Cohen Brothers founder’s townhouse hits market for $20 million

A 7,600-square-foot single-family mansion on the Upper East Side which once belonged to Edward Baron Cohen, one of the original founders of Cohen Brothers Realty, has hit the market for $20 million. The townhouse, which features six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms, came on the market yesterday data shows, and is listed with Guthrie Garvin of Massey Knakal Realty Services.

Cohen, whose firm erected many residential buildings across Manhattan as well as office buildings such as 3 Park Avenue, 750 Lexington Avenue and 805 Third Avenue, died in 2009. The property is being sold by his son, Andrew Cohen.

When contacted by The Real Deal, Andrew Cohen said he’d chosen to sell the townhouse because he already has a townhouse of his own, at 41 East 67th Street, and “didn’t need two.” He chose Massey Knakal to market the property, he said, because the brokerage sold him his 67th Street home, which he bought in 1991, according to public records.

In a 1990 interview with the Times, Edward Cohen said the home, at 7 East 69th Street, which had lingered on the market for more than three years before he bought it for $4.5 million in 1988, was a “horror” when he purchased it.

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”This was a strictly speculative house,” he said. “It didn’t have any crown moldings, any boiserie [wood paneling] , none at all. I put Old World touches in. I brought in plaster moldings, the real ones.”

The property now boasts modern conveniences as well as those Old World touches, according to Guthrie’s listing. It has an elevator and a central air system as well as large rear garden and two roof decks on the front and rear of the property.

Garvin was not immediately available for comment.

The property hits the market at a time when townhouse sales are on the upswing, thanks to increased demand for luxury properties, The Real Deal recently reported. According to data provided by Miller Samuel, 69 townhouse transactions, with a total value of $340.6 million, were completed between January and mid-May. That’s a 43.8 percent jump from the same period in 2011 and a 76.9 percent rise from 2009.

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