Manhattan Transfers

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Christy Turlington and actor/director Ed Burns may have prolonged their

engagement, but they’re still inching their way to the altar. In November, Ms.

Turlington put her five-story townhouse on West 11th Street, between Sixth and

Seventh avenues, on the market for $5.8 million.

The five-story house, an 1849 Greek Revival around the corner

from St. Vincent’s Hospital, is as much of a looker as its owner. “It’s

beautifully done,” said a broker who recently toured the place. “Very serene,

very minimal,” while incorporating “the original fiber of the house.”

About 4,900 square feet, the townhouse has zone-controlled

central heat and air conditioning, a video security system, thermo pane windows

and elaborate wiring for stereo and cable equipment.

On the first floor is a guest apartment with a separate kitchen,

bedroom and living space, and French doors onto the landscaped garden-described

by brokers who have visited as “very green.” The parlor floor has the main

kitchen, which overlooks the garden, and the living and dining rooms, each with

a fireplace. The master bedroom, with a terrace, is on the third floor; the

fourth floor has two guest rooms; and the fifth floor is occupied entirely by a

gym with a steam shower and a large tiled, planted roof deck-as if Ms.

Turlington weren’t a fixture at Jivamukti Yoga across town.

According to city records, Ms. Turlington, who is the president

of Nuala Sportswear (which makes yoga-friendly duds) and the co-founder of

Sundari (a skin-care line), bought the place six and a half years ago-long

before she met Mr. Burns-for $1.5 million. The two were supposed to marry last

October in a star-studded wedding in Italy (Steven Spielberg was on the guest

list, and Bono was slated to give the bride away), but the wedding was

postponed after the Sept. 11 attacks and rescheduled for later this year.

Ms. Turlington’s house came on the market just before the couple

closed on an $8 million deal to buy two adjacent triplex penthouses in a new

condo development on N. Moore Street in Tribeca. They paid $8 million for the

two properties, which, when combined, will amount to 7,500 square feet of

interior space, plus some outdoor space. Ms. Turlington’s agent, Lisa Jacobson

at United Talent in Los Angeles, did not return phone calls, and her broker,

Judith Thorn of Ashforth Warburg, had no comment.

Real-estate sources say the groom is holding onto his bachelor

pad for now: a 2,400-square-foot loft at 20 N. Moore Street that he bought for

$2.4 million from the estate of John F. Kennedy Jr. two years ago. But heads

up, model magnets-they said he might rent it out.

Rudy’s Room-inations

It has a Central Park view and space for the kids, sort

of, but the 2,400-square-foot penthouse apartment at 828 Fifth Avenue that

former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani inspected three times apparently had one major

flaw: not enough room to entertain.

Sources familiar

with the marketing of the $5.995 million co-op, near East 64th Street, said

that Mr. Giuliani decided against buying the apartment because it doesn’t have

a separate dining room-though it does have a 700-square-foot living room and a

nearly 1,000-square-foot rooftop deck, accessed by a stairway.

Sources had thought the apartment wouldn’t suit the

former Mayor for totally different reasons. Mr. Giuliani is in a bitter custody

dispute with his estranged wife, Donna Hanover, and this apartment is described

as “a perfect couple’s apartment,” with a master suite and only two nine-by-11

“guest bedrooms” to accommodate his two children.

But sources say that this wasn’t the deciding issue for

Mr. Giuliani and his girlfriend, Judith Nathan. The couple also nixed an

apartment at 96th Street and Fifth Avenue that they checked out earlier this

month, but never bid on.


840 Park Avenue Four-bed,

four-and-a-half-bath, 4,000-square-foot co-op Asking: $7.5 million. Selling: $6.5 million Maintenance: $3,834; 39 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: nine months.


WAIT TILL SPRING BREAK A real-estate executive looking for an apartment

with a “townhouse feel” signed a contract last August to buy this maisonette

apartment from a family with children. The family wanted to stay on until the

end of the school year-which had barely begun at that point-but the buyer

wouldn’t go that far. They compromised on spring break as the date he’d take

possession. The private entrance of this duplex leads into a formal living area

with a wood-paneled living room-fireplace, mahogany pocket doors and all-and a

library. The 11-room place also has a formal dining room, a double-sized master

bedroom with his-and-hers dressing rooms, and three other bedrooms, each with

its own bathroom. Richard Steinberg of Ashforth Warburg represented the patient

buyer; the listing belonged to Sharon Baum of the Corcoran Group.

50 East 89th Street (Park Regis) Two-bed, two-bath, 1,050-square-foot co-op. Asking: $625,000. Selling: $605,000 Charges: $1,254; 55 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: three and a half months.

OHM AERIE “It’s a very serene apartment,” said Julie Friedman, a broker at

Bellmarc Realty, of this two-bedroom apartment on a high floor of a postwar

co-op between Park and Madison avenues. She was referring to the

floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room and the walls sponge-painted in an

airy, neutral color. But despite the calming effects of the apartment and the

very recently retired seller’s newfound love of running in Central Park, he and

his wife decided to move to Florida for some more serious relaxation. The

buyers, a couple living in the neighborhood, achieved that here. This place is

smaller and less complicated than what they’re used to.


