Rocker Billy Corgan has finally unloaded his luxurious Soho spread for $3.81 million, according to deed-transfer records. The 4,000-square-foot apartment had lingered on the market for over one and a half years before finding a buyer in late March.
Mr. Corgan still maintains his permanent residence in Chicago, where the Smashing Pumpkins, his immensely successful alternative rock band, first took off on the local scene in 1988. He’s come a long way since then: In January 2004, he reportedly paid $6.8 million for a David Adler–designed lakefront mansion in the northern Chicago suburbs.
But unlike his palatial 18-room house on the outskirts of the windy city, the Soho pad offers no guest bedrooms for wayward rockers needing a place to crash. The loft is configured as a vast one-bedroom-stretching 65 feet! There is also a spacious adjoining master bathroom, open kitchen, dining room and living room.
The gloomy songwriter decorated his pied-à-terre according to his unique tastes: furniture in rococo shapes, chandeliers, shimmering drapes, sculptures of prancing horses, faux-finish walls and a tomato-red claw-foot tub.
“Obviously, the location was fantastic,” said David Margolies, senior vice president of Fenwick-Keats Residential Brokerage, who listed the apartment with Danielle Sevier, also of Fenwick-Keats. Gloria Weber, of the Corcoran Group, represented the buyer, who outbid two other apartment seekers.
But until recently, the black-clad musician appeared to own a white elephant.
In September 2003, Mr. Corgan’s apartment landed in a far more docile real-estate market. It was listed at $4.25 million with Sotheby’s Beverly Sonnenborn, who tried to unload it over a six-month period. Then, a Fenwick-Keats broker tried to sell it by reducing the price, before the listing eventually expired.
Finally, Mr. Margolies and Ms. Sevier tried their luck. After reducing the asking price further-down to $3.55 million in early 2005-a bidding war ensued. The unusual one-bedroom finally sold at over $250,000 above the list price. Mr. Corgan reportedly paid $1.3 million for the shabby-chic loft in 1998, so the sale reaped a nice profit.
With spectacular original details, the loft features exposed brick, hardwood floors, Juliet balconies, six columns and 13-foot ceilings (ideal for the lanky musician). There are east, west and north exposures, with 16 windows for those cheerful moments when Mr. Corgan let the sunlight in.
Three late-19th-century cast-iron buildings were converted to condos shortly before Mr. Corgan arrived, and the resulting building attracted other celebrity buyers like actress Claire Danes-certainly no stranger to early 90’s ennui.
“[Mr. Corgan] had really decorated it to his taste,” said Mr. Margolies. “It was a very funky, very traditional artist loft.”
And for those brooding, artistic souls searching for a future home, the apartment was sold with Mr. Corgan’s darkroom intact.
Mr. Corgan is currently in Europe and unavailable for comment.
Although rock stars come and go, the Zagat family is here to stay. Guidebook scion and nightlife maven Ted Zagat recently purchased a Tribeca condo for $1,587,500, according to deed transfer records.
Although he has spent several years in Boston, Mr. Zagat was originally raised in New York. He attended St. Bernard’s on the Upper East Side before moving on to Exeter, then Harvard. After receiving his Harvard M.B.A. in June 2004, Mr. Zagat, 30, moved back to New York to follow in the family business, becoming chief operating officer of the restaurant-reviewing staple. He also founded a series of nightlife guides.
The Tribeca pad will make a nice home base for Mr. Zagat, when he’s not strolling through New Orleans’ French Quarter or his old stomping grounds of Cambridge, Mass., in search of the best bars and clubs for his guides.
The dining-guide founders, his parents Tim and Nina, remain uptown at the posh Central Park West co-op that’s housed a number of celebrities, including designer Calvin Klein, publisher Jann Wenner, ABC News correspondent Forrest Sawyer and record mogul Seymour Stein. Famously, the board rejected Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer and her filmmaker husband Mike Nichols, who relocated their love nest into Robert Redford’s former apartment at 1030 Fifth Avenue.
Unfortunately, there is no word on how Mr. Zagat rates his downtown dwelling. He declined to comment on the purchase.
Speaking of Zagat ratings, the storied Greenwich Village building that houses Pó (25, 16, 21; $45!), Mario Batali’s first New York restaurant, just hit the market for $5 million. The Cornelia Street location includes 10 residential apartments and one retail space, with a small carriage building in the back.
“What really stands [out] about this particular building, and the buildings on this block, is that they’ve been owned by the same families for two or three generations,” said Adelaide Polsinelli, senior executive broker of Besen and Associates, who has the exclusive listing.
“If there’s any hint of selling, now is the time that these people are putting their properties on the market,” said Ms. Polsinelli, who recently sold buildings at 255 and 257 Bleeker Street, and 35 Cornelia Street.
Sure that’s great news for owners, but some longtime renters who hit the rent-stabilization jackpot might feel otherwise. A five-room apartment in the building is currently renting for $150 per month!
Pó opened in 1993 and put Mr. Batali on the city’s culinary map (although he is no longer a partner at the restaurant).
With a lease until 2012, Pó will not be leavin. However, if Italian food isn’t what the buyer craves, there are plenty of options within one-block radius, such as Home, Pearl, Oyster Bar and the Cornelia Street Cafe.