Auto exec’s UES townhouse back on the market at $15.3M

By Sarabeth Sanders | May 12, 2010 03:20PM

Auto executive Jim Press and the townhouse at 178 East 64th Street

With the $35,000-a-month lease at auto executive Jim Press’ Lenox Hill townhouse set to expire at the end of July, the four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom home is now back on the market at $15.25 million.

Press, who purchased the century-old brick 178 East 64th Street property for $13.5 million in late 2007 after taking the helm as president and vice chairman at Chrysler, first relisted it for $15.7 million in May 2009 — around the same time his company filed for bankruptcy.

Later that year, news broke that Press, who has since left the company, owed nearly $1 million in unpaid federal taxes and was facing tax liens from the Internal Revenue Service on the house, as well as on a multi-million-dollar mansion in a Detroit suburb. Press could not be reached for comment.

The townhouse didn’t sell. Instead, it wound up going for $35,000 a month, and was taken off the market for the duration of the lease.

According to listing broker Steven Christopher Halstead of Halstead Property, the current tenants are now “in conversations [to buy the property]” but haven’t yet made a decision. “In the meantime, we decided it would be best to put it on the market,” he said.