In Deed! Bush Defense Official Fights Battle of Lenox Hill; Leather Specialists Leaving Lexington Brownstone

 — Batten the hatches! James and Masako Shinn have sold their Lenox Hill townhouse for a $1.35 million loss. That can’t make the former assistant secretary of defense and his publisher wife happy. The couple purchased the home in October 2007, days before he was promoted from his deputy position in the Bush Defense Department, paying $15 million. They have now sold 34 East 74th Street for $13.65 million. The home was first listed by Corcoran’s Carrie Chang and Loy Carlos in March for $15.9 million.

The five-floor Italianate limestone beauty has 6,200-square-feet with a mix of clean white and sumptuous wood interiors. There are five bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths, a children’s room, a wine cellar, an elevator and a tropical-looking garden. The buyer was 34 East 74th Street LLC.

It may not be all bad news for the couple, though, as the address on the deed for the old townhouse lists none other than 2 East 70th Street as their current residence. While there is no sign of the purchase in city records yet, a listing for a massive triplex in the coveted coop entered contract in September, according to Streeteasy. If it is the Shinns, they will have Robert Burns for a neighbor, the hotelier who recently purchased a duplex for $13.5 million.

Perhaps the Shinns were not defeated in their sale, then but have instead traded up. It would be quite the victory, too, as the listing by Elliman’s Daniela Kunen notes that only two families have ever owned the apartment. Here’s hoping the Shinns got a deal comparable to the one they had to give up on their old place for this apartment, which was last asking $14.95 million. But maybe not, as it has already been cut 23 percent from the first listing in February 2009. The Observer knows financier William Priest has lived in the building since 1993. Could he be the lucky seller?

 — For years, Marvin and Thea Rosen were the leatherworkers to the stars, making repairs to heels, belts and briefs for the Clintons–to whom they donated generously–Frank Sinatra and even a Saudi prince who paid $50,000 for an alligator briefcase, all out of the storefront in their building at 133 Lexington Avenue. Superior Leather Restorers moved across 29th Street some time ago, to 141 Lexington Avenue, and was replaced by Nice Beauty and Nail Salon. Now, it appears, the Rosens are being replaced, too. They have sold the spare five-story brownstone for $3.05 million, according to city records. The building was unlisted and the buyer is D.R. Wexington LLC.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo In Deed! Bush Defense Official Fights Battle of Lenox Hill; Leather Specialists Leaving Lexington Brownstone