TEN-ROOM PAD FACING THE PARK SELLS WITHOUT HELP FROM NEIGHBOR Jerry Seinfeld and Jessica Sklar are still trying to schedule a move into the Beresford, a 22-story Emery Roth building at 211 Central Park West. So is the would-be buyer of another apartment in the same building, the one formerly owned by Sesame Street co-creator Jeffrey Moss.
Executors of Moss’ estate signed a contract on Aug. 7 to sell his 10-room apartment on the 17th floor of the Beresford for $7 million. Moss bought the 3,800-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment–with two maid’s rooms, wood- burning fireplaces in the library and living room and 12 windows facing Central Park–for $1.8 million in 1991. He later annexed two rooms from an adjacent apartment. In September 1998, Moss died of cancer at age 56.
His former apartment, 17E, was put on the market in late February in combination with the adjacent apartment, 17F, for $12.4 million. Together, the apartments would have created a 7,000-square-foot, 16-room apartment with six rooms facing Central Park. The price was reduced to $11.9 million a few months later.
But on June 13, the owner of 17F took that apartment off the market. One broker familiar with the two apartments said the combination wasn’t such a great idea, although it offered sexy square footage. But ultimately, even at $11.9 million, brokers said the larger apartment was overpriced. “If you joined the two apartments, it really wouldn’t have had the kind of gracious flow you would want if you paid that much money,” said a broker.
“Brokers push this kind of situation,” said the broker. “But they don’t always work out.”
The Moss apartment went on the market on its own for $8.6 million in April; the price was reduced to $7.295 million on July 18. The deal is expected to become final in early September, when building residents–including tennis commentator John McEnroe, David and Helen Gurley Brown, Tony Randall and opera singer Beverly Sills–have returned from summer vacations and the building’s board can meet the buyer. The exclusive broker on the deal, Dan Douglas of the Corcoran Group, didn’t return calls.
TYCO TAKES NEW YORK: FOLLOWING C.E.O.’S LEAD, C.F.O. SWARTZ BUYS $7.7 MILLION PAD Just a few months after the chief executive of Tyco International Ltd., Dennis Kozlowski, signed a deal to buy an $18 million apartment at 950 Fifth Avenue, the company’s chief financial officer, Mark Swartz, has laid out $7.7 million for a condo at 30 East 85th Street.
Swartz’s purchase of the 15-room, 5,868-square-foot apartment came just a month before Bermuda-based Tyco, an electrical and safety equipment manufacturer, bought Mallinckrodt Inc., the world’s largest maker of respiratory monitoring equipment. According to analysts, Tyco’s acquisition of Mallinckrodt (for $3.2 billion) made the company the second-largest maker of medical devices, following only Johnson & Johnson. But $1 billion in debt came with the acquisition.
Still, Tyco’s No. 1 and No. 2 guys have spent a bundle in New York’s real estate market. Mr. Swartz’s new pad is larger than Mr. Kozlowski’s 12-room duplex (formerly owned by the Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwatzman, who has leapfrogged over to Saul Steinberg’s 740 Park Avenue penthouse mansion), but he didn’t have to pass a board to get in. Mr. Swartz’s new place features seven balconies and a 360-degree view of the city. According to brokers, the high-floor apartment originally came on the market in 1998 and the most recent asking price was $8 million.
The new building, constructed in 1987, has a health club, pool and sun deck. Located on the southwest corner of 85th Street and Madison Avenue, 30 East 85th is only 11 blocks from Mr. Kozlowski’s new home. Awfully convenient for late-night takeover schemes.
UPPER EAST SIDE
16 Sutton Place
Two-bed, two-bath, 1,600-square-foot co-op.
Asking: $875,000. Selling: $875,000.
Charges: $1,895; 62 percent tax deductible.
Time on the market: four days.
EAT ALONG THE RIVER It took a retired gentleman in his 60’s over a year to find this apartment between 57th and 58th streets. It has five rooms, a dining room, a large kitchen and two bedrooms, both overlooking Sutton Place. In the end, his dream apartment was all about configuration. “He really wanted a formal dining room,” said his broker, Norma Hirsh of Douglas Elliman, “but most of the apartments he had seen that had separate formal dining rooms didn’t have as much of a view.” This apartment, which is on a high floor of the 20-story 1966 building, has views of the East River from the dining room. But don’t dismiss the doorman and the elevator operator as downright perks.
171 West 57th Street (The Briarcliffe)
Two-bed, two-and-a-half bath, 1,945-square-foot condo.
Asking: $1.425 million. Selling: $1.425 million.
Charges: $1,345. Taxes: $287.
Time on the market: three weeks.
HOW DO YOU GET TO CARNEGIE HALL? CROSS THE STREET! Right across the street from Carnegie Hall, the 13-story Briarcliffe was for a long time the rent-stabilized home of prominent New Yorkers: Peter Jennings, Barbara Walters and Anita Loos (author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ) all lived there over the years. In 1998, the building was purchased by Property Markets Group for $32 million, and the apartments have been converted into condominiums as they have been vacated. The company did not change the configuration of the building–with three apartments per floor, ranging in size from 1,945 square feet to 2,700 square feet–or its original details, including moldings and parquet floors. “We do all new electric and plumbing, redo the bathrooms, and put in new kitchens with a lot of granite and stone,” said Iva Spitzer of Doulgas Elliman, the broker in charge of selling the Briarcliffe. This apartment is one of the smallest in the building. The largest is the 5,500-square-foot, 10-room penthouse that once belonged to best-dressed chronicler Earl Blackwell. So far, Ms. Spitzer has sold six apartments in the building, and five former renters have bought as well.
822 Greenwich Street
Two-bed, three-bath, 1,750-square-foot co-op.
Asking: $1.2 million. Selling: $1.125 million.
Maintenance: $2,242: 66 percent tax deductible.
Time on the market: six months.
MARKDOWN ATTRACTS START-UP GUY It was their dream apartment–two stories, three fireplaces, a balcony and a garden, all in the West Village near the border of the meat-packing district. But the dream job was in California. “They were devastated,” said Deirdre Poe of the Corcoran Group about her clients, who had to leave this co-op for the West Coast. It took five months, but they got $1.1 million for the place, which helped them get over leaving. The apartment is in great shape, a mixture of old and new: exposed brick walls, “gorgeous” kitchen, brownstone details, new bathroom. But “the maintenance was kind of high and we figured that might be a block for somebody,” said the broker. They dropped the asking price from $1.3 million to $1.2 million, then settled for even less from an Internet start-up guy who thought he had plenty of cash to spend on hefty maintenance fees.