The Real Deal New York

Celebs check out of Park Imperial en masse

As view-blocking tower goes up, Diddy, Meloni and Chopra look to sell

October 08, 2012 02:00PM
By Katherine Clarke

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From left: the Park Imperial, Diddy, Christopher Meloni and Deepak Chopra

The Park Imperial, a slender granite tower with a private garage entrance, has long been a haven for celebrities in bustling, paparazzi-filled Midtown. But that may be changing, as stars such as rapper Diddy, “Law & Order SVU” actor Christopher Meloni and new-age author Deepak Chopra have all listed their Park Imperial homes for sale in the past year, Streeteasy.com shows.

While even superstars may be eager to cash in on the strength of the luxury market, the exodus from 230 West 56th Street may speak to a larger problem at the building: the building’s west-facing views are set to be partially compromised by a new Extell Development tower on 57th Street between Seventh Avenue and Broadway.

“[The building] used to have gorgeous city and river views [to the west]. The views will be affected at every exposure,” said Susan Barkin, an agent who has done deals in the building. “At this point, [that fact is] well-known.”

Meloni and his wife have owned their 60th-floor spread at the building since 2006. They paid $5.45 million for the 3,000-square-foot unit, which has three bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. The actor starred alongside Mariska Hargitay for 272 episodes in “Law & Order” before quitting last year when contract negotiations with NBC fell through.

Meloni initially seemed as though he was in a rush to sell the home, first listing it for $12 million in February and later offering a brand new 2013 Porsche Panamera to any buyer who could sign a contract by June 1. The property has now dropped its price to $9.95 million and is available as a rental for $26,000 a month. Rick Kelly of Elliman has the listing. In September, Meloni paid $4.38 million for a sprawling 8,063-square-foot mansion in New Canaan, Conn., the New York Post reported.

Meanwhile, Chopra has listed his two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home at the property for $3.6 million in August with Elliman power broker Dolly Lenz, who showed off the home last month on an episode of “Secret Lives of the Super Rich: Mega Homes” on CNBC. Chopra bought the apartment under his wife Rita’s name in 2003, paying $1.75 million.

Diddy is also seeking a buyer for his longtime Park Imperial spread. The hip-hop mogul listed his three-bedroom 2,300-square-foot condominium unit for $8.5 million with Kelly in September, it was previously reported. The 66th-floor spread is currently configured as a one-bedroom unit, with a piano room, a wet bar and a suitably pricey sound system. Diddy purchased the unit for $3.82 million in 2005. Kelly was not immediately available for comment.

It is certainly the strength of the high-end market that is driving sellers at the building, said Nest Seekers’ Ryan Serhant, who recently put two penthouse units in the building in contract for record-breaking prices. Earlier this year, a 2,292-square-foot unit listed by Serhant and Nick Jabbour at the exclusive building, sold for a 91 percent mark-up. The sale of the three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom unit, which Los Angeles finance executive David Lasaee bought for $4.1 million in 2005, was listed for $8.3 million; it closed for $7.85 million or $3,424 per square foot, records show. The previous record for the building was around $2,800 a foot, Serhant said.

“The building took notice and decided now’s a good time to sell,” Serhant said. “People tend to follow the herd.”

Serhant declined to comment on the identity of the buyers who purchased the two penthouse units, which were asking $8.79 million and $7.89 million apiece.

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