Cathie Black unloads Park Avenue co-op for $10M

Former media exec and NYC schools chancellor’s unit sold after two years

It took Cathie Black two years to sell her co-op. That's 21 months longer than her schools chancellorship lasted.
It took Cathie Black two years to sell her co-op. That's 21 months longer than her schools chancellorship lasted.

Ending a two-year campaign that included a pair of price chops, Cathleen Black and her husband, Thomas Harvey, have sold their Upper East Side duplex co-op for $10 million.

The buyers were Erick Nickerson Randall and James Patrick Wyper. Brian Meier, a recent recruit of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, had listed the 10-room apartment at 941 Park Avenue while at Christie’s International Real Estate for $11.5 million. 

The three-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom unit spans 3,600-square-feet with a wood-burning fireplace, chef’s kitchen, hidden powder room, wrap-around terrace and a 100-square-foot unit on a separate floor. A hand-painted mural of the countryside ascends the apartment’s staircase.

The 35-unit building imposes a two percent flip tax and allows buyers to finance up to 30 percent of their purchase with a mortgage, although no loan was recorded for the purchase of Black’s apartment. Monthly maintenance for the unit is $14,500.

Black’s brief and failed turn as New York City’s schools chancellor during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration contrasted with her sterling career in media, where she was president of USA Today and Hearst Magazines and became the first female publisher of New York Magazine.

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Since being ousted as chief of the nation’s largest school district — a 95-day tenure that fell victim to her lack of educational or government experience plus missteps like mocking parents who opposed her appointment — she has largely focused on investing in women-led startups.

Black joins a growing list of influential New Yorkers who have left 941 Park Avenue, including Tom Brokaw, Lloyd Blankfein and real estate’s Lloyd Goldman

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High-end co-ops have long been a weak link in the city’s luxury housing market. 

A reputation for having high maintenance fees and finicky, antiquated rules have helped push a new generation of buyers toward condominium ownership. Other such co-ops include 740 Park Avenue, the Sherry-Netherland and the Pierre, where Ali al-Fayed recently sold a unit for approximately half its original list price (and where the fate of Black’s chancellorship was sealed).

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