Libet Johnson, heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune and the sister of Jets owner Woody Johnson, has been exposed as the buyer of this year’s priciest residential sale to date, the Vanderbilt Mansion at 16 East 69th Street, for which she has just handed over upwards of $48 million. That price is also the highest paid for a Manhattan townhouse since the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
According to the Post, Johnson is a close friend of seller and fellow heiress Sloan Lindemann Barnett and her husband, beauty.com founder Roger Barnett, which explains why the couple was able to sell the mansion without a broker.
The five-story, 12,000-square-foot home, once owned by Alice Gynne Vanderbilt, last traded for $11 million in 2001, when the Barnetts bought it and hired interior designer Peter Marino for a multi-million dollar renovation project.
Earlier this year, Russian composer Igor Krutoy purchased a condominium at the Plaza Hotel for $48 million — the highest price ever paid for a single condo unit in the city.
The record for a single-family home sale in New York City is currently held by financier J. Christopher Flowers, who paid $53 million for the Harkness Mansion at 4 East 75th Street in 2006. He’s currently asking around $40 million for the home, though it’s not officially listed. [Post]