).

Park Slope

62 St. John’s Place

Three-bed, three-bath, 3,600-square-foot town house.

Asking: $575,000. Selling: $650,000.

Time on the market: two months.

THE JAPANESE POSITION. Here’s the concept: Take a traditionally detailed late-Victorian Park Slope meat-and-potatoes brownstone, and garnish with wasabi. That’s what the seller of this place did, a Japanese musician who not only installed a state-of-the-art music studio on the ground floor, but added Japanese design elements. He kept the mantel, pocket shutters, moldings and high ceilings, but knocked down the walls of the third floor to create a huge, spare master bedroom, and put a rock garden out back. He also installed a sauna on the garden-level floor. “Another agency had it for a while but didn’t manage to sell it,” said Roslyn Huebener, whose brokerage then stepped up to the plate. “We positioned our marketing to people in the music industry,” she said. Sure enough, a musician bought it. In addition to a huge master bedroom, there are two bedrooms on the fourth floor. Broker: Aguayo & Huebener Realty Group Inc. (Harvey Heit).

Two 28-Year-Olds Swap a $2.42 Million Pad at the San Remo