The Real Deal New York

Dr. Joy lists Battery Park City duplex

Howard Michaels looks to unload $22 million worth of personal real estate, and a $24.75 million listing at the San Remo comes online

February 22, 2011 08:26AM
By Candace Taylor

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Top row, from left: Joy Browne, the kitchen at her apartment at 21 South End Avenue, and the kitchen at 146 Central Park West.
Bottom row, from left: Howard Michaels with his listings: an exterior and interior shot of the Lucida at 151 East 85th St., and the Stanhope at 995 Fifth Ave.

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Radio psychologist Dr. Joy Browne has two things in common with the fictional Frasier Crane.

One, she answers callers’ on-air questions about life and love. And two, she has a fabulous apartment.

Now Browne’s 2,600-square-foot riverfront duplex at the Regatta condominium in Battery Park City is on the market with L.G. Fairmont Group’s Derek Lee for $3.4 million, or $18,000 per month to rent.

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The master bathroom in Browne’s Regatta duplex

The apartment, at 21 South End Avenue, boasts views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty through 17-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, according to the listing. The floors are made from gleaming slabs of white Carrera marble.

“I can only describe it as the coolest apartment I’ve ever seen,” Lee said.

A clinical psychologist, Browne hosts the internationally syndicated “Dr. Joy Browne Show,” which has aired on WOR Radio for nearly 15 years. Browne is known for her no-nonsense style and famous “one-year rule,” which suggests that people who lose a spouse to death or divorce should wait at least year before dating. Browne has also authored several books, including “Dating for Dummies.”

According to city documents, Browne used an LLC to purchase three units in the building from previous owner Michael Marvisi for $2.865 million in 2008.

Lee declined to comment on the apartment’s ownership, but explained that the units were combined to create the current space, which has an aesthetic resembling “South Beach in Manhattan,” Lee said.

On the ground level, there are white leather couches and an environmentally friendly ethanol-burning fireplace. A spiral staircase is carpeted with cashmere, he said, so “it’s like walking on a nice sweater.” Other quirky touches include a statue of a galloping horse on the ground floor, and a Jacuzzi tub decorated with a nude relief.

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The living room in Browne’s Regatta duplex

The apartment is available furnished, Lee said, so apartment-hunters who like that look can make it their own.

Interestingly, when Lee took over the listing last month from another brokerage, he increased the price to $3.4 million from $2.6 million.

“The price was just too low,” he said. Monthly fees in Battery Park City are higher than in other neighborhoods because the buildings are on land leases, so it’s important that buyers of this apartment can afford the monthly carrying costs. “We needed to attract the $3 million-plus buyer for this one,” he said.

In this case, the seller is offering a two-year abatement on the monthly common charges of $4,238 and taxes of $2,788, he said.

Lee added that the apartment appeared in the pilot of a new History Channel show called “Celebrity Househunters.”

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When The Real Deal interviewed financier Howard Michaels for the Closing section of the magazine in 2008, he explained why he had recently purchased not one, but two apartments for his family.

“My wife and I just bought at the Stanhope and the Lucida,” said Michaels, the chairman and CEO of international real estate investment banking firm the Carlton Group. “We needed something for our growing family so we’re moving into the Stanhope, but it really isn’t big enough, so when the Lucida’s ready in a year and a half, we’re going to move into that.”

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The Stanhope at 995 Fifth Avenue

Sure enough, city records show that the Michaels and his wife, political fund-raising consultant Jennifer Bayer Michaels, paid $11.23 million (including transfer taxes) for a four-bedroom, 4,300-square-foot apartment at the Stanhope, located at 995 Fifth Avenue, in April of 2008.

Then, as predicted, they closed last year on a six-bedroom combo unit at the newly constructed Lucida on 85th Street, paying $9.37 million.

Maybe it wasn’t big enough after all. Michaels last week put the 5,200-square-foot Lucida spread on the market with Corcoran’s Carrie Chiang for $11 million, along with the Stanhope apartment, which is priced at $11.5 million.

Michaels could not be reached for comment. Chiang said she couldn’t talk about the ownership of the apartments, but said the Stanhope is a “top-notch building,” and her listing there is particularly desirable because the living room looks directly out onto the Metropolitan Museum.

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A kids’ room at the San Remo’s unit #6E6F

A 6,000-square-foot apartment is up for grabs at the San Remo, the iconic twin-towered co-op which Bono, Rita Hayworth and Steven Spielberg have called home.

Unit #6E6F at 146 Central Park West hit the market over this past weekend for $24.75 million with Bellmarc’s Dan Fishman.
According to city documents, the unit is owned by Joy and Jack Fishman, who purchased unit #6E in 2005 for $10 million, and four years later, #6F for $4.1 million.

According to the listing, the two units have been combined to create a sprawling apartment with 10 windows facing the park.
Dan said he is related to the sellers, but declined to comment further.

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