SIDE 310 West End Avenue Two-bed, two-bath, 1,350-square-foot co-op Asking: $799,000. Selling: $830,000. Charges: $1,495; 44 percent tax-deductible. Time on the market: seven months.

MR. MOM MOVES IN A recently divorced dad who sees his son every

day was crashing in a rental on the Upper West Side, while desperately looking

for a home away from home for him and his boy. He finally found this place, a

two-bedroom corner apartment near 75th Street. “It had tall ceilings, nice big

windows,” said his broker, Joyce Weisshappel of the Corcoran Group. “It was

just perfect for him.” He made an offer; the sellers, represented by Louise

Phillips of Insignia Douglas Elliman, accepted; but just before he signed a

contract, another interested buyer came in with a higher offer. A bidding war

began, and by the time it was over, the devoted dad had agreed to pay almost

$50,000 more than the original deal. “He just needed to settle down and get

something,” said Ms. Weisshappel, “and this took us a long time to find.” Not

surprisingly, the dad plans to move in immediately. Then father and son will go

about redecorating.


308 East 50th Street Four-story, 4,000-square-foot townhouse Asking: $3.375 million. Selling: $3 million Time on the market: two months.


MACROPROFITS On July 26, The Hudson Development Group-architects and

construction managers who call themselves “microdevelopers”-bought this

townhouse, then configured as two duplex apartments, for $1.8 million. The next

week they began tearing stuff down to turn the place into a single-family home.

“We always try to expedite the process,” said Gregory Bonsignore, managing

director of the group. This is the third townhouse project that Hudson

Development has undertaken in the two and a half years since the company was

formed. Their last project, a townhouse at 541 Hudson Street, eventually sold

to Amy D’Addario of the D’Addario family, which makes guitar strings. (She beat

out Tom Petty’s daughter, Adria, for the house.) When this place was ready, it

was marketed by Wilbur Gonzalez of Insignia Douglas Elliman, and the British

and Irish consulates thought about buying it. Instead, a couple will use it as

their own New York embassy when they’re in town.

TRIBECA 19 Beach Street Three-bed, two-and-a-half-bath,

3,000-square-foot condo Asking: $1.86 million. Selling: $1.8 million Charges: $970. Taxes: $172 Time on the market: one month.


DOWNTOWN In one sense, Tribeca hasn’t changed all that much since Sept. 11.

According to Katherine Gauthier of Insignia Douglas Elliman, three of the six

full-floor lofts in this building have been sold to people who work in

investment banking-all in their 30’s, all new to the neighborhood. Then again,

the fourth buyer is a couple with two kids who are not new to the neighborhood.

They had been living in a two-bedroom apartment in the Ice House, 27 N. Moore

Street, just around the corner from this building, and needed more space. They

were walking by this building when they saw a sign advertising lofts for sale

there. Each apartment has three bedrooms, a fireplace, high ceilings and lots

of windows-a nice change.

Hampshire house in the hot seat

One of the few residential buildings involved in the

recent scandal in which city assessors took bribes to lower property taxes is

Hampshire House, a hotel turned co-op at 150 Central Park South, where Frank

Sinatra and Ava Gardner-and, more recently, Rupert and Anna Murdoch-once lived.

But according to records, the scam didn’t appear to pass any savings onto

residents via lower monthly maintenance costs, which cover property taxes.

According to the federal indictment handed down Feb.

25, two city tax assessors took payments amounting to a bit more than $5,000 to

lower Hampshire House’s real-estate tax assessment leading into the 2000 tax

year. But in fact, the records show the assessed value of the building for 2002

at $13.77 million-only about $300,000 higher than the assessed value of the

building in 1991. Over the last five years, most comparable buildings (i.e.,

former hotels) have had their assessments increase by at least that much each

year. In 1995, the city assessed the value of the Sherry-Netherland, 721 Fifth

Avenue, at $16.38 million; by July 2000, the figure had gone up to $18.22

million. The Beekman, 575 Park Avenue, was assessed in 1995 at $6.89 million;

by 2000, it was $8.376 million.

Maintenance charges at Hampshire House have indeed gone

down over the last five years-but according to sources close to the building,

it’s not from phony tax assessments. The building started taking steps to

control maintenance costs and make apartments more attractive in the mid-90’s:

Linen and bed turn-down services and the use of the building’s staff kitchen

and dining room were cut back, and those services were made optional. Said

Scott Durkin, chief operating officer of the Corcoran Group, who sold Alice

Tully’s mammoth penthouse at Hampshire House in 1995 for $3.9 million: “This

cut the maintenance costs considerably; Tully’s maintenance was $23,500 per

month … and it went down to $16,500,” he said.

By early 2000, those efforts were paying off. The

Murdochs sold their 24th-floor apartment facing Central Park-with two bedrooms,

two baths, a library and a grand entrance gallery-for $5.3 million. The

maintenance on the apartment was $7,293.

The benefits of the phony tax assessments do not appear

to have set in yet. The Department of Finance phases in assessment changes over

a five-year period-and in an up market, this usually means gradual increases.

At Hampshire House, it would have meant the opposite if the scam had not been


“Five years on, you start to see the effect,” said one

real-estate lawyer.

Manhattan Transfers