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Selling New York Recap: The Inspector Investors

CurbedJanuary 13, 2012
It's hard to imagine having enough bills to buy an investment property in NYC, but we can viva the dream with last night's Super Extra Rich People installment of Selling New York! First, an ambitious agent gambles his time on a wealthy gallery owner on the prowl for some new property. Then, a dashing Italian uomo (man in Italian, I totes looked it up) looks to rent out his recently purchased Harlem apartment...and just might snap up the one next door. Will profits get turned or agents get burned? While everyone's wheelin' and dealin', I'll make you an offer on this recap you can't refuse...

FREE! CRISIS #1: GALLERY OWNER SENDS AGENT ON SEARCH FOR UNSPECIFIC INVESTMENT PROPERTY

CORE agent Kirk Rundhaug is having a good day. He's on the yearly schooner outing around Manhattan with his colleagues AND he just got a call from Gloria Naftali AKA The Investor. "With certain clients, you're 24/7 with them" Kirk explains. In other words, Gloria is like a syrup tap with mad money flowing out instead of sweet, golden maple. Kirk tries to hitchhike out of a conversation with boss Shaun and back onto land so he can get rolling with Gloria's request:

In DUMBO, Kirk meets up with Gloria's personal broker, artist Judi Harvest. Judi previews all potential properties first to judge if they are worth a visit from Gloria. Not a bad gig, Judi! Can someone tell me what kind of '70s euro-lego toy car this is? It looks so adorable and unsafe!:

The twosome head over to 189 Bridge Street to check out the $7.5 million penthouse. Hmmm...this must have been before all the stop n' go price chopping. Come lay your peepers on this 5,100 square foot slice of '80s South Beach: The birds cling to the window, hoping for an escape from the cheesy dual staircase layout:

Judi knows right away it's not right for Gloria. She wants "something more intimate in scale" and closer to the Village. So off they go to... The Cammeyer at 650 6th Avenue in The Flatiron District. This slow-to-fill building still has the $4.995 million penthouse up for grabs:

The sleek white decor and sculptural design excite Judi but she thinks Gloria is looking for something "even more spectacular." Keep werkin' it Kirk! Finally Gloria makes an appearance with Judi and Kirk at this mystery building on 2nd Avenue:

Will this $4.295 million number have enough WOW for Gloria? Gloria makes a go for the mega martini glass. Chug! Chug! Chug!:

The 15x22 pool intrigues Gloria as do the 48th floor views but she needs some time to ponder... And when Kirk checks up on her later about her decision, she says she's not inspired to buy something so big. Agents aren't mind readers Gloria! Lay down some parameters! Why I'm getting worked up about this, I have no idea. Kirk's time investment in Gloria didn't go unrewarded though - while he continues searching for Gloria's elusive gem, Judi referred a client to him who made an offer on a $5 million Chelsea penthouse!

CRISIS #2: AGENT URGES ITALIAN INVESTOR TO STRIKE TWICE IN HARLEM LUXURY BUILDING

Citi Habitats SVP Lucie Holt is all kinds of nervous! She's about to show her client, Raffaele Caracciolo, the apartment he purchased SIGHT UNSEEN(!!!) recently. The goods? A $775k 2 bed/2bath in Harlem's new Apex Condo at 2300 Frederick Douglass Boulevard. It's part condo, part boutique hotel. It's a...hondo!

Shall we?

Raf finds his investment "bellissimo" and is eager to get it rented. Lucie's all "the place next door is coming on the market, you should think about it" and Raf gets a sour face at the thought of doling out more euros:

But Lucie persuades him to investigate the opportunity, so they visit the $1.15 million neighboring unit. Lucie convinces Raf there's "a lot of growth in Harlem" and she'd have no problem renting the second place if he buys it. Raf gets excited about connecting the two apartments one day for a mega-manse. Isn't every New Yorkers fantasy to bash down their neighbor's wall?

Raf'll make an offer once Lucie rents the first apartment. Lucie snags a renter real quick, clocking in a cool $3900k a month for Raf's pocket. Raf is contento about the progress and tells Lucie to start the bid at $1 million and stop it at $1.05 million.

