Psychic Hotline King’s TWC pad now $38.5M

Also on the market: A custom-decorated West Village penthouse and an East 76th Street Beaux Arts townhouse
By Candace Taylor | January 25, 2011 03:32PM

From left: 25 Columbus Circle, 2 Horatio Street and 19 East 76th Street

A man once nicknamed the “Psychic Hotline King” has put his Time Warner penthouse back on the market, with a $3.5 million markup.

The 25 Columbus Circle penthouse belonging to Steven Feder, onetime head of the now-defunct pay-per-call service Psychic Readers Network (made famous by Jamaican-accented fortune teller “Miss Cleo”), hit the market today for $38.5 million. The unit, 75CE, was last listed a year ago for $34.95 million, according to Streeteasy.com.

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It was taken off the market in July after being rented for $57,500 per month, according to listing brokers Elizabeth Lee Sample and Brenda Powers of Brown Harris Stevens. Plans for a potential combination with another unit in the building were stymied when that apartment found a buyer, and unit 75CE found a renter.

“Now that the lease is coming due, we’re putting it back on the market,” Sample said. She declined to comment on the identity of the owners or the current tenants.

But she said the owner decided to raise the price based on the current strength of the high-end real estate market in Manhattan.

“There’s very little high-end inventory in these really luxury buildings,” Sample said, adding that she’s been besieged with calls to show the unit. “There’s so much demand for this building.”

The penthouse has 14-foot-ceilings with “jet-liner views,” Sample said, meaning that from the unit’s windows, “you see jets [and] you see helicopters.”

The living room inside the unit at 25 Columbus Circle

The unit has two kitchens, according to the listing. The main kitchen has verbena wood cabinets, marble floors, stainless steel appliances and a breakfast nook, while the other, smaller kitchen is located off the media room. The master bedroom suite has his-and-her marble bathrooms. There are four other bedrooms and a wood-paneled library.

Feder purchased the apartment for $24.48 million in 2008, according to Streeteasy.com, after selling another Time Warner Center apartment — which he reportedly bought for $9.7 million from pop singer Ricky Martin — for $15.8 million.

The Psychic Readers Network was a psychic hotline fronted by Miss Cleo, a Jamaican-accented fortune teller well-known for TV commercials promising to reveal callers’ futures. In 2002, she was unmasked as California-born Youree Dell Harris. The state of Florida and the Federal Trade Commission sued Harris, Psychic Readers Network and another affiliated company, alleging unfair and deceptive trade practices. Under the terms of a nationwide settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Feder and business partner Peter Stolz agreed to cancel $500 million in unpaid customer bills.

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A newly renovated and custom-decorated West Village penthouse duplex with three terraces is listed at $14.9 million.

Unit PHCD at prewar co-op 2 Horatio Street has over 2,000 square feet of outdoor space, said Melanie Lazenby, the Prudential Douglas Elliman Senior Vice President who has the listing.

The kitchen inside 2 Horatio Street

The owners purchased two apartments and combined them with the help of Hottenroth + Joseph Architects and Lauren Stern Design, spending the past three years and $3 million, Lazenby said. During the renovation, the family relocated to Florida, where their oldest child started school, and moving back to New York suddenly “didn’t make a ton of sense,” she said.

Lazenby didn’t reveal the name of the owner but said the husband is in finance.

Located at the corner of Greenwich Avenue and 13th Street, 2 Horatio Street was constructed by Bing & Bing, considered one of the city’s premier developers of prewar apartments. The owners of Unit PHCD restored the apartment’s crown moldings and herringbone floors, even renovating the building’s roof at their own expense to ensure against leaks.

They also added modern conveniences like central air and a water heater. The children’s rooms are specially sheet-rocked for soundproofing so that “their rooms are dead quiet,” Lazenby said.

A children’s bedroom at 2 Horatio Street

The unit has four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, Lazenby said. The apartment is just under 3,000 square feet, but it has a little over 2,000 square feet of landscaped outdoor space (the plants water themselves on a timer, she added). One large terrace on the main floor wraps around the entire apartment. Upstairs there are two terraces, one with a barbecue and ample space for dining. Another, smaller terrace has outdoor living room furniture made from Sunbrella fabrics intended to withstand the elements.

The master bathroom on the second floor looks onto a garden on both sides, Lazenby said, so bathers soaking in the claw-foot tub can take in the bucolic scene. “It’s like taking a bath in Connecticut,” she said.

Lauren Stern Design selected all of the furniture for the apartment and some of it is custom-made, Lazenby said, so potential buyers have the option of buying the apartment furnished.

The apartment has only been on the market a few days, but Lazenby said there have already been three celebrity showings, including “an Academy Award winner.”

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Long Island-based real estate developer and property manager Peter Mesologites, also known as Peter Mesos, is listing an East 76th Street Beaux Arts townhouse for $18 million.

The one-time mansion, built around 1900 at 19 East 76th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues, hit the market this past weekend with Elliman’s Nancy Weaver. Zoned for both residential and commercial use, it currently houses a floral design boutique, L’Olivier, and five apartments, Weaver said. The 1,895-square-foot live-work loft on the parlor floor is ready for immediate occupancy, she said. The other apartments are rented, so Weaver expects the property to draw interest from purchasers looking for investment income, she said. The house can also be delivered mostly vacant if the purchasers prefer.

L’Olivier will be leased until 2015, but after that the owner could also take possession of the commercial space, Weaver said. She noted that the property works well as an art gallery because of its high ceilings and large “ballroom-style” rooms.

Weaver declined to identify the owner but property records show that Mesologites bought the home for $4.1 million in 2003. He declined to comment through Weaver.

“It’s a very rare building,” Weaver said. “It’s very hard to find a commercial building that you can live in, that’s elegant.”

The building was renovated about five years ago, she said.