The Real Deal New York

New Carnegie Hill condo on rental market for $23,000 a month

Also to come to market: an unusual penthouse at 552 LaGuardia Place for $8.75 million

January 04, 2011 06:59PM
By Candace Taylor

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From left: images from inside the home at 180 East 93rd Street and a rendering of the building

A never-been-lived-in apartment at a new condominium at 180 East 93rd Street is being offered for rent at $23,000 per month, after being purchased by Parisian investors.

The third-floor apartment had been on the market for $4.85 million, and closed just before the New Year for an undisclosed price, according to listing broker Ginger Brokaw of the Corcoran Group.

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The owners are French investors who purchase high-end properties in New York City, then rent them, said Brokaw, who represented the buyers in the transaction. They look for unique properties with stand-out features, she said — homes that are “really interesting, nothing normal.”

The full-floor unit they purchased at 180 East 93rd Street is just over 3,000 square feet with four bedrooms — two of which have French doors with Juliet balconies — and four bathrooms. Each unit in the building has a private elevator landing.

The nine-unit boutique condo, located between Third and Lexington avenues, was developed by Greystone Property Development. Sales, which started in summer 2008, are being handled by Warburg’s Richard Steinberg. With its red-brick façade, the building is “in keeping with the character of the block,” Brokaw said.

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The kitchen inside 180 East 93rd Street

Brokaw said the third-floor unit is fully completed but unfurnished and has never been lived in. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the nearby townhouses, she said.

The second-floor unit in the building was purchased this summer by CNBC anchor Melissa Francis and her husband, financier Wray Thorn, for $4.2 million, according to city records. Francis is also known for being a child actress who played Cassandra Cooper Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie.”

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A uniquely designed penthouse at Greenwich Village co-op 552 LaGuardia Place just hit the market for $8.75 million.

The building was erected as a co-op in 1984, explained Louis Snitkin, a senior sales associate at Bellmarc, who is listing a three-bedroom unit in the building for $2.49 million. It originally had nine floors, he explained. But the owner of the penthouse added two stories to the building. The result is “absolutely amazing,” Snitkin said.

According to the listing, with Brown Harris Stevens’ Paula Del Nunzio, the apartment has four levels, five bedrooms and four baths. A landscaped roof terrace has 360-degree views.

According to city records, the owner is tax attorney David Hariton, a partner at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. Hariton was the president of the co-op board in the small building at the time the addition was made, which helped the process, Snitkin said.

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552 LaGuardia Place

According to Streeteasy.com, the listing first went on the market with Corcoran in 2007 for $14.5 million. By the time the financial crisis hit, the price had been reduced to $13.5 million. The price was reduced several times before it was finally taken off the market in early 2009.

Del Nunzio did not respond to requests for comment, but Hariton apparently thinks the time is right to try again.

Aside from the financial crisis, “why it hasn’t sold is anybody’s guess,” Snitkin said. He noted that the building is “nicely maintained” but “very simple.” The first floor is retail and there’s no doorman.

“It’s probably difficult to sell an apartment at this price when it’s the only one of its type in the building,” he said. “If you had $10 million to spend, are you going to spend it in a building where most of the apartments are $1.5 million? Or are you going to go to a building where you have $5 [million] to $15 million apartments?”

However, he said the building is in a prime downtown location, between West 3rd and Bleecker streets, and “very private,” which could appeal to wealthy buyers.

Snitkin said his listing, too, is somewhat unusual because it has a 3,000-square-foot terrace, which is larger than the apartment itself.

“You can stand on the terrace and see Washington Square Park,” he said.

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