No self-respecting Upper East Side co-op board, let alone one controlling any of the neighborhood’s highest-gated apartment houses, would let one puffed-up owner take over a massive share of a given co-op’s space. That’s why when two next-door duplexes came on the market this year at 740 Park for $35 million and $38 million, it was essentially silly to be dreaming up a buyer for the $73 million spread.
It’s distinctly more absurd to imagine anyone buying up four units to make a triplex at the famously ornery 2 East 67th Street, controlled by Arthur Carter. Mr. Carter, the former publisher of this newspaper, is considered to be one of New York City’s more authoritarian apartment board chiefs.
But these are absurd times. For over half a year, mega-broker Dolly Lenz has been listing the building’s fifth floor, now asking $39.5 million; since June, the front half of the fourth floor has been on with Sotheby’s agent Serena Boardman for $22 million; late last month, Brown Harris Stevens’ Kathy Sloane listed Greek pharmaceutical executive Athanese Lavidas’ third-story sprawl for $43 million. So when Ms. Boardman listed the back half of the fourth floor last week for $12.5 million, it meant that, near-freakishly, three entire consecutive floors were all officially on the market.
Theoretically, the spread would make for a $117 million, 17-bedroom triplex. The monthly maintenance would be $42,423. Brokers say that it’s astoundingly unlikely the board would allow any buyer to combine three floors: “I highly doubt the building would let them do three; whether the building would let them do two is a question,” an agent who’s done business at the co-op said. “There’s no point in massively bothering the board with that unless you have someone who wants to do it.”
Still, astounding things happen at the building: Loews Corporation co-chairman Jonathan Tisch paid $48 million for the 11th floor back in July, then the most ever paid for a New York co-op.
According to Ms. Boardman’s new listing, the back half of the fourth floor “exudes old-world charm.” It doesn’t face Central Park like its neighbor, though there are herringbone floors, hand-carved moldings and a marble fireplace in the 20-foot-long dining room. “There is also an opportunity,” the listing offers, “to join this apartment with the adjacent unit to reassemble a magnificent full floor residence.”