It's negotiatin' time! Lucie meets up with Apex Sales Manager Khadeejah Johnson at Harlem's bier international. K's not feeling Raf's lowball offer, but I'll let the video do the talkin':

K's point is that the Apex is 50% sold now, which wasn't the case when Raf got the first unit at a deal. Now he's gotta pay up!

Oooh, a counter offer from Apex comes in...they'll take $1.06 million including closing costs. Lucie shares the news with Raf on video chat. Si, si, si! he says. Lucie's wishin' for a second commission comes true. Raf gets his lockdown at the Apex AND the second unit already rented. Limoncellos all around!

Episode Grade: One investor put her agent to test and another seized an opportunity at his agent's behest! I'll invest 3 out of 5 cackling Kleiers with 4% interest.

Three Developments Change the Stigma of Upper Fifth

The New York Condo BlogJanuary 13, 2012
There is a fascinating trend occurring in Upper Manhattan in real estate. There have been 3 luxury developments that have been extremely successful in pulling the affluent buyer to Upper Fifth on and above 96th Avenue, a location that until now was deemed less ‘desirable’.

Along with 4 East 102nd and 1212 Fifth, 1280 Fifth is one of those success stories. Curious, we spoke with CORE founder and CEO Shaun Osher for an insider’s take on this transition.

What has been the stigma surrounding “Above 96th street?”

Manhattan neighborhoods are always evolving. 96th Street is an antiquated border that once denoted the northern boundary of the Upper East Side. Central Park is just as lush and green above 96th Street as it is below and the architecture is equally as impressive. Both developers and savvy buyers recognize the value of having a Fifth Avenue address with direct park views, access to Central Park and presence along Museum Mile. It is that opportunity that is driving the growth along Upper Fifth Avenue, the newest in a long line of well-known neighborhoods that have evolved such as the Upper West Side, Chelsea, SoHo, and the Meatpacking District – all neighborhoods that are now among the most coveted in New York City.

Why do you think there has been so much development activity on Upper Fifth in the last 2 years?

Pioneering developers have recognized the opportunity to tap into the natural beauty of Upper Fifth Avenue. The area is an extension of Museum Mile and has all the benefits of northern Central Park — which is perhaps its most exquisite section of all and includes the Harlem Meer.

What differentiates 1280 from the competition?

1280 Fifth Avenue is one of the best new ground-up new development projects to come to market over the past 5 years. It is designed by one of the most renowned architects of our generation, Robert A.M. Stern, who is responsible for other iconic New York City buildings, including 15 Central Park West. With that pedigree, 1280 Fifth Avenue has no competition. The building offers direct park views, a wide variety of layouts and amenities including parking, 24-hour concierge service and a rooftop swimming pool, all at a price point that is not available anywhere else on Fifth Avenue. All of this, coupled with Central Park, offers an impressive list of qualities to buyers currently searching the Manhattan new development market for a unique place to call home.

Who is buying at 1280?

1280 Fifth Avenue is a luxury building which has attracted some of the most prominent names in business, the arts and medicine. It is richly populated by highly successful individuals with the most discerning taste.

Woody Upper West Side Duplex Gets an Attractive Pricecut

CurbedJanuary 12, 2012
Check out this duplex at 270 West End Avenue on the Upper West Side, which just got pricechopped down to a pretty attractive $2,399,000. It's not cheap by any means, but considering that you're getting a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom duplex with 2,500 square feet space on prime Upper West territory, it's tempting. The CORE blog goes on to talk about the old/new contrast created by the pre-war building and the contemporary reno, which is neat. Maintenance might be an issue at $6,485/month, however. Other than that, a nicely renovated apartment in this neck of the woods at $959 per square foot? We're sure there's a buyer out there for this one.

Just Sold! - 85 Adams Street

The New York PostJanuary 12, 2012
Brooklyn
DUMBO $935,000
85 Adams St.

