The Real Deal New York

Irish investor finds buyer for UES townhouse

Property is one-time home of the New York Observer's HQ and Russian real estate mogul Janna Bullock
By Leigh Kamping-Carder | October 13, 2011 10:50AM

Debt-ridden Irish financier Derek Quinlan is one step closer to unloading his real estate assets around the globe, after finding a buyer for his $25 million Upper East Side townhouse.

Quinlan, who reportedly once managed a private equity fund with $15 billion under management and invested heavily in hotel developments, went into contract for the townhouse, at 54 East 64th Street, between Park and Madison avenues, Sept. 30, according to the listing.Two months ago, Quinlan sold another mansion down the street for $23 million.

The identity of the buyer at 54 East 64th Street was not immediately clear. Fred Williams, an agent at Sotheby’s International Realty who represented Quinlan in that deal, declined to comment.

Quinlan first put the 25-foot-wide, 10,000-square-foot property on the market in 2008 for $36 million. The final asking price in January was $25 million.

Quinlan spent $18.7 million for the eight-bedroom mansion in 2006. Previously, it was owned by Russian real estate mogul Janna Bullock. Before that, the house served as the headquarters of the New York Observer for 17 years. It is certified for commercial occupancy, according to the listing.

Quinlan’s other Upper East Side mansion — a five-story townhouse at 20 East 64th Street — sold in August. Francis O’Shea of Leslie J. Garfield handled the sale, after taking over from Dolly Lenz and Monique Silberman of Prudential Douglas Elliman.

O’Shea — who disputed press reports that Quinlan’s sale of properties in New York, Madrid, London and elsewhere constituted a fire sale — said the $2,450 per square foot price for the 35-foot-wide, 12,000-square-foot mansion was the second highest for a property between Madison and Fifth avenues in a year.

“Whether or not [Quinlan was] motivated to sell the property or not, the sale certainly didn’t represent a fire sale by any means,” O’Shea said of the deal at 20 East 64th Street. “It was a market transaction.”

The buyer at No. 20 was a Delaware-based LLC represented by Richard Cohen of the law firm Cohen & Coleman, who declined to comment on the deal.