Ted Ammon’s Estate Drops Suit Against Kevin Kline and 1125 Fifth

he estate of murdered financier Ted Ammon has removed at least one legal obstacle in the sale of his co-op

he estate of murdered financier Ted Ammon

has removed at least one legal obstacle in the sale of his co-op apartment at 1125

Fifth Avenue, at 94th

Street. According to an attorney for Ammon, Joseph Di Salvo of

McCarter & English, the financier’s $8.5 million lawsuit against the

building has been dropped. Another source involved with the co-op said the

apartment would be back on the market soon for the amount of the suit.

Almost a month before Ammon was found

beaten to death in the bedroom of his weekend home in East Hampton on Oct. 22,

he had filed suit against 1125 Fifth Avenue for what he said was the co-op

board’s failure to review a purchaser for his 10th-floor apartment in a timely

manner. In fact, on the day of his death, responses were due in New York County

Supreme Court from Ammon’s neighbors at 1125 Fifth

Avenue, including actor Kevin Kline and Phyllis Louis-Dreyfus, mother of actor

Julia; principals of the Insignia Residential Group, which manages 1125 Fifth;

and Elizabeth Hobbs, the director of the co-op’s board.

A broker familiar with the failed deal said that a wealthy

businessman who had signed a contract to buy Ammon’s

apartment for $8.5 million in July pulled out when the board took too long to

review his application. “Apparently they couldn’t be bothered to meet over the

summer,” the broker said of the board.

According to several real-estate lawyers, clauses allowing for a

buyer to pull out and keep his deposit if the deal takes too long to close are common, though not commonly invoked. Another broker said

the board has been unwilling to consider applications from subsequent buyers

while the suit was pending. According to Mr. Di

Salvo, the suit was discontinued at the behest of Ammon’s


The apartment is certainly worth some wrangling. Aside from the

address’ star power, there are the apartments themselves-full-floor residences

with prewar detailing overlooking Central Park. Ammon’s 5,500-square-foot apartment, perched high above all

that on the 10th floor, has four exposures, four bedrooms, four and a half

bathrooms, a den, an eat-in kitchen and a formal dining room.

But it had taken eight months for Ammon

to find a buyer. Originally marketed at $12 million in October of last year,

his apartment went into contract for $9.85 million, until that deal fell

through. Put back on the market Feb. 7 for $10.75 million, the last buyer

signed a contract on the place for about $8.5 million in July. When he pulled

out, the apartment was put on the market one last time at $8.9 million, and it

was taken off the market 11 days after Ammon’s death.

However, Jed Garfield, who’d been representing Ammon and is still representing his apartment, has been

showing it privately to interested parties all along.

Brokers said Mr. Garfield is quoting a tentative new asking price of $8.5

million-the value of the suit, and the price at which the last buyer signed on.

Sources said the estate, which has other legal issues to tackle,

is anxious to liquidate the co-op. And even if the private viewings don’t

produce a potential buyer, the underbidder back in

July is still hanging on, according to his broker, and ready to make an offer

when the place comes back on the market.

Further Lane Estate To Get $23


Investor Bernard Mardenhas

signed a deal to sell his 11-acre oceanfront property at 252

Further Lane in East Hampton

for about $23 million to a Wall Streeter, according to East End


The property has been on and off the market for several

years. In May 1999, Jerry Seinfeld toured the place,

then priced at a mere $17 million. But the comedian’s broker told reporters

that he decided it was too “big, postmodern and Palm Beachy.”

In fact, Mr. Marden, who owns

a multimillion-dollar home in Palm Beach,

made headlines in Florida

newspapers when he bought a 17,870-square-foot house there for $16.5 million in

1997. At the time, it was the most expensive deal that Palm

Beach had ever seen. The house is on a 3.4-acre estate

and has 292 feet of oceanfront. Rod Stewart and Ron Perelman

have homes nearby.

Mr. Marden, who has owned the

East Hampton house for about 15 years, has famous

neighbors there as well: art patron Adelaide de Menil,

Bruce Wasserstein and … Jerry Seinfeld,

who eventually wound up paying $32 million for a place right down the road. The

house is 12,000 square feet and has a tennis court, a swimming pool and a

putting green. John Golden of Sotheby’s Realty is the broker on the deal.

 upper east side

90 East End Avenue



3,551-square-foot condo.

Asking: $3.825 million.

Selling: $3.75 million.


$2,515. Taxes: $1,622.


on the market: 20 weeks.


