Historic Greenwich Village Townhouse for $32 Million

The New York TimesNovember 06, 2015

Two fully restored 1840s townhouses on the same leafy street in the Greenwich Village Historic District, though separated from each other by Fifth Avenue, have sold, according to city records, and were the most expensive closed transactions of the week.

 

The pricier of the two, at $32,000,000, is a 25-foot-wide house at 16 East 10th Street that was bought by a mystery buyer from the developer David Amirian of the Amirian Group and his business partner, Warren Hammerschlag, an orthopedic surgeon. The townhouse had been listed for $38.5 million.

 

The two purchased the property in 2012 for $11.2 million from Pen and Brush, a nonprofit organization for women artists and writers — after Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband, Matthew Broderick, had previously walked away from a contract to buy it. They spent the next three years refinishing the exterior, renovating and upgrading its five main stories and adding, among other things, a 27-foot “endless” swimming pool with a Jacuzzi, gym, steam room and wine cellar to the basement.

 

The brown stucco house with Italianate-style detailing, which has $112,000 in annual property taxes, was built in 1848 and had been a private residence until 1923, when it became the headquarters and gallery for Pen and Brush, which has since relocated to the Flatiron district.

 

There are five bedrooms and 11 bathrooms spread over 10,482 square feet of interior space, as well as 2,094 square feet of outdoor space that includes a terrace off a fourth-floor bedroom, a backyard garden and roof deck. Smart-home technology was also installed, along with radiant heat on every floor; ceiling heights rise up to 16 feet.

 

The master suite encompasses the entire third floor and features two full marble baths, along with two white-oak-lined dressing rooms, according to the listing with Brown Harris Stevens. David E. Kornmeier was the listing broker, while Paul Bernstein of City Connections Realty brought the buyer, identified as 16 East 10th LLC.

 

Mr. Amirian said a “very strict confidentiality agreement” prevented him from disclosing any information about the buyer. “We had several bids,” he said, “but we felt this was the best person who really wanted the house.”

 

To the west side of Fifth Avenue, meanwhile, was the second-priciest transaction of the week, according to city records, at $20,000,000: a five-story 1844 brick townhouse at 10 West 10th Street that had been owned by the daughter of the billionaire financier George Soros.

 

Andrea Soros Colombel, a philanthropist, and her husband, Eric Colombel, sold the Federal-style brick building to a prominent Philadelphia landlord, Michael A. Karp, the founder of the University City Housing Company, which owns rental apartments, including student housing near schools like the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Mr. Karp has no immediate plans to move into his new home, however, and has listed it for rent at $75,000 a month with the Corcoran Group.

 

The Colombels had acquired the house in 2006 for $11.5 million, which at the time was a record price for the neighborhood.

 

The 26-foot-wide townhouse, with annual taxes of $85,793, underwent top-to-bottom updates and renovations over the next couple of years before being placed back on the market for $29.5 million in late 2012. It was withdrawn and relisted in June 2014 for $24.75 million; the most recent asking price was $23.95 million.

 

The listing brokers, Shaun Osher and Emily Beare of Core, handled both sides of the transaction.

 

The 8,472-square-foot townhouse has 21 rooms that include seven bedrooms and eight and a half baths, plus a full finished basement complete with storage, a laundry room and a stone-walled fitness center that has a ballet barre and an adjacent sauna and steam shower. There are also three wood-burning fireplaces and several outdoor spaces, including a planted terrace on the top floor.

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