Gimbel townhouse listed for $18M

Thomas Hexner bought 163 E. 78th in 1997

An Upper East Side townhouse that was once home to department store heir Louis Gimbel Jr. and his wife Elinor hit the market today asking $18.45 million.

Built in 1899, the 36-foot wide house at 163 East 78th Street has a gated garden entry, seven bedrooms and several fireplaces. It spans 6,517 square feet plus 2,200 square feet of outdoor space, including front and rear gardens and a parlor-level terrace. A living room has six window bays and two fireplaces; a third-floor master suite features a marble bath and fireplace. Brown Harris Stevens’ Paula Del Nunzio has the listing, which is priced at $2,996 per foot.

“The typical mansion in Manhattan is 20 feet wide. When you’re getting into 36 or 40 feet, you’re really pushing into another stratosphere,” said Del Nunzio. She pointed out that the house has “big, square rooms” courtesy of extra-wide floorplates. The roof of the property could be landscaped into an additional terrace, she said.

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Curbed was the first to spot the listing.

The seller is Thomas Hexner, CEO of Value Trust Capital, who bought the house in 1997 for an unknown sum, according to property records. Before him, investment banker Samuel Wasserman and his wife Sandra purchased the house from Elinor Gimbel in 1984.

Elinor Gimbel — whose father Samuel Steiner was a major hops distributor — was a champion of women’s rights during World War II. Her husband was the grandson of Adam Gimbel, who founded the department store.

Though the Manhattan townhouse market has been sluggish, brokers say they’ve noticed a slight uptick in the market of late.