Friday, February 21, 2014

Lyor Cohen buys Steve Ells's Downtown Townhouse

BUYER: Lyor Cohen
SELLER: Steve Ells
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $11,400,000
SIZE: 4,440 square feet, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In the fall of 2004 high end New York City developer Adam Gordon paid exactly $3 million for a 19th-century townhouse on a charming cobble stoned street in New York City's far West village. He completely revamped the townhouse with the assistance of accomplished, modern-minded architect Steven Harris who, among other architectural feats and endeavors, restored the original street façade and replaced the rear façade with a dramatically transparant four story wall of glass. Mister Gordon put the meticulously rehabbed urban residence up for sale in May 2006 for $15 million and, after a couple of downward price adjustments, sold it in January 2008 for $13,425,000 to Chipotle burrito joint founder and co-CEO Steve Ells.

We're not sure if Mister Ells ever moved in to the townhouse but we do know, thanks to the kids at Curbed, that he hasn't lacked for high-priced places to live in the West Village over the last five or six years. In March 2008 he shelled out $5.753 million for a three bedroom full-floor loft on Waverly Place that he sold in early 2011 for $6.1 million and in December 2009 he shelled out $11 million for a terraced penthouse atop a dignified pre-war building on lower Fifth Avenue that, as far as Your Mama can tell, he continues to own.

We also know, as per the lady property gossip at the New York Post, that Mister Ells leased the far West Village townhouse last year to music industry mogul Lyor Cohen for an unknown monthly sum. Right about the time it became public that Mister Cohen was leasing, the townhouse popped back up for sale with an asking price of $13.995 million. Eight months later the price optimistically jumped to $14,500,000 and, as we first learned from the increasingly gabby informant Polly Wannacracker and subsequently confirmed with property records, the townhouse was sold in early February, 2014, to its tenant, Mister Cohen, who, it seems, drove a real estate hard bargain because the recorded sale price is $11,400,000.

Digital marketing materials show the 24-foot wide red brick Greek Revival style townhouse was originally built in 1858, measures 4,440 square feet, and sits on a relatively quiet, tree-lined street. There are five full floors of luxury living space—plus a partly finished basement—with with four bedrooms, three full and two half bathrooms, four fireplaces, and state-of-the-art mechanical systems.

While it's true the multi-floor residence lacks an elevator it otherwise boasts a well resolved and practical layout. A raised stoop entry leads into a narrow, parlor floor entry and stair hall with powder pooper. Immediately to the left there's a compact, book-shelf lined library and at the rear a roomy formal living room has an entire wall of glass that looks over an unusually private rear garden. Booze lovers will note that in between the library and living room there's a fully-stocked bar area that's somewhat erroneously marked as a "study" on the floor plan.

The garden floor has a sleek, street-side kitchen where, instead of a pot rack, there's a bunch of copper pans hung in a gridded pattern. At the back, the dining room—listing photos show it done up as a den—has another full wall of glass that opens to a bi-level garden with reflecting pool that, thanks to the 35-foot surrounding walls is completely, run-around-naked private.

The entire third floor is given over to the master suite that in addition to a garden view bedroom with a full wall of glass has a walk-though dressing area lined with closets, a separate walk-in closet, and a spacious bathroom that spans the full width of the townhouse. There are three more guest/family bedrooms on the fourth floor, the largest with a private bathroom while the smaller two share an itty-bitty hall bathroom.

The penthouse level features a glass pavilion with fireplace and direct access to two well-planted terraces. The larger north facing terrace has a view Empire State Building and the covered, south facing terrace has an outdoor fireplace and view of the preposterously tall Freedom Tower that now rises next to the site of the former World Trade Center.

Mister Cohen, in case you didn't know, previously owned a six-floor limestone townhouse on the Upper East Side that he bought in late 2000 for $9,175,000, listed in 2011 for $28,000,000 and sold in late 2012 to private equity bigwig Joseph Baratta for, according to property records, $24,912,140. Mister Cohen also owns a waterfront spread in the North Haven area of the Hamptons that he scooped up in 2008 even though, at the time, he already owned a huge house on Jobs Lane in Bridgehampton.

listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Talk about an unassuming façade. It has that crack house chic exterior, favored by many when shopping for rock. A good sand blasting and repointing would really help clean it up.

Anonymous said...

1:17 why?

Sandpiper said...

Wow. Great bones, fit and finish. I agree with everything Mama said. And those green armchairs are crazy fun.

Oh nooo. Step away from the brick and mortar, 1:17. Terrifying thought! It's calming to know the Landmarks Preservation Commission exists.

Anonymous said...

1:17..as stated by mama the architect Steven Harris did do a restoration of the front facade during the "complete revamp"..at the same time i think there needs to be some consideration to the fact that the building is excess of 150 yrs old..to do too much to the brick would diminish the character..i think to do too much it might end up looking like a new building trying.to look old..

Anonymous said...

Pouring paint thinner on the Mona Lisa, under the guise of restoration, would be a horror. Cleaning the grime off brick and mortar, even if it's old brick and mortar, isn't really a bad thing. If anything, it will provide a protective barrier against water infiltration. The interior has been stripped of all historical charm and the rear façade is dumbfounding.
Weighing everything out, cleaning the front up, doesn't seem like a bad thing.

Sandpiper said...

I respect freedom of speech, but ... for me anyway, it's a startling thought to altar this old facade. We're fortunate to have them (in my opinion).

Maybe it's because of my family's street, built in 1600s, and untouched by time. Perfection just the way it is.

Sandpiper said...

Oops. RE above link ... Left click in new tab for full screen -- if you're even interested.

The original posted link turned out to be distorted thumb-ish view.

lil' gay boy said...

Lust behind an under-the-radar façade...

Anonymous said...

what's all the beef with the front facade? it's been beautifully restored.

I love the juxtaposition between the historic front facade and the all glass back on.

Anonymous said...

Beef? No, it's respectful dialogue.
Now what LGB said, them's fightin' words. My Duncan brand Yoyo is at the ready. He might be old enough to remember those and how much fun they were.

lil' gay boy said...

Are you better at walk the dog or the sleeper?

;-)

Cristian D'cruze said...

Thanks for sharing a nice post with us. From a long time I am searching this type of home to buy. Really these homes are looking so beautiful that I can’t express in words. Can you please inform me the price of these apartments? So, that it will be easier for me to buy these apartments.