Two-bedroom, two-bath condo, 1,165 square feet, with stainless-steel kitchen appliances, washer/dryer and soundproofing; building features doorman, garage, roof deck, garden and gym. Common charges $942, taxes $23. Asking price $965,000, on market eight weeks. Brokers: Reyn Rossington, Core and Greg Williamson, Prudential Douglas Elliman

House of the Day: A Duplex with Multi-Borough Views

The Wall Street JournalJanuary 11, 2012
A Duplex with Multi-Borough Views

Price: $6,800,000
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Type of Home: Penthouse

This duplex penthouse in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood sports floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple-borough views and staircases imported from China. —Corrie Driebusch

Done Deals: 254 East 7th Street - 2012-01-11

Brokers WeeklyJanuary 11, 2012
East Village
254 East 7th Street
$587,500

This spacious three-bedroom apartment offers hardwood floors, high ceilings, abundant light, an eat-in, windowed kitchen, 2 baths, and a washer/dryer hookup. The building is a well run co-op that has recently replaced the roof, refaced the front of the building, is pet friendly, has a shared garden and storage in the basement. Asking price: $649,000. Time on market: 6 months. Brokers: Rachel Field, Corcoran; Doug Bowen, CORE.

Added Life, Costs on West 29th Street

The Wall Street JournalJanuary 06, 2012
The opening of a chic hotel followed by trendy dining and retail establishments is sprucing up the landscape in a rapidly gentrifying pocket along West 29th Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

The 12-story Ace Hotel, part of a chain that started in Seattle, opened its doors on West 29th Street in 2009 and resulted in several collaborations to bring in new businesses housed in the hotel or nearby. They include the Michelin-starred Breslin Bar and Dining Room, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, John Dory Oyster Bar, Opening Ceremony boutique, sandwich shop No. 7 Sub and Project No. 8a, an eclectic souvenir shop.

Later this year, Rudy's Barbershop, a West Coast chain with a retro aesthetic, is set to open in the retail space next to the Breslin restaurant.

But in an area that has been home to knock-off bag stores, jewelry shops and perfumeries, among an assortment of other retail and wholesale businesses, the launch of the Ace Hotel was an unlikely story from the start.

Spotted Pig restaurateur Ken Friedman, who is co-owner of the Breslin, recalls being approached by hotelier Alex Calderwood, head of the Ace chain and co-founder of Rudy's Barbershop, several years ago and asked about opening a restaurant in conjunction with the planned hotel.

Mr. Calderwood said the only "bad news" was that the hotel was on 29th and Broadway. "But he said, 'Mark my words, we are going to change the neighborhood from what it is now to a place that you'll be happy you chose to be there,'" according to Mr. Friedman. Mr. Calderwood confirms the conversation.

The Breslin opened in 2009 and Mr. Friedman launched John Dory Oyster Bar around the corner from the Ace in 2010, following the success of the Breslin.

Mr. Calderwood said that what drew him to the area wasn't just the location—close to the subway and in an area where several buildings are designated city landmarks, but also the unique cultural mix along the pocket on West 29th.

The hotel sits directly across from Masjid Ar-Rahman mosque and Gourmet Palace, a Pakistani and Indian restaurant.

Perfume Plus, whose owner has relocated twice in the last three years because of rising rents in the neighborhood.

"Our suspicion was that the tourists would find the contrast interesting in that it's seeing a piece of real New York which you don't see that much anymore," said Mr. Calderwood. "A lot of Ace customers are cultural enthusiasts, so they're a bit more open to areas like this."

Area residents say the newcomer businesses have helped bolster the strip. "They've totally cleaned up the seedy element that was there in this corner before," said Jesse Meyer, a sales associate with Bellmarc Realty, who has lived at the Gilsey House, just steps from the Ace, for nearly a decade.

Ms. Meyer said the listed prices of properties for sale as well as those for rent have been steadily climbing for the past few years.

But the combination of the economic downturn and rising rents are squeezing the bottom line for many small businesses in the area, some owners say.

