MacArthur Genius Grant Guy’s Old El Dorado Place Trades (Updated)


The estate of Gregoire C.R.B MacArthur has sold his apartment in the El Dorado at 300 Central Park West. MacArthur, who passed away in 2001, was a director at the MacArthur Foundation, where he oversaw the allocation of those snazzy “genius grants.”

According to a listing by Stribling’s Cathy Taub, the three-bedroom, three-bath’s layout is “amongst the best on Central Park West,” with a large gallery and a separate bedroom wing. MacArthur, a perennial social and civic activist, was instrumental in supporting Ralph Nader in 2000. Perhaps his sprawling views of the reservoir inspired his political leanings? Ms. Taub’s listing concludes with the cheery invitation to “Bring your architect!”

The buyers, Renee and Richard Barasch, have done just that. According to StreetEasy, the couple not only purchased MacArthur’s former residence at 7G, but also neighboring unit 7F. A source familiar with the deal confirms that a combination is in the works. The Baraschs paid $6.35 million for unit 7F, slightly above the $6.2 asking price—maybe they were concerned they wouldn’t get that second apartment. The couple paid $6.9 million for McArthur’s apartment, according to city records.

Getting the co-op board to approve a combination deal before the Baraschs were approved as resident shareholders, however, proved a difficult task, said Douglas Elliman‘s Oren Alexander, who sold unit 7F. “It was really a long long process,” Mr. Alexander said. Needless to say, the Baraschs didn’t want to invest $13 million into a pair of apartments they couldn’t combine. “So, basically, we had a clause in the contract stating that unless a combination was granted they had an easy way out,” Mr. Alexander explained. After careful negotiations between both sellers and a final appeal to the co-op board,  the plan was granted.

While we couldn’t find the square-footage for MacArthur’s former apartment, the less-expensive unit 7F spans a full 2,700 square feet. Mr. Barasch, who could not immediately be reached, is the president and CEO of the Universal American Corporation, a public healthcare company that provides services to people using Medicare. MacArthur Genius Grant Guy’s Old El Dorado Place Trades (Updated)