“Why would you move out of 834,” ex–Lazard Frères vice chairman Damon Mezzacappa, who lives in an 834 Fifth Avenue apartment with his high-scoiety wife, Liz, said just less than two years ago, “unless you’ve died?”
At the time, when all was well in the world, it seemed impossible to imagine that anyone in the best Rosario Candela–designed co-op on the most important street in the city could possibly voluntarily move out. But, according to Brown Harris Stevens‘ Web site, a fifth-floor apartment was just listed for $18.5 million, meaning that three co-ops in the building have now been listed in the last six months alone. The first, as Mr. Mezzacappa might point out, belonged to the late Araxia Buckhantz, who died late last year at 101. (Her apartment sold for nearly the $30 million asking price, to Laurie Tisch.) Then came news that billionaire Les Wexner’s duplex was “very discreetly available” through A. Larry Kaiser IV and Serena Boardman for $60 million. “It’s not chintzy,” a source said then. “It’s like going into a grand Virginia home or an English men’s club in certain rooms.”
The new $18.5 million sprawl belongs to Mr. Wexner’s next-door neighbor, the Cuban-born investor Paul Cejas. Bob Novak reported that Hillary Rodham Clinton would stay in the apartment when traveling to New York to prepare for her first Senate campaign. Mr. Cejas’ neighbors were apparently “up in arms over the profusion of security people.”
“It’s a lovely apartment,” Mr. Kaiser, who visited the co-op with a client last week, said today. “The only downside, some people might feel, is if you want to be on a high, high floor, it’s not.” On the other hand, according to the listing with broker Maria Torresy, the 12-foot-tall apartment begins with a 24-foot-long marble gallery, then leads to either a cloak room, a 19.5-foot-long dining room, a 28-foot-long wood-paneled living room with a wood-burning marble fireplace, or to the 20-foot-long pantry (which leads to an 18-foot-long kitchen and three maids rooms). Then, of course, there’s a mahogany library, four walk-in-closets, and two bedrooms.
Ms. Torresy, reached at her office, declined to comment. “I think,” she said, “I would rather not discuss anything.”