Since hitting Broadway in August 1998 to take on the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret , Jennifer Jason Leigh has become a fixture in New York. Even when she hooked up with stage co-star Alan Cumming to write, direct and produce The Anniversary Party in 2001-a movie that revolves around a Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? –style party in a modernist Hollywood Hills manse-she filled the roles with friends, most of whom are New Yorkers: Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates, Gwyneth Paltrow. Then, in September, she took over Mary-Louise Parker’s starring role in the David Auburn play Proof . So it was about time that Ms. Leigh put down some roots here-although it was only this spring that she bought a small one-bedroom co-op in the Village near Fifth Avenue. And though she relinquished her role in Proof on June 30-Anne Heche debuted as Catherine on July 2-she’s soon to be seen around the city filming alongside Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo in the erotic thriller In the Cut , starting later this month. The newest film from Jane Campion, based on a book by Susanna Moore, In the Cut is to be executive-produced by Nicole Kidman (who originally had Meg Ryan’s role, but pulled out due to scheduling conflicts).
Ms. Leigh’s cozy 680-square-foot co-op was going for $675,000 when she snapped it up. “It doesn’t feel small because it has high ceilings and the rooms are square,” said a broker who showed the apartment. It also possesses a certain grandeur rare in small apartments, perhaps because it was partitioned from a larger one. Ms. Leigh’s bedroom, which has a large bay window, used to be the formal dining room; her living room was the larger apartment’s original living room. These two main rooms are separated by pocket doors; there are also four chandeliers, including an antique one dating from the turn of the century.
These small apartments have attracted their share of Hollywood types: Julia Roberts reportedly owns a co-op at the same address, though The Observer has learned that Jeanne Tripplehorn-of Waterworld fame-moved out of her co-op there around the same time Ms. Leigh moved in.
The modest pieds-à-terre contrast vividly with Ms. Leigh’s house in Los Angeles, which she bought in 1997. That place dates from 1910, has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a pool, and sprawls for 4,400 square feet on a 26,000-square-foot lot.
Representatives for both Ms. Leigh and Ms. Tripplehorn declined to comment.
EMINEM REP MAKES $2 M. ON RECTOR STREET CONDO
On each of his last three albums, Marshall Mathers-a.k.a. Eminem-has dedicated entire tracks to voice-mail messages from his lawyer, Paul Rosenberg. “Listen,” Mr. Rosenberg says on the first Eminem album, The Slim Shady LP , “I listened to the rough copy of your album and, uh … can you tone it down a little bit? Because there’s only so much I can explain.” By the time of the current release, The Eminem Show , Mr. Rosenberg has hit the boiling point: “Em, its Paul. Listen, Joel just called me, and he said you’re in the fucking back behind his studio, shooting your gun off in the air like it’s a shooting range. I told you not to fucking bring your gun around, like an idiot, outside of your home.”
But the real Mr. Rosenberg, according to the family that recently bought his 2,400-square-foot financial-district loft for $3.6 million, isn’t nearly so uptight.
The buyer, Luda Conti, told The Observer that she and her 18-year-old son both get a kick out of Eminem’s shout-outs to Mr. Rosenberg.
“The stuff on the latest CD is great,” she said. “I love it myself …. Paul was great, really low-key and down-to-earth.”
Mr. Rosenberg’s old apartment is a full-floor loft on the 13th floor of a Rector Street building. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty and the entire southern New York harbor.
It’s also two blocks away from Ground Zero-a fact that didn’t deter the Contis from settling on the place in the aftermath of Sept. 11.
“We’re real New Yorkers, so we’ll do whatever it takes to support it,” said Ms. Conti.
Mr. Rosenberg made a pretty good profit on the place, too: He reportedly bought it in 2001 for a relatively paltry $1.25 million. Through a spokesperson, Mr. Rosenberg declined to comment on his next move.
UPPER EAST SIDE
370 East 76th Street
One-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op.
Asking: $369,000. Selling: $363,000.
Maintenance: $623; 48 percent tax-deductible.
On the market: one week.
“CHEAP FABRIC AND DIM LIGHTING”: That, according to comic Jerry Seinfeld’s onscreen father, a veteran of the garment district, is how you sell. But the seller of this approximately 725-square-foot apartment, who works in the textile industry and has a wife expecting twins, had a different approach. After all, the buyer-a father acting as guarantor for his son-is in the textile field himself. Not only did the sellers clear out of the apartment in near-record time, they also left the apartment in mint condition, even upgrading all the lighting fixtures as an added bonus. The buyer was so pleased with the transition that he even considered renting out the seller’s house in the Hamptons. “Sometimes attorneys get involved and make a mess of things,” said Charles H. Greenthal sales agent Wendy Divack. “It was a perfect meeting of the minds. I didn’t see the haggling of money, the negotiation of what stays and what doesn’t-it was one of the easiest sales I ever made.” So, to thank everyone, she brought champagne and Italian pastries to the closing.
UPPER WEST SIDE
265 West 94th Street
Two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op.
Asking: $875,000. Selling: $840,000.
Maintenance: $1,518; 45 percent tax-deductible.
Time on the market: 30 weeks.
SELLER BOGARTS NEXT-DOOR FLAT About four years ago, the seller of this co-op-a partner in a media investment-banking firm-gut-renovated and fused the two apartments that make up this brick-and-stucco house in Pomander Walk, a gated community developed in 1921 by the prominent Manhattan nightclub operator Thomas Healy. The 20 houses, most of them two stories tall, run north-to-south from West 95th Street to West 94th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue. The quiet enclave-whose most famous resident was Humphrey Bogart-has deteriorated over the years, but was spared encroachment by developers when it obtained landmark status in 1982. The community went co-op soon after. The smallish apartments normally would have offered too little space for the buyers in this deal. An independent analyst in the music industry and his wife needed more space for their growing family, and this Pomander Walk apartment offered 1,500 square feet, a windowed eat-in kitchen, Sub-Zero refrigerator, built-in wine storage, hardwood floors, marble bath and a planted garden. Corcoran vice-president Alton James represented the seller in the deal.
117 East 24th Street
One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo.
Asking: $1.8 million. Selling: $1.675 million.
Charges: $1,120. Taxes: $1,041.
Time on the market: one month.
BANKING DUO FLIPS FOR LOFT REHAB Before a duo of investment bankers signed on to gut-renovate this eighth-floor Gramercy loft, the space housed an entire architectural firm. It was completely vacated-save the drafting tables-when sales agents from Benjamin James happened upon the 2,700-square-foot loft and decided to market it as a mammoth new home. “It looked a little like a ghost town in there,” said Benjamin James vice president Douglas Wagner. The bankers may want to keep one of the drafting tables around: The duo-one in his 30’s, the other in his 40’s-are planning on spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to turn the place into a luxury one-bedroom apartment and then sell it for about $2.9 million. “It’s interesting that people who are in the financial market are turning to real estate to make their money multiply,” said Mr. Wagner.