Eleanor Roosevelt townhouse back on market at $16M

Upper East Side home was listed at $20M in 2018

Eleanor Roosevelt and her former 74th Street house. (Compass, Getty)
Eleanor Roosevelt and her former East 74th Street townhouse. (Compass, Getty)

The former home of Eleanor Roosevelt is back on the market with a new price and drastic makeover.

The owners, Meera Gandhi and her ex-husband Vikram Gandhi, have been trying to sell the famed first lady’s Upper East Side townhouse since 2018, when the 8,500-square-foot home was initially listed for $19.95 million with Douglas Elliman’s Lisa Simonsen.

After a year passed with no takers, the home, at 55 East 74th Street, was taken off the market until February 2020 when it resurfaced just weeks before the pandemic shut down the city. The Gandhis dropped the price by $3 million in July, then pulled the listing in December.

Now, they’re trying again after making significant updates to the home over the past three months and tapping Compass brokers Benjamin Glazer and Dimitrios Alevizos.

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Glazer said his clients “wanted a total rebrand” of the marketing, so he and Alevizos advised them to make all the updates that a buyer would want to move in.

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That included new flooring and lighting through the six-bedroom home, and a state-of-the-art kitchen, master bath and powder room.

“It’s been totally transformed,” said Glazer, adding that they have had seven showings since the townhouse was listed Friday for $16 million.

Roosevelt lived in the historic townhouse until her death in 1962, using the home to entertain world leaders including President John F. Kennedy and the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev.

The average listing discount for properties asking $4 million and above is 12 percent, though larger discounts, such as the Gandhis’ 20 percent break from the original price, are common.

A recent example is the former home of late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The Upper East Side townhouse just went into contract last week at around $50 million, more than 40 percent below the initial ask of $88 million.

Glazer said he felt the price is now right for a buyer ready to move to a freshly upgraded mansion in the city’s ritziest enclave.

“We figured we are casting a much wider net,” he said.