Dakota-Spurned Cardboard Magnate Mehiel Asking $35 M. for Carhart Mansion Duplex

Westchester corrugated-cardboard magnate Dennis Mehiel tasted the sorrowful, sour lows of Manhattan high-end real estate in September 2002, back when he was the running mate to H. Carl McCall, the Democratic nominee for New York governor.

“What does it take to get the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor?” asked a front-page article in the right-leaning Sun. “Something less, it appears, than the qualifications for buying an apartment in the Dakota.”

Mr. Mehiel had been rejected by the beloved Central Park West co-op’s board, which, as far as bad news goes, wasn’t as salacious as some of the political leaks that year, but is still enough to make a multimillionaire blush.

Six years later, Mr. Mehiel and his wife, Karen, are attempting to climb back up to the high heavens of realty: They put their 10,350-square-foot duplex condominium at the Carhart Mansion on the market this week for $35 million, even though they bought the place in September 2005 for $15.5 million, substantially less than half their asking price.

According to the listing with Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Dolly Lenz, the only New York broker to star in her own BlackBerry commercial (“I think that the time to invest in yourself,” she says in the online video, “is always”), the East 95th Street apartment has five bedrooms (the master suite has his-and-her dressing rooms), six bathrooms and 18-foot ceilings “in all major rooms.”

The living room alone, according to her listing, is 1,100 square feet.

The broker would not comment for this article. And Ms. Mehiel, reached by phone at her apartment, wasn’t overly pleasant. When asked about what was cool or unique about the duplex, or even one thing she’d miss if it sold, Ms. Mehiel wouldn’t say anything, except that it had gone on the market “for personal reasons; it’s for our own personal reasons, O.K.?”

Later, she apologized for being snappy; but, then, when asked about the listing price, she said, “The $35 million is where the market is today, so that’s all I can say,” and then hung up. According to work application records with the Department of Buildings, the couple has only done $27,000 of renovations to the apartment.

The big listing will probably compete with Seagram heir Edgar Bronfman Jr.’s duplex penthouse in the same mansion, which he bought last October for $19 million, then put back on the market almost immediately. His asking price came down in June from $24,500,000 to $21,750,000.

mabelson@observer.com Dakota-Spurned Cardboard Magnate Mehiel Asking $35 M. for Carhart Mansion Duplex