Daytime TV honcho and former U.S. ambassador buy UES co-op for $11M
Bradley Bell, executive producer of “The Bold and the Beautiful,” snags unit listed nearly two years ago
After two price cuts and almost two years on the market, a pre-war co-op in a quiet Carnegie Hill building has found a buyer in a soap opera showrunner and his former ambassador wife.
Bradley Bell, the longtime executive producer and head writer for the CBS drama “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and his wife, Colleen Bell, who served as U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2015 to 2017, paid $11 million for a three-bedroom unit at 2 East 70th Street, records show.
The seller was the estate of Luciano Berti, founder of the global foodservice equipment manufacturer Ali Group, who died last year. After hitting the market for $14.5 million in July 2020, the co-op’s price was eventually reduced to $10 million in November, according to the listing.
It went to the Bells for nearly $1 million above that last asking price, and received multiple bids, according to listing agent Daniela Kunen, who suggested that the buyers may have been drawn to the building’s seclusion.
“Most people who live in the building live somewhere else,” said Douglas Elliman’s Kunen. “You rarely see anyone else in the building except the three people who work in the building.”
The Bells’ new three-bedroom co-op comes with a private elevator landing that gives way to a gallery with a wood-burning fireplace. The living room offers views of Central Park from two sides.
Amenities in the 14-story building, which sits across East 70th Street from the Frick Collection, include a gym and private storage space. A storage room on the second floor was included in the Bells’ purchase.
Bradley Bell has won several Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on the long-running soap opera, including three straight wins for Outstanding Drama Series from 2009 to 2011. He’s been the series’ head writer since 1993 and executive producer since 1996. Colleen has been nominated three times for her work on the show as a producer.
President Barack Obama nominated Colleen Bell as ambassador to Hungary in 2013 after she helped raise more than $2 million for his 2012 presidential campaign. Her appointment proved controversial due to her lack of political experience, according to the Washington Post. During questioning before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bell was reportedly unable to articulate the United States’ strategic interests in the European country.
“Noah Mamet and Colleen Bell are two of the three nominees who came to symbolize the problems with giving plum overseas diplomatic assignments to big political donors after they stumbled badly in their Senate confirmation hearings,” the Post wrote in 2014.