Martha Stewart’s former condo sells

Current owner gave a tour of the Perry Street pad in TV show "Open House New York"
By C.J. Hughes | June 27, 2011 06:34PM

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Gil Lamphere, Martha Stewart and 173 Perry Street and the penthouse unit


[Updated at 5 p.m. on June 28 with comments from the seller, Gil Lamphere]
A West Village condominium unit that once belonged to lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, which she sold before heading to prison in an insider trading case, has found a buyer.

This past Saturday, a contract was signed on the penthouse, at 173 Perry Street, according to people familiar with the deal. The sale price was $11.8 million, those sources said, and the buyer was a Chilean bank executive whose name wasn’t immediately available.

Camille McKinley, the Sotheby’s International Realty broker who handled the listing, did not return a call for comment.

The unit, a duplex with one bath, four terraces, 3,300 square feet and keyed elevator access in a white metal and glass tower designed by Richard Meier, had been listed for $13.9 million.

The seller was Gilbert Lamphere, the chairman of Flatwood Capital who bought the apartment from Stewart in 2004 for $6.65 million, according to public records. During Lamphere’s seven-year stint in the apartment, which features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river, it was actually a triplex; he bought the 13th floor in 2008, Lamphere said, and turned it in to his office, though there was never any internal stairs connecting it with the duplex.

The 13th floor unit, with one bath and 1,800 square feet, sold last year for $4.7 million to Chul-Joon Park, an executive with Bain and Company, the consulting firm.

In 2010, when Lamphere first tried to sell his home, he marketed all three floors as one unit, for $21 million, he said. But, there was not a lot of interest in a space that large from potential buyers, who included individuals and couples.

“It was a bridge too far if you will,” he said.

Lamphere, 59, said that he wanted to sell to simplify his life, and winnow down his real estate holdings, which also include homes in Florida, Colorado and Maine, plus a Times Square apartment belonging to wife Lucy O’Laughlin, where he will stay when he is in New York.

That the combined total for the sale of the two units, or $16.5 million, falls short of the $21 million he originally sought does not bother Lamphere, as the initial price was “unrealistic,” he said.

But, “it’s a bittersweet parting, because the apartment is beautiful,” said Lamphere, who had featured his home on an episode of the TV show “Open House New York.”

Some former residents have criticized the building as being not private enough, on account of the ample wraparound windows. In Lamphere’s episode, potted plants are visible along one wall to shield a bed.

Completed in 2002, 173 Perry was the first of a trio of Meier-designed buildings in that neighborhood — the other two are at Nos. 176 and 165 Perry — that in many ways ushered in the luxury condo boom.

For her part, Stewart spent five months in prison in 2004 for lying about a 2001 stock sale, though she was acquitted of a harsher inside trading charge. An email to the publicity department at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was not returned by press time.