Serhant takes on Sousa’s snakebit townhouse, asking $26.5M

Three brokerages over 10 years have tried to sell John Philip Sousa’s former home

Ryan Serhant, CEO & Founder, SERHANT; Nicole Palermo, Licensed Real Estate Person, SERHANT; 80 West Washington Place (80 West, Getty, SERHANT)
Ryan Serhant, CEO & Founder, SERHANT; Nicole Palermo, Licensed Real Estate Person, SERHANT; 80 West Washington Place (80 West, Getty, SERHANT)

Let’s get ready to rumble: In one corner, star agent Ryan Serhant and colleague Nicole Palermo. In the other, a 19th century Greenwich Village townhouse entangled in a foreclosure lawsuit.

The home once belonged to John Philip Sousa, composer of the U.S. national march “The Stars and Stripes Forever” — which is also about how long it is taking to sell.

Serhant is picking up sales at 80 West Washington Place, which not one, not two, but three brokerages have tried to unload over nearly 10 years. The latest asking price is $26.5 million.

The task is complicated by a $3 million loan issued by the Galinn Fund in June 2019 to the property’s owner, 80 West Washington Place Holdings. The lender alleged in March that the owner defaulted on a $2.1 million balloon payment due July 1 last year.

William Rainero, whose family has owned the house for generations, declared an exemption from foreclosure, citing economic hardship caused by Covid-19. There have been no filings in the case since March.

It’s not the best look for a home that Serhant’s eponymous brokerage is being asked to sell for tens of millions of dollars.

Raniero did spruce up the home over the years, adding a story and having Clodagh Design redo the interiors with plenty of glass, stone and exposed brick. The 8,757-square-foot home has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and plenty of entertaining space.

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It features a 700-bottle wine cellar and tasting lounge, private spa, sauna and a sun terrace with a Jacuzzi tub. Reality TV star and businesswoman Kylie Jenner and her partner, rapper Travis Scott, rented the home recently, Architectural Digest reported.

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But despite the famous names associated with the property and a gut renovation, brokers who preceded Serhant found it wasn’t an easy sell.

First, Douglas Elliman marketed the home in 2012 for $31.5 million. It last listed the property for about $30 million before removing it from StreetEasy in 2013.

Town Residential’s Robert Dvorin and Clayton Orrigo stepped in months later, listing the home at $28.9 million, only to remove it from StreetEasy after dropping the ask to $27.9 million in 2014. The ball went back to Douglas Elliman’s court, which dropped the price to $25.95 million to no avail.

Townhouse specialist Leslie J. Garfield came on in 2019, hiking the price to $31.95 million. After a two-year quest, the brokerage delisted the property in April of this year with no takers at $24.9 million. The latest asking price represents a 6.4 percent premium to that.