The properly postured, pinstripe-suited broker A. Laurence Kaiser IV, who speaks with a storybook patrician twang about Upper East Side co-ops, is now in his 40th year selling them.
So it’s no surprise that he’s in contract to sell an apartment at the Pierre for $10 million, or that he sold the place to its current owner, a former oil executive from Sweden named Lars Enochson. Mr. Kaiser has sold and then resold (and maybe resold after that) about 15 significant individual apartments around town, but couldn’t estimate a total number. “I mean,” he said, “the little ones? God knows I don’t even keep track.”
The Swede and the broker became friends over drinks at the copper-roofed hotel. “I met him down at the bar of the Pierre, he was staying for four days with his wife,” Mr. Kaiser said. “He said, ‘I’m going to see Show Boat on Broadway, I’ll meet you for drinks afterwards.’ He and his wife came back from the theater, I met them downstairs, we had a few more drinks, we all went up to his suite—I think we had a nightcap, too.”
But Mr. Kaiser wasn’t impressed by the Enochsons’ space in the hotel. “I said, ‘How can you live in a rear apartment with no view? With all your money, why don’t you live facing the park?’” Mr. Kaiser pointed out to them that he happened to be listing an apartment in the building—for the estate of Mildred Lasdon, whose late husband, William, had been vice chairman of Warner-Lambert.
“I had the key. We went straight up to 2704, I told him the asking price and he said, ‘I’ll take it.’ He bought it from me at one in the morning.”
Mr. Enochson paid around $3 million, the broker said, but this time around Mr. Kaiser sold the apartment for over three times that amount. The buyer is a trust connected to Paola Marzotto, whose family company has owned Hugo Boss and Valentino. Her new six-room apartment has paneling by Queen Elizabeth’s nephew, Viscount David Linley, plus inlaid parquet floors and $12,000 monthly maintenance fees. Mr. Kaiser wouldn’t comment on the deal.
In 1978, Mr. Kaiser’s mother ushered in this era of Manhattan real estate by reportedly selling the city’s first $1 million apartment to a Bolivian tin magnate. Last year, one floor up in that same building, 834 Fifth Avenue, Mr. Kaiser sold a co-op to Carl Icahn’s pal Mark Rachesky, his fourth time selling that single apartment. He said the first deal was around $225,000; Mr. Rachesky paid $33,444,500.