"I used to pay $12,000 rent for a store and now they want $18,000, so I moved to smaller space," said Mian Rasheed, owner of Perfume Plus Inc., who has relocated twice in the last three years. "Basically, with all the high-end development here, they want us to leave, and I don't know how long some of us will last."

Rundown: An 1,800-squarefoot one-bedroom with two bathrooms and a terrace. Agent: Parul Brahmbhatt of CORE Group, 212-612-9646. $1,895,000 | 1200 Broadway, 6

Rundown: A 2,000-squarefoot, two-bedroom loft in the landmark Gilsey House. Agent: Jesse Meyer of Bellmarc Realty, 646-812-1175.

Others say the shuttering of several stores in the area in recent years has led to a decrease in foot traffic—something many small shops rely on.

"Small guys can't survive here," said Ghulam Jalani, owner of Rockaway USA clothing store on West 29th Street. "Very few people pass by now—it's nothing but a few tourists, and even they go to brand-name stores."

Meanwhile, real-estate people predict the pace of development in the area will continue in the next few years.

"There's only so many new places that are emerging areas in Manhattan and this is one of them because you're in between a number of really strong neighborhoods—Flatiron, Murray Hill, Gramercy Park," said Jason Pruger, an executive managing director at Newmark Knight Frank Retail. "The turnover will happen—it's just a matter of time."

New Listing: 25 Sutton Place South

Brokers WeeklyJanuary 04, 2012
This coveted corner two-bedroom, 2-bath home on Sutton Place South has just been listed by CORE's Elizabeth Kee for $1.249 million. The apartment, at 25 Sutton, offers the beauty of north, east and south exposure, with expansive river and city views. North and East facing windows frame a picture featuring the Queensboro Bridge. To the South and East, watch the city’s nautical traffic on the East River from the double glazed tilt-and-turn windows in the living and dining rooms. The full-service, white glove co-op has a parking garage, fitness room, children’s play room, and a resident’s private garden terrace on the river. Utilities are all included in the maintenance.

Manhattan Sales and Rental Projects Hitting the Market in 2012

CurbedJanuary 04, 2012
Did everybody make some good New Year's Resolutions? Not too ambitious, right? Remember, you don't want to be filled with disappointment and self-loathing one week into 2012 when your insanely rigorous three-tier cooking/exercising/reading plan falls to pieces. The trick is to create manageable goals involving things you already know how to do and that way you'll slowly build up confidence and by the time 2013 rolls around you might just be ready to accomplish something. For instance, our New Year's Resolutions were as follows:
1) Make more maps.
2) Compile information about Manhattan sales and rental developments that are going to go on sale this year.
3) Put it all on the internet.
And look at this—four days into the year and we've knocked down all three of those birds with one well-aimed stone. Guess we can take it easy for the next 11 4/5 months. (See a sales or rental project we've missed with an on-sale date sometime this year? Let us know.)

Just Listed: 100 West 58th Street

Brokers WeeklyJanuary 04, 2012
MIDTOWN WEST
100 West 58th Street
$825,000

Steps away from the South entrance of Central Park. One-bedroom, 1-bath home in The Windsor Park, a newly converted pre-war condo originally designed in 1929 by Rosario Candela, with renovations by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates. Living room, kitchen equipped with Sub-Zero, Bosch and Viking applicanes, master suite with four-fixture bathroom. Full-Service building has fitness center and rooftop terrace. Apartment is available fully furnished. Listing agents: Tom Postilio, Mickey Conlon, CORE.

New Development Updates: 83 Franklin

The Real DealJanuary 04, 2012
Leasing Update
83 Franklin

83 Franklin Street Just two apartments remain at the 11-unit rental building, developed by Francis Moezinia and David Moussazadeh. The building’s homes range from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, and have rented for $8,500 to $22,500 per month. Amenities include a common roof deck, gym, children’s playroom and bike room. Core is the agent. Contact: www.83franklin.com.

A 'Weill'-d Winter Market

The Real DealJanuary 04, 2012
The news that former Citigroup chairman Sanford Weill found a buyer for his 15 Central Park West penthouse — listed only three weeks earlier for $88 million — rocked the real estate community last month.