AROUND THE PARK A couple from Caracas

had a lot of trouble figuring out what it was they wanted to buy in New

York City. “First they wanted only Upper

West Side,” said their broker, Karen Bressler

of Insignia Douglas Elliman. Then the Upper

West Side was too active for them. “At first they were drawn to

the activity, but then they decided they didn’t want to live around it,” she

said. Next, they wanted to be in a Fifth or Park Avenue

co-op. “They decided they wanted a view of the park, but at

that time those apartments were seven and eight million dollars,” said

Ms. Bressler. She showed them this three-bedroom

apartment with oversize windows and river views on a lark, and although they

liked it, they had, by that time, decided they wanted downtown lofts. So Ms. Bressler started showing them lofts in Soho. The couple was about to make an offer on

a loft they liked down there when they changed their minds and decided to go

back to this apartment. “It was really the best fit for them,” said Ms. Bressler. “It is a loft-like apartment, but it is in a

residential neighborhood, and it feels like a home.”



Central Park South

One-bed, one-bath, 850-square-foot co-op.

Asking: $395,000. Selling: $380,000.


$904; 42 percent tax-deductible.


on the market: one year.


GETTING WARMER In 1998, a young guy bought this one-bedroom apartment in

the rear of the building for $245,000. When he decided to move on to bigger and

better things last year, he figured he would make out. Central Park South was

getting hotter, right? Well … maybe not hot enough. The guy tried to sell the

place for $550,000, which even his brokers, Jesse

Temple and George Nicholson of Gumley, Haft, Kleier, considered too steep a price. (The apartment looked

out over a pretty courtyard, but that isn’t too impressive when you consider

that the people across the hall are looking out over Central Park).

Finally the seller agreed to lower the price to $395,000, and Mr. Nicholson

brought in a young woman who decided to take it. “The sale is still a record

for the building,” said Mr. Temple.

 west village


West 13th Street

One-bed, one-bath, 550-square-foot co-op.

Asking: $349,000. Selling: $343,000.


$752; 50 percent tax-deductible.


on the market: three days.


WEST VILLAGE IS FOR MODELS This apartment, on a tree-lined block between

Sixth and Seventh avenues, has almost everything: quaint views looking out on a

former church, high ceilings, wood-paneled closets, a renovated kitchen and a

working fireplace. The only thing missing is … well … space. At only 550 square

feet, “it’s a very nice petite apartment,” said listing broker Nicolas Bustamante of Bellmarc Realty

Downtown, “a nice beginner’s apartment.” Regardless of the lack of space, the

sellers-who’d realized there was nowhere to put the baby they had on the

way-hardly needed a broker to sell the place. An acquaintance of theirs manages

a model who was looking for an apartment. He put her

in touch with Mr. Bustamante, and she signed a

contract almost immediately. But even though the model was psyched to buy the

place, Mr. Bustamante said she’s already talking

about buying the place next-door.

upper East side

sister townhouses get all

gussied up

A pair of rare adjacent Queen Anne–style townhouses on Park

Avenue, both currently undergoing massive renovation,

are getting very different treatments inside from their new owners, while both

façades are receiving immaculate restorations.

Nos. 709 and 711 are rare enough for being townhouses

on Park Avenue, a street lined with large

limestone-and-brick apartment houses. Built between 1882 and 1885 and designed

by Bassett Jones, the two buildings, between 69th and 70th streets, are

characterized by their ornate masonry moldings, detail work in the buildings’

gables, and a series of setbacks and bay windows that variegate the frontal

façades, with their brownstone bases and red-brick upper stories.

Until May 2000, they were owned by Robert Tobin, the

Texas-based art collector and benefactor who stayed in 711 when he was in town

and rented out apartments in 709. That month, 711 Park

Avenue was bought by renowned Spanish architect

Santiago Calatrava for $7.2 million. Just two months

later, real-estate broker and developer Alf Naman of

the eponymous brokerage firm spent $2.8 million on 709 Park.

On the outside, the brownstone-and-brick façade of 711

Park, loaded with cornices and masonry details, appears untouched and in good

condition-and it will stay that way, according to documents filed with the

Landmarks Commission. But the rear façade of the five-story building is another


Mr. Calatrava, an

ultra-modern architect as well known for his discourses on foldable furniture

as for the stunning footbridge he built a stone’s throw from the Guggenheim

museum in Bilbao, Spain, is adding significant

square-footage to his new home. Mr. Calatrava’s plans

call for extending the basement and first floor of the structure to the back of

the lot, and decking the roof of the first level, outside the parlor floor of

the building, effectively raising the backyard one story up. He is also adding

a sixth story to the building, which will have a skylight and a rear deck, but

will be invisible from the street. He’s enlarging all of the rear windows and

adding a glass-enclosed room to the third floor where there has been just a


At 709 Park, city documents show that Mr. Naman is doing extensive restoration work on the façade and

has contracted Edson USA-a contractor whose motto

reads “Good as new is easy. Good as old takes talent”-for the job. The entire

street level of the façade with its brownstone cladding is going to be stripped

down to the brick and reclad to better match its

next-door neighbor. A contractor on the site described the aesthetic of the

building’s interior renovations as “very traditional.”

Mr. Naman intends to maintain

the eight-apartment use of his building, but sources said that Mr. Calatrava is renovating his all for himself. Ted Ammon’s Estate Drops Suit Against Kevin Kline and 1125 Fifth