Tech entrepreneur to sell former Avedon home six months after purchase

East 75th Street townhouse listed for $12.5M

TRD New York /
Jul.July 19, 2012 12:01 AM

Technology entrepreneur Kevin Wendle has listed his 25-foot-wide, six-bedroom townhouse at 407 East 75th Street for $12.5 million. The home was once owned by photographer Richard Avedon, who is said to have photographed Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor and Truman Capote at the home. The townhouse has also been home to banker Olivier Sarkozy, who is dating fashion designer and actress Mary-Kate Olsen, and half-brother of the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Wendle, who founded entertainment site E! Online and tech product review site CNET, is now chairman of K2 Labs, an incubator supporting companies that create mobile apps. He also helped to develop “The Simpsons” and “Beverly Hills 90210” while working at Fox and was the executive producer of “The Fresh Price of Bel Air.” He bought the pad from Sarkozy in January. He paid $8.4 million.

The home is now listed with Michelle Evi Bourgeois of Town Residential, who also represented Wendle when he purchased the home.

Wendle, who Bourgeois said has further renovated the property in the six months since he purchased it, did not buy the townhouse in order to flip it. Rather, he and his children are moving back to France, where he owns a stake in an architecture firm that is taking up more of his time than he expected, she said.

Sarkozy bought the townhouse from the estate of Richard Avedon for $6.5 million in 2005, according to public records, and first put it on the market for $11.95 million in May 2012. Its price was chopped several times before a sale was eventually made. Avedon, who captured some of the most iconic images of the last century, including portraits of Buster Keaton, Dwight Eisenhower, Marilyn Monroe and Andy Warhol, had previously owned the property since 1970. He died in 2004.

The home was built in 1910 and is configured as an 8,475-square-foot single-family residence with six bedrooms and nine bathrooms. It is decorated in a modern style, with mainly white walls and floors. There are two large terraces to the rear of the property, which were landscaped by designer Miranda Brooks under the guidance of Wendle.

Signs of Avedon’s time at the property still exist. The current owner has maintained the photographer’s dark room and ground-level studio. His list of contact numbers is still taped to the door of a closet beside the dark room. His contacts include the number for his former assistant, Norma Stevens, who now runs the Richard Avedon Foundation. Filing cabinets in the studio are organized by the names of his subjects, including singer and actress Barbara Streisand and British model Twiggy.

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