Slide home: stairs optional at the East Village pad

NY Daily NewsMarch 23, 2012
When real estate brokers Lindsee Silverstein and Elizabeth Kee are trying to determine who is serious about buying their swanky new East Village listing, they check to see whether they are willing to have a bit of fun first.

Are they willing to go down the giant metal slide that connects the two floors of the penthouse at 425 E. 13th St.?

“This apartment brings out the fun in people,” said Kee of the unit, which is listed for $3.99 million. “A broker in her 70s went down the slide four or five times when she came to look at the apartment.”

The slide was the brainchild of professional poker player Phil Galfond, who bought and combined two apartments for $3.2 million in 2008, the same year he won the World Series of Poker. In April 2011, Galfond relocated to Vancouver following a crackdown by the Justice Department on many online poker companies. “He didn’t want to give up the apartment, but until the law changes, it doesn’t make [financial] sense for him to live here,” Kee said.

Silverstein said Galfond originally installed the slide to be a whimsical addition to the stark modern white apartment — but that he would often use it to go downstairs between breaks in hands while playing online.

The three-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment is accessed through a keyed elevator. There’s a media/game room with a wet bar and a $35,000 custom pool table, which could be negotiated into the sale of the apartment. The apartment has two terraces — one facing north toward 14th St.; the other south — as well as rooftop space. Galfond used it as a private putting green, but it’s being redone with pavers. A nook on the south side would be the perfect place for a Jacuzzi.

The apartment is housed in the A Building, a luxury development of 15 apartments. Because of the East Village location, a common rooftop with a sundeck, pool, cabanas and barbecue area, the building had a reputation of being a party hot spot when it opened in 2008. Now it’s a bit tamer, Kee and Silverstein said, as the building also houses a mix of singles and families.

The brokers say they are surprised by the variety of people who have checked out the apartment, ranging from guys who work in finance to families. One man in his 70s who lives in Miami sent his broker to look at the apartment, wondering if the slide hole was big enough to fit his large dogs down it. “It’s pure, unadulterated fun,” Kee said.

They’ve gotten only one inquiry about how much it would cost to remove the slide.

“It wouldn't cost much to build out the floor,” Kee said. “But it would be so sad.”