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Is the Apthorp New York City’s Next Celebrity Enclave?

Recent reports reveal that a slew of celebs have been touring the sprawling pre-war pads at the much bally-hooed and beloved Apthorp building in New York City. The Apthorp, for those who do not know, is a leviathan limestone pile built in 1908 by the Astor family that covers an entire city block on the Upper West Side. There are four elaborately detailed and symmetrical facades topped by a small crown of copper. The building is entered through one of two gated three story barrel vaulted tunnels, one on buzzy Broadway the other on West End Avenue, that lead to a landscaped and limestone clad central courtyard with two shushing fountains where residents can be discreetly deposited from the rear seats of taxis, town cars and private automobiles.

According to a number of reports in New York centric papers and websites, the list of famous folks who have made the pilgrimage to the Apthorp include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Emmy award winning actor Alec Baldwin, aging action movie actor Bruce Willis, and Real Housewife of New York City Jill Zarin who recently listed her Upper East Side nest with an asking price of $3,200,000 and will soon be rooting around for a new nest. Sara Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick–who did not, as it turns out, purchase the the near perfect Park Slope townhouse recently sold by Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly–have also been rumored and reported to have scooted around the building in search of new digs to house their growing family.

Of course, the Athorp has long attracted wealthy and rich folks with former tenants like Rosie O’Donnell, Conan O’Brien, Steve Kroft, Robert DeNiro and, of course, writer Nora Ephron and colorful 1980s pop icon Cyndi Lauper who, much to the chagrin of many, both occupied very large rent controlled apartments. Miz Ephron was forced out of her 5th floor 5 bedroom residence after it became subjected to New York State’s luxury de-control laws and the rent was jacked to a toe curling $12,000. Cyndi Lauper had much better luck when in 2005 she successfully sued the landlord to reduce the rent on her rent-controlled 4-bedroom crib from nearly four thousand dollars per month to just under one thousand. Every New Yorker publicly hated her for that, but every New Yorker also knows they’d happily sell their mother, their dog and their first born for a 7-room apartment that costs less than a thousand clams a month.

Anyhoo, amid much controversy, law suits and bad blood, the legendary Apthorp went condo and chile they is some colossally costly condominiums. Even after a $426,000 price chop, a 1,031 square foot 7th floor one bedroom is listed at a toe-curling $1,575,000 and after six months on the market and a $1,150,000 price slash, a 3,331 square foot unit on the 11th floor with 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms is listed at $6,350,000. Apparently that’s pocket change to the Jolie-Pitts who are rumored to be willing to dump upwards of $25,000,000 to combine three units into one massive spread for their ever-expanding brood of multi-culti children.

Given that 25 units need to be sold by September to solidify the condo conversion Your Mama would imagine the Apthorps‘ public relations peeps are wildly spinning their rolodexes and the developers offering all kinds of difficult to pass up deals to famous folks who might attract other buyers who like the idea of living in close proximity to fame. Of course, the famous people could care less about the other tenants, but they will certainly appreciate and make good use of the central courtyard where they can come and go without the paps trying to take a snap shot of their naughty bits as they step out of their car.

Time will tell puppies but if Your Mama had to wager a guess, we’d say the Apthorp should do well with deep pocketed and privacy seeking people in the public eye.

photos: The City Review

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