Earlier this month, The Post reported that Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik had a “record deal” for a $150 million triplex penthouse at The Mark on East 77th Street. (A day later, without referring to its previous report, that paper said his letter of intent was for only $125 million; click here to read The Observer’s take.)
But instead of any nine-digit deals, Mr. Blavatnik just closed on something a tad more modest. According to city records, he sold off three Washington Heights apartments at Fort Tryon Gardens, a group of co-op buildings near Broadway and West 190th Street.
His buyer, named David Appelson, paid $180,000 total. By comparison, Mr. Blavatnik closed last month on a $50 million townhouse, and in the past two years alone has bought a $27.5 million 998 Fifth Avenue co-op, plus a $31.25 million mansion nearby.
Why would a petrol-chemicals billionaire want Washington Heights apartments? “I think that a lot of people that own there have owned for a long time, and in fact were investors,” said Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Michelle Churchill, who’s done work in the building.
“It’s had a very, very low owner occupancy for years… Most of the people that owned didn’t live there,” she said. “It’s the nature of the transition of the neighborhood: When it went co-op, it was not the most desirable spot in Manhattan to live. And that’s certainly changing.”
According to the Fort Tryon Web site, house rules say: “Residents may not feed pigeons or other wild birds or wild animals from windows,” plus “
Rags aside, city records show that Mr. Blavatnik has owned apartments at Fort Tryon since at least June 1989. Oddly, a Russian businessman named Igor Altern is often listed on deeds with him; Mr. Altern has been connected in news reports to the Alfa Group, whose founder Mikhail Fridman is Mr. Blavatnik’s business partner.