The buyer, a Russian fertilizer billionaire named Dmitry Rybolovlev, purchased the spread for his 22-year-old daughter, and an anonymous source told Forbes that she would be paying full price. If that’s true — when contacted by The Real Deal, a spokesperson for the family declined to say — the price would demolish previous records for the most expensive Manhattan residential sale. (For more on real estate records broken last year, see “For the record.”)

Though a lack of inventory has helped sales in the luxury market, brokers characterized the Weill deal as an outlier, rather than a sign that the market is back to any sort of boom-time climate. “A sample size of one isn’t necessarily enough” to indicate where the market is heading, cautioned Jeffrey Schleider, founder of Manhattan-based Miron Properties.In the fourth quarter of 2011, the median sale price for a Manhattan apartment was $855,000, up 1.2 percent from the same period of the previous year, according to a market report from Prudential Douglas Elliman. The number of sales dropped 12.4 percent over the previous year to 2,011, according to the report, written by Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

Donna Olshan, president of luxury specialist Olshan Realty, said the Rybolovlev acquisition speaks to the trend of foreigners investing in U.S. assets under the belief that they are safer bets than those abroad.

“There [are] people around the world who want to move money into the United States,” Olshan said. “It might be a piece of real estate and it might be a sports team, but they need to move their money out of [their home countries].”

The Weill deal may be an outlier, but brokers did report an uncharacteristic burst of heat in the sales market last month. At press time, the number of signed sales contracts for Manhattan apartments in December was up 9.5 percent over the previous month, while November contract volume rose 7 percent over October levels, according to Jeffrey Jackson, chairman of appraisal firm Mitchell, Maxwell & Jackson.

According to UrbanDigs, a real estate analytics and consulting firm, Manhattan buyers signed an estimated 513 to 525 contracts in the first three weeks of December. At that pace,the total number of signed contracts was set to hit between 756 and 775 for the month — up from the 712 new deals signed last December.

Brokers said the increased activity could be caused by buyers finally returning to the market after being sidelined by uncertainty, or hoping to beat the competition associated with a January uptick. Other factors could play a role as well.

“When you see the rentals go this high, and the interest rates are low, and the prices are good prices, you know that it sets the stage for the sales market to move,” Olshan said.Miron’s Schleider offered another explanation: “The most common theory I hear floating around is that the tame weather has allowed people to stay involved in the market.”However, with experts predicting a lackluster bonus season on Wall Street, the usual January sales spike may not provide the same boost as in past years.

Diminished Wall Street compensation “may result in a slower first quarter than in years when there have been big bonuses on the horizon,” said Anne Young, a senior vice president at Brown Harris Stevens.

As a result, some brokers said they are turning their focus away from buyers in the finance sector to focus on new market segments, including creative workers and foreign buyers.John Gomes, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman who specializes in new developments, said he plans to consider shifts in the local workforce — away from finance and towards technology start-ups — when allocating marketing budgets this spring.

“As we see the decline in jobs in the finance sector,” Gomes said, “I firmly believe this group of innovators will be the future millionaires that we’ll be selling real estate to in this city.”Mickey Conlon, a senior vice president at Core, said he is hoping to capture more business from foreign buyers to make up for less-active Wall Streeters. But smaller bonuses could be good news for the rental market.

Even if bonuses are not large enough to convince financiers to buy new homes, Bond New York Executive Director of Leasing Douglas Wagner hopes the payouts will at least spur them to upgrade rental accommodations.

“Our industry relies on a certain amount of discretionary movers throughout the city,” Wagner said. “Hopefully, bonuses will be large enough to give renters the confidence to improve their living conditions and move up, even if they might be prevented from buying this year.”

CORE to Appear in HGTV’S New "Selling" Special

December 28, 2011
CORE Agents to Reveal the "Best Property Ever Sold" in a One-Hour Special Premiering January 1st at 4PM ET/PT.

