It’s probably overdramatic to call this the great reckoning, but, then again, two of the primmest, most significant, czar-worthy pieces of New York real estate have taken massive price cuts in two days.
Yesterday, the asking price for a fourth-floor duplex at 740 Park, owned by the estate of the former co-op board president, went down from $35 million to $26 million. Today, Brown Harris Stevens’ Web site shows that the 18,500-square-foot, 104-year-old townhouse at 18 East 68th Street, which listing broker Paula Del Nunzio has dubbed the Henry T. Sloane Mansion, has been cut from $64 million to $54 million.
Astoundingly, the mansion was sold to developers less than five years ago for just $7.6 million, who then sold it in May 2007 for $20 million to the current owners, an investment group managed by the banker Joseph Ingrassia. That $7.6 million turned into $20 million and then into $64 million because the townhouse’s tenants, like society columnist Aileen Mehle, who wrote for decades as Suzy Knickerbocker, were lured away. "It was my job to understand what would motivate someone who has been living here for 35 years—the most splendiferous apartment in New York," a man named Silvio Galterio told The Observer last year. "Get her out, all right?”
The house is still awaiting an owner to renovate it into a large–very large–single-family mansion. "Built on a plot 36 feet wide by 100 feet deep," Ms. Del Nunzio’s listing says, "comprising approximately 19,300 square feet, with stunning terraces and ceilings on several floors ranging from 13 to 15 feet, this home features 15 bedrooms, 17 baths and 11 fireplaces."