The Real Deal New York

Johnson & Johnson heiress’ UES mansion sells for $39M

Billionaire Tianqiao Chen appears to be buyer of the Vanderbilt Mansion
By E.B. Solomont | March 15, 2018 02:55PM

16 East 69th Street

Johnson & Johnson heiress Elizabeth “Libet” Johnson’s Upper East Side mansion has sold for $39 million — an $8 million loss for the late socialite’s estate.

Located at 16 East 69th Street, the Vanderbilt Mansion spans 12,000 square feet. Johnson, who died in June, bought the property for $47 million in 2011 and listed it for $55 million in 2016. The purchase price — $16 million less than the original asking amount —  works out to $3,220 per foot.

The buyer appears to be billionaire Tianqiao Chen, a tech entrepreneur and CEO of Shanda Group, according to property records filed with the city Thursday.

16 East 69th Street

Built in 1881, the brick-and-limestone house is 33 feet wide with seven bedrooms, a landscaped garden, five wood-burning fireplaces and two terraces. Its original owner was Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt. Johnson bought the property from Beauty.com founder Roger Barnett and Sloan Lindemann Barnett, George Lindemann’s daughter.  She tapped architect Peter Marino to redo the interiors, which include a gym, sauna and steam room, hair salon and staff apartment.

After listing it for $55 million, Johnson briefly put the property on the rental market asking $95,000 a month. Weeks after Johnson’s death last year, her estate lowered the asking price. Brown Harris Stevens’ John Burger and Sotheby’s International Real Estate’s Serena Boardman shared the listing.