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 28, 2011) – CORE is pleased to announce that due to the overwhelming success of HGTV’s Selling franchise, the network will air a special: The Best Property I Ever Sold, premiering on New Year’s Day. The one-hour special, airing on the first of the year at 4 p.m. ET, will bring together agencies from both Selling New York and Selling LA.

For the past four seasons, HGTV’S Selling New York has provided a rare glimpse into Manhattan’s high-end real estate market. In the “Selling Special”, viewers are invited to tour the properties which series favorites Shaun Osher, Tom Postilio and Kirk Rundhaug consider their most stellar deals of all time, which include a stunning West Village townhome and a penthouse in the sky – all sold in the $12M+ price range.

About CORE
CORE is a real estate sales and marketing firm delivering the best in brokerage, communications and advisory services for the luxury residential segment. In addition, CORE’s elite group of highly experienced and successful professionals service developers who value efficient, no-nonsense results. CORE was founded by Shaun Osher as a full-service boutique firm with a strict adherence to the principles of integrity, efficiency and results. For more information visit www.corenyc.com.

About HGTV
HGTV, America’s leader in home and lifestyle programming, is distributed to more than 99 million U.S. households and is one of cable’s top-rated networks. HGTV’s website, HGTV.com, is the nation’s leading online home-and-garden destination, which attracts an average of more than 5 million unique visitors per month.

###

Selling New York: The Retrospective; DeKalb Market Closing

CurbedDecember 28, 2011
Is a week too long to wait between episodes of Selling New York? If so, good news: there will be an SNY special, called "The Best Property I Ever Sold," airing on January 4 at 4 p.m. Eastern. What this special involves, according to a press release from the gang at CORE: "In the “Selling Special”, viewers are invited to tour the properties which series favorites Shaun Osher, Tom Postilio and Kirk Rundhaug consider their most stellar deals of all time, which include a stunning West Village townhome and a penthouse in the sky – all sold in the $12M+ price range." Happy new year, SNY obsessives.
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN—DoBro shipping container mall DeKalb Market will, a press release informs us, be closing December 31. There's no exact reopening date planned, but the market should reopen sometime in the spring.

Year in Review: Featured Story of December 2011 - RP Miller & Associates Acquired by CORE

Brokers WeeklyDecember 28, 2011
Brokers focused on mobile marketing as house-hunting apps proliferated. With the holiday season in full swing, brokers warned sellers to tone down the holiday decorations. And from lighting up Harlem to bringing toys to city kids, New York’s real estate community dug deep before the holidays. And CORE sales and marketing firm has acquired Reba Miller's R.P. Miller & Associates.

Just Sold: 8 South Oxford Street

The New York PostDecember 22, 2011
Brooklyn
FORT GREENE $730,000
8 South Oxford St.

One-bedroom, one-bath parlor-floor co-op in a brownstone, 830 square feet, with 12-foot restored plaster ceilings, kitchen with farm-style sink basin and Miele and Marvel appliances, woodburning fireplace, marble mantel, arched doors and sunroom with garden view. Maintenance $822, 40 percent tax-deductible. Asking price $849,000, on market 25 weeks. Brokers: Win Brown and Doug Bowen, Core and Danielle Kent, Charles Rutenberg Realty

Tri It On

New York PostDecember 22, 2011

Daniel Craig has been busy promoting “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which premiered at the Ziegfeld Theater last week, but he’s also been on a serious downtown apartment hunt.

 

As we previously reported, Craig and wife Rachel Weisz have been looking at multiple pricey TriBeCa lofts. And one unit they recently checked out is a $7.495 million, three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bathroom co-op at 427 Washington St.

 

The full-floor unit is 4,200 square feet. A key-locked elevator opens to a foyer that flows into a 54-foot-wide living room with large windows and Hudson River views. The residence also has lacquered beamed ceilings, walls with Venetian plaster and a kitchen with Viking and Sub-Zero appliances.

 

Craig is now working on his next James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” which is directed by Weisz’s old flame Sam Mendes.

 

Simpson Shops

 

A very pregnant Jessica Simpson has been shopping for pricey Monique L’Huillier wedding dresses in Los Angeles, but she’s still on a house hunt in NYC.

