Celebrity real estate
Louis C.K.'s NYC real estate sweet spot, Ivanka and Jared's next move, and more...
Louis C.K. gets serious about NYC real estate
Louis C.K. is walking, joke-cracking proof that the $3 million-and-below price point is the residential market’s sweet spot. Rather than blowing his comedy gold on one big New York City penthouse, he’s gobbling up lots of smaller units — mostly in the West Village — all priced well below $3 million.
The comedian now owns at least five apartments in the downtown neighborhood, including three with his painter ex-wife, Alix Bailey, at 345 West 4th Street, the most recent of which he nabbed for $564,900 last January. They’ve been collecting units at the building for more than a decade.
Then, last month, he upped the ante by buying a $2.45 million two-bedroom co-op at 101 West 12th Street.
Even out on the East End, he’s topping out at three mil: He paid $2.49 million for his house on Shelter Island, known as Primrose Cottage, in 2014.
The funnyman admits he’s, well, a bit funny about money. “When I first started making tons of money, it freaked me out,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “I would always get 10 grand in cash every show because I needed to touch the money.”
Paris in New York
The Trumps aren’t the only ones with political aspirations.
Paris Hilton has been known to tease fans about running for president. “Let’s Make America Hot Again #ParisForPresident,” she Instagrammed in November.
But before you scoff, Hilton’s personal broker Jared Seligman of Douglas Elliman said Hilton is a heck of a lot smarter than she might seem. He represented the hotel heiress in her $3.9 million purchase of a 2,400-square-foot, two-bedroom penthouse at 738 Broadway in 2014.
“She’s much smarter than anyone could ever imagine. She has the best poker face of any client I’ve ever had. Even if she loved an apartment, she wouldn’t look up from behind her sunglasses. She’d just politely say ‘Thank you’ to the listing agent. If she loved it, she’ll lift her sunglasses up when no one was looking to take a real look.”
Given how much he was gushing, Seligman was more than just a little impressed.
“It’s funny how you can work with heads of state and bankers, but when it comes down to it, she’s better versed in real estate and finance than a lot of them,” he said.
‘Javanka’ goes to Washington?
If you believe the tabloids, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner may soon be trading in their Park Avenue penthouse for a D.C. colonial.
The political power couple was said to be house hunting in the country’s capital as they prepare to be involved in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
While it’s not clear where exactly “Javanka” has been looking, D.C. brokers said the couple was likely to look at high-end homes in tony areas close to the White House, such as Georgetown, famous for its Federal townhouses and Georgian mansions on gaslit streets, or Dupont Circle, with its stately row homes and historic estates.
For Kushner, an investor who always seeks to buy low and sell high, it may not be the best time to buy. A recent analysis by the National Association of Realtors showed that D.C. home prices typically shoot up by around 12 percent in the five-month period following a presidential election. The average price of a high-end home in Washington, D.C., defined as being in the top 5 percent of the market, is $2.38 million, according to Redfin.
D.C. living is likely to be a big culture shock for Kushner and Trump, who have been living for years in a penthouse pad at Trump Park Avenue, a former hotel converted to condos by Ivanka’s father in the early 2000s.
At the time, Ivanka commissioned decorator Kelly Behun, who’s also designed homes for the likes of Ian Schrager and Wendi Murdoch, to design the apartment, which includes a state-of-the-art kitchen where the soon-to-be first daughter reportedly makes her signature duck prosciutto. She frequently posts pictures of her kids hanging out in the apartment on Instagram.
Sources told The Real Deal that when Kushner, who’s rumored to be trying to sell the New York Observer, converted Soho’s famous Puck Building into luxury private penthouses a few years ago, he wanted to move the family into one of the properties, but Trump refused. She said she wanted to stay close to the kids’ school, which is also on the Upper East Side.
Given the circumstances, we imagine she’ll be a little more flexible this time around.
A knight to remember
He may have a flair for the dramatic on the big screen, but back in 2014, “Star Trek” star Patrick Stewart took a conservative approach to hiring a broker when he decided to sell his Upper West Side penthouse, according to Halstead Property’s Brian Lewis. Stewart, a Brit who was knighted by the queen in 2010, bought the apartment at 118 West 79th Street with his then-wife, television producer Wendy Neuss, for $1.8 million in 2003. Despite the fact that Lewis was recommended by Neuss after she and Stewart divorced, the thespian insisted on interviewing him over spaghetti before hiring him to sell the pad.
So the two arranged to meet for lunch at Bond 45 on West 45th Street between the matinee and evening performances of Stewart’s show “Waiting for Godot,” co-starring Ian McKellen. “He’s no dummy,” Lewis said. “There was no presumption, he wanted to vet me.”
Lewis insisted picking up the check. In the end, the apartment sold for $3.8 million and Lewis came away with a good line. “I always wanted to say that I took a knight out for lunch,” he quipped.