It’s a Ripa-Off!

Kelly and Mark build. The banker flips.

No sooner do we report that Kelly Ripa has sold her Soho apartment than the buyer puts it on the market again. With the same agent Ripa used (Alida Rubin, of the Corcoran Group). For half a million dollars more than Ripa got for it. Within weeks of closing the deal with Ripa.

The flipper in this case is former Goldman Sachs investment banker Michael Rubinoff. He’s got something on Ripa trying to sell the place, being a big-time deal maker who just recently invested in a consortium with Seagram’s scion Matthew Bronfman.

But he probably doesn’t need the half a million in profit. Why isn’t he moving in to the extensively-renovated apartment in a celebrity-filled Soho building?

Could it have been the ongoing construction on the upper two floors–where Ripa and Consuelos now reside–that made the sleek condo lose its luster?

Mr. Rubinoff’s broker did not respond to calls from The Real Estate seeking answers.

The whole Soho flipfest began ages ago in real-estate-speculation years: April of 2002, when Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos dropped $2.8 million on the trendy downtown pad, abandoning their New Jersey home.

After buying the apartment, the couple embarked on a massive renovation. They hired architectural firm Deborah Berke & Partners-a company that has recently worked on the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Chelsea and Jon Stewart’s Tribeca duplex-to overhaul the 5,000-square-foot apartment.

Yet, despite the flashy renovation, Ripa and Consuelos were enticed by a duplex penthouse that became available upstairs.

Once owned by Tennis great Boris Becker, and later rented by Nicole Kidman, the apartment came on the market one year ago for close to $10 million. (Film mogul Harvey Weinstein also bought into the same Soho building last year).

Over the summer, Ripa and Consuelos dropped $9.5 million on the duplex, which is situated on the top two floors, directly above their previous pad.

But a triplex was out of the question; the couple put the full-floor loft on the market for $7.5 million in late October. By Nov. 18, Mr. Rubinoff signed a contract; the deal closed exactly two months later.

Inside, Ripa and Consuelos (and now Rubinoff) are leaving behind three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. There is a library/den, office, small gym, and a spacious eat-in kitchen-which features 2 Sub Zero refrigerators, double Gaggenau ovens, and double Gaggenau cooktops.

On Feb. 6, less than three weeks after closing the deal with Rubinoff, Ripa and her husband filed plans with the Department of Buildings for an interior renovation that includes plumbing, mechanical, and structural work.

Again, Ms. Berke’s architectural firm was retained.

– Michael Calderone

It’s a Ripa-Off!