Indian media billionaire plans Atelier triplex

River 2 River prez Dan Neiditch sold unit to facilitate three-level combination

Indian media titan Subhash Chandra is planning to construct a six-bedroom triplex condominium out of three units at the Atelier in Hell’s Kitchen, including one belonging to Dan Neiditch, the president of River 2 River Realty, sources told The Real Deal.

Chandra, the billionaire chairman of the Essel Group, quietly signed contracts for the units in January through Asia TV USA Ltd., the U.S. arm of his media empire, which includes Dish TV India and the country’s largest television network, Zee Entertainment. Neiditch, who brokered the deals, and another seller confirmed that he planned to use the home personally.

Chandra closed on the deals in April and started construction on Monday, Neiditch said. Further details of the renovation were not immediately available, and Asia TV USA did not return a request for comment.

Chandra paid $4.8 million – or $1.6 million each – for the units, which were not listed. The 1,050-square-foot units are on the 42nd, 43rd and 44th floors of the 46-story building at 635 West 42nd Street and boast floor-to-ceiling windows with Hudson River views.

Neiditch said he had met Chandra through other real estate deals involving wealthy Indian clients, and he decided to sell his own apartment, an investment property, to facilitate the media mogul’s desire for a three-unit combination. Neiditch bought the condo, on the 44th floor, for almost $1.5 million in early 2008, city records show

Among the sellers is Jason Rockland, who purchased his unit on the 42nd floor for $1.57 million in the fall of 2008, records show. Rockland said he was not planning to move until Neiditch approached him with the possibility of a combination sale.

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“It sounded like a good deal, so I did it,” said Rockland, who runs the Binnacle Capital Group hedge fund and has since moved to a similar unit in the Atelier with a balcony. “It’s an awesome building,” he added.

In the past, Neiditch has courted controversy for combining his role as the Atelier condo board president with his active brokering and investment activities at the building. He declined to comment on how many units he continues to own there because it is “irrelevant.”

Regardless, Neiditch said his fellow residents had not complained about the combination, pointing to six previous combinations in the building that have resulted in three- and four-bedroom units. “It’s good for the building,” he said. “It’s good to have more expensive units in the building.”

The final unit, on the 43rd floor, belonged to Matthew Lorig, who bought the apartment in 2007 for $1.34 million, records show. A phone number listed for Lorig at the Atelier was no longer in service.

The Atelier is no stranger to noteworthy residents. Celebrity tenants, including the actors Mekhi Pfifer, Tiffany Thiessen and Jeff Goldblum have all rented in the building in the past, as The Real Deal has reported.