Rubell heiress lands Upper East Side co-op for $5.7 million

Niece of Studio 54 founder; family has big property, art portfolios

Jennifer Rubell and 139 East 79th Street
Jennifer Rubell and 139 East 79th Street (Getty, Google Maps)

Jennifer Rubell has added an Upper East Side apartment to her family’s real estate collection, which includes art museums and a Miami hotel.

Rubell, an installation artist whose uncle Steve Rubell co-founded the iconic Studio 54, bought a four-bedroom co-op unit at a pre-war building last month for $5.7 million, public records show.

The stately pad has 10 rooms and a prime location, but its price was low because its common charges are not: $8,400 a month, according to StreetEasy.

The sizable apartment at 139 East 79th Street has 19 windows, 13 closets, four bathrooms, a library, a gallery room, two staff rooms, a butler’s pantry and a wood-burning fireplace. Situated at the corner of Lexington Avenue, it has north, south and east exposures. The building has a 2 percent flip tax to discourage quick re-sales.

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Kathleen Sloane of Brown Harris Stevens represented the seller, an adjunct English professor at Barnard College. The home was initially listed for $6.2 million in May of last year.

Rubell’s purchase comes after she sold her 5,800-square-foot house, designed by modernist architect Myron Goldfinger, last year in Sands Point, Long Island, for $3.6 million. In 2019, she sold a co-op unit at 39 Gramercy Park North, where she still owns another apartment.

After attending the elite Horace Mann School in the Bronx and then Harvard University, she helped run the family’s hotel business in Miami by greeting guests with cake and mojitos, the New York Times reported. Later she hosted breakfasts at Art Basel in Miami with an artistic bent.

The Rubell family remains active in Miami real estate. It bought a former pork processing warehouse in 2021 near the family’s private art museum, which has 40 galleries, a library and a restaurant. In 2018, the family refinanced its Albion hotel in Miami with a $20 million loan from Bank of America.

The Rubells own another museum in Washington, D.C., where it keeps part of its contemporary art collection.

Jennifer’s brother, Jason Rubell, who helps run the art-centric Albion, recently bought homes in Miami and on the Upper East Side, just nine blocks from his sister’s new home.

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