998 Fifth co-op trades for $18.5M

Show dog owners sell five-bedroom unit overlooking the Met

A unit at stately limestone co-op 998 Fifth Avenue has sold for $18.5 million, according to records filed today with the city. Unit #1W, which had been on the market for about 10 months, closed for $1.5 million less than the asking price — the Dec. 21 deal perhaps ushered along by tax concerns connected to the fiscal cliff.

The sellers, Paul and Joanne Prager, bought the home for $9.4 million in 2006. According to a New York Magazine interview, the couple lived in Soho before the move uptown seven years ago. Joanne Prager is a former banker and current socialite; Paul Prager is an executive in the energy industry. The pair owns an award-winning Irish Water Spaniel, according to previous reports.

They initially listed the home, which looks out onto the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for $22 million.

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Past residents of the illustrious 12-story building, situated between 82nd and 83rd streets, include the Guggeneheim and Vanderbilt families, previous reports show.

The New York Observer once christened the board at 998 Fifth “Manhattan’s slowest,” after the last minute cancellation of a meeting with a buyer who had months previously signed a contract for $16 million for the former apartment of Archibald Cox (the prosecutor in the Watergate case). The sale subsequently fell through.

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom home features the original sconces and marble floors, according to Streeteasy. Cornelia Zagat Eland and Emily Doyle of Stribling & Associates had the listings. Neither immediately responded to request for comment.

David and Deborah Roberts were the buyers, according to records.