One of Mayor Eric Adams’ top aides, apparently eager to be closer to the political power centers of Manhattan, bought an East Side co-op unit.
Public records reveal chief of staff Frank Carone and his wife Diana purchased a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit at 45 Sutton Place South for a bit more than $2.2 million. A listing for the unit shows the asking price was $2.18 million, but broker Lawrence Rich of Corcoran clarified to The Real Deal that the asking price was actually just under $2.5 million.
A posh, upper-floor apartment right on the East River would normally sell for more, but this one carries a monthly maintenance fee of $4,595.
Hassan Tabbah of Aventura, Florida, was listed as the seller. Rich represented him and described both buyer and seller as “lovely” people who he enjoyed working with, and expressed interest in becoming friends with the Carones. He is hardly alone: Frank Carone moved to the top of many get-to-know lists as soon as Adams became the favorite in last year’s mayoral race.
Carone couldn’t immediately be reached for comment about his apartment purchase.
According to the listing, the 18th floor unit comes with a wraparound terrace, storage for up to 200 wine bottles and a full laundry room that can be converted into a third bathroom.
The Cannon Point South building, constructed in 1958, includes a doorman, a newly renovated lobby, a fitness center, a garage and roof deck with 360-degree views. The building also includes a laundry room, in case the Carones feel like washing their shirts outside the comfort of their own home.
City records show the Carones got a mortgage for their new pied-à-terre from Wall Street Mortgage Bankers, a Great Neck-based firm doing business as Power Express Mortgage, according to public records. One website lists Carone as an owner of Power Express Mortgage.
The sale documents show the Carones live in a stately, 3,000-square-foot, waterfront house on Mill Island, a peninsula in one of Brooklyn’s most exclusive enclaves. But it is at the southeastern edge of the borough, a 50-minute drive from City Hall.
Frank Carone is a controversial figure in New York. In 2019, the lawyer represented the Podolsky brothers, two landlords who pleaded guilty to felonies in 1986 for harassing tenants, in a $173 million sale of 17 run-down apartment buildings to the city for well above their appraised value. Watchdog groups raised issues of conflicts of interest, as Cardone was a longtime ally and fundraiser for then-Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The city had been renting units in the buildings for “cluster site” housing for homeless people, a program that was discontinued last year because the city was paying high rents for dilapidated apartments. De Blasio justified the sale to Carone’s clients by saying the city needed to buy the buildings to turn them into livable, permanent affordable housing.
Carone was also recently subpoenaed for documents in a $4.5 million civil racketeering lawsuit involving alleged insurance fraud. Geico brought the case against several doctors and medical clinics, according to Bloomberg. Carone is not a defendant and is not accused of wrongdoing.
He was also a managing partner in a medical company that racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent arrears — allegedly paying nothing for nearly two years — as its landlord struggled to evict it. Carone cut ties with the company, which disputed the accusations.