Late pharmaceutical mogul’s CPS co-op hits market for $10M

Agnes Varis died in the home, and left instructions in her will on how to sell her apartment

TRD New York /
Jan.January 17, 2012 02:30 PM

A four-bedroom, five-bathroom apartment on Central Park South once owned by the late Agnes Varis, longtime CEO of leading pharmaceutical company Agvar Chemicals and managing director of the Metropolitan Opera, has hit the market for $10 million, just over five months after her death in 2011 from cancer, according to data from and public records.

Varis, who had battled for a long time with the disease, transferred ownership of the co-op apartment – three units which she combined at the Hampshire House at 150 Central Park South – to a revocable trust in her own name in 2010. The trust was made up of friends and business acquaintances that she could rely on to sell off the property when she passed away in July, leaving no immediate survivors and distribute the proceeds according to her wishes, her attorney, Theodore Wagner of law firm Carter Ledyard & Milburn, told The Real Deal.

Varis had specific instructions for the trustees, who were named in the deed as doctor Sami Harawi, attorney Frank Sasinowski and George Svokos, who she perhaps knew from the Jazz Foundation of America, of which they were both patrons.

“It is expected that within five or six months after the grantor’s death, her apartment at 150 Central Park South, New York, New York, will be sold by the trustees. Absolutely no one will be allowed to stay in the apartment during that time,” the deed said.

She continued: “The trustees shall distribute the balance of the trust property to such one or more organizations that are described in sections 170C and 2055A of the Internal Revenue Code, [transfers for public or charitable uses.] The grants made under this section shall be for specific projects in areas where the grantor has expressed an interest and not for permanent endowments.”

It was not immediately clear which specific charitable projects the proceeds of the sale would go toward. The attorney was not able to provide further information.

The apartment, which was listed with Paula Del Nunzio and Shirley Mueller of Brown Harris Stevens this morning, is entered via a private landing on the 28th floor of the 220-unit pre-war building. The property’s formal dining room can also function as a fifth bedroom, according to the listing. The building has a health club, doorman and concierge.

Del Nunzio did not respond to a request for comment. Mueller was not immediately available for comment.

President Barack Obama appointed Varis, a keen political mind, to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2010, made up of 26 leading citizens from the private sector with an interest in and commitment to the humanities and the arts, news reports said. Varis, a Democrat, once gave signed copies of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s book, “It Takes a Village,” to 200 drug industry executives as a party favor when Clinton’s healthcare initiative prompted a bitter backlash, it was once reported.

She died in the home in July.


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