 

Simpson, who might be marrying her fiancé, former NFL tight end Eric Johnson, before the birth of their first child, was spotted looking at a $55,000-a-month apartment at 25 Bond St.

 

It’s a five-bedroom, 6 1/2-bathroom, 7,300-square-foot unit with two private terraces. The apartment, nestled in a boutique limestone building on a charming street that’s home to Ian Schrager’s 40 Bond condo complex and designer Daryl K’s boutique, includes four woodburning fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also an indoor parking spot with direct elevator access to the apartment, which helps keep those pesky paparazzi at bay.

 

Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Jason Walker declined to comment.

 

This is the same NoHo building where, as we revealed, Will Smith was renting with his family last year while his bigger-than-a-house movie trailer caught the ire of downtown residents and made the front page of The Post.

 

We hear . . .

 

That Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who just purchased the $88 million 15 Central Park West apartment where his 22-year-old, Harvard-attending equestrian daughter Ekaterina Rybolovleva will be staying, recently scooped up a St. Tropez mansion that once belonged to Jeffrey Steiner, the late takeover artist/Fairfield Corp. CEO . . . That Jon Hamm recently rented an apartment on West 67th Street . . . That a mystery businessman paid $185,000 on charitybuzz.com for lifetime memberships in all of Donald Trump’s 10 golf clubs and all of Trump’s future clubs. Three other people have since offered to match that number, says Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump. The money will benefit the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

 

Selling in SoHo

 

Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Wilbur Gonzalez has put his own apartment at 40 Mercer St. on the market for $4.5 million. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,649-square-foot SoHo condo is in a star-studded Jean Nouvel-designed building where Meg Ryan has been renting, Daniel Radcliffe owns and Marc Jacobs rented before moving into his Superior Ink townhouse.

 

Gonzalez, who is now officially bicoastal, recently bought a home with killer views and a pool on Hollywood Boulevard in LA’s exclusive Hollywood Hills neighborhood for around $2 million.

 

He owns another New York apartment at 255 Hudson St. that is also on the market. That residence is a three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bathroom, 1,684-square-foot condo that is listed for $1.995 million. We hear that Gonzalez is looking to unload one apartment and keep the other.

 

Gonzalez declined to comment.

 

Fit for a King

 

We know what Oprah Winfrey bestie Gayle King is doing next summer. King has already rented a house on Old Farm Road in Bridgehampton, at a price of $70,000 for Memorial Day through Labor Day.

 

The five-bedroom, four-bathroom mansion, built in 1994, includes a pool, pool house, hot tub and outdoor shower.

 

In other East End news, Marsha Soffer’s East Hampton mansion on Lee Avenue, listed at $24.5 million, is in contract after being on the market less than a month and receiving multiple bids. The 11-bedroom, 12-bathroom house comes with a pool on its 2.2 acres.

 

Sighting

 

Ryan Philippe picking up Christmas packages from his doorman at his downtown building, around Broadway and Eighth Street.

New Listings: 150 Sullivan Street

Brokers WeeklyDecember 21, 2011
Soho
150 Sullivan St. #34
$325,000

Studio in A-plus location. Top floor walk-up with high ceilings, updated kitchen, exposed brick and recently re-stained dark walnut floors. Liberal board allows pieds-a-terre, guarantors, parents buying for children and subletting. Investors welcome. Listing agents: Evan Greenberg & Patrick Mills, CORE.

New Listings: 343 4th Avenue

Brokers WeeklyDecember 21, 2011
ParkSlope
343 4th Ave. #4E
The Novo
$570,000

Two bedroom corner apartment overlooking JJ Byrne Park. Living room has south facing covered balcony. Modern kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Laundry closet with exterior vented gas washer/dryer. Modern bathroom with Jacuzzi bathtub, travertine tiles and rain dome shower. Full-service condo offers 24- hour concierge, gym, yoga studio, play room, residents lounge and an attended parking garage. Building has a 25-year tax abatement. Listing agents: Ivana Nikolic & Win Brown, CORE.
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