UES townhouse, at center of extended legal battle, hits the market

George and Antonia Pavia hosted tenant exorcism party at home, which is asking $24 million

TRD New York /
Oct.October 08, 2012 11:45 AM

Attorney George Pavia and his wife, Antonia, are looking to sell their storied brownstone at 18 East 73rd Street for $24 million, according to Streeteasy.com.

The home, a Neo-Georgian-style building composed of five-separate residences including the Pavias’, was previously at the center of a massive legal dispute between its owners and a tenant who accused the couple of allowing mold to spread through his apartment and failing to disclose the rent-stabilized status of the building.

Pavia meanwhile accused the tenant, convicted felon James Couri, of harassment. According to a 2006 story in the New York Times, Couri allegedly called Pavia repeatedly and sent him a letter in 2002, stating: “Your father was a fascist sympathizer and you were a member of the Mussolini-Fascist youth corps during pre-World War II” and “you are a disgrace to the practice of law.” The Pavias prevailed over the tenant in an extended legal battle; Couri was eventually evicted. The tenant was the only resident of the building with a rent-stabilized lease.

The Pavias have now listed the home for sale with Corinne Pulitzer of Prudential Douglas Elliman. The owners currently occupy a triplex on floors one through three, which includes: three bedrooms, four full bathrooms, two kitchens, a living room, a formal dining room and a library. The fourth and fifth floors are configured with three one-bedroom rental apartments and one studio apartment. Tenancy is on a month-to-month basis so that the house will be delivered vacant, according to the listing. Pulitzer was not immediately available for comment.

The Pavias have owned the home since 1977. When contacted by The Real Deal, George Pavia, a partner at the law firm of Pavia & Harcourt, said he would be sad to see the home go. He is selling following the death of his large dog, who loved the small garden at the back of the property. “No dog, no children, just the two of us bouncing around in 4,500 square feet is a little much,” he said. Pavia said he and his wife are relocating to a smaller apartment on the Upper East Side.

Following the eviction of Couri, the Pavias hosted an exorcism party at their home, Pavia told The Real Deal. “It didn’t really work,” he said, “because the next tenants turned out to be almost just as bad.”

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