SELLER: Julia Stiles
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 2,081 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: We’ve received an unexpected but welcomed covert communiqué from ever-congenial and long-time Big Apple informant Polly Wannacracker who — among other tidbits and morsels — let Your Mama know that New York City born and bred actress Julia Stiles quietly sold her duplex condo for $2,700,000.
Property records show the Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress picked up the 2,081-square foot apartment on the top floors of a well-maintained and nondescript six-unit brownstone building directly across from historic Stuyvesant Square in June 2004 for $1,995,000. Our research reveals Miss Stiles first hoisted the three bedroom and 3.5 bathroom apartment on the open market more than a year ago — in July 2013 — with an in-hindsight rose-tinted $3.5 million price tag. (The asking price eventually dropped to a much more attractive $2.75 million before it was snatched up by a not-famous buyer.)
Monthly common charges and taxes for the south-facing duplex total $2,519 as per digital marketing materials and the sale includes a 100+ square foot storage room in the basement, a real bonus in a New York City where private storage is often severely limited.
A key-lock elevator, a welcomed rarity in turn of the 20th century brownstone building, opens to a private landing and small but proper foyer with generous walk-in closet and compact half bath. Floor plans included with digital marketing materials show a laundry closet with stacked washer and dryer in the half bathroom, a cramped and inconvenient spot for a washer and drying to be sure. However, in New York City, laundry equipment wedged in to an itty-bitty and window-free powder pooper is still a whole lot better than schlepping dirty clothes to the nearest Laundromat.
Also less than optimally but not exactly a deal breaker for many dedicated New Yorkers, one must pass through the (clearly renovated) kitchen to get to the main living/dining room that includes a wood burning fireplace, a few built-in bookshelves and a couple of over-sized south-facing windows. We can’t help but note the odd and, frankly, disturbingly disharmonious collection of artworks and furnishings in the living room that includes a Victorian settee set at an awkward cattywompus angle, a lavender sofa that may or may not be leather, a shabby and not-so-chic slip-covered armchair and an upright piano.
The kitchen is certainly updated and well equipped with high(er) end stainless steel appliances, a vibrant azure subway tile back splash and some sort of granite or solid surface counter top. This property gossip, for what it’s worth — and it isn’t worth a damn nickel — isn’t so keen on the bone colored faux-antiqued raised panel cabinetry that sadly stops just a few inches short of the ceiling, a situation that guarantees a massive pile up of dust. We also can’t say we find Miz Stiles’ decorative impulses to be particularly inspired or — let’s be honest — even in working order but at least she had the good sense not to shove a bunch of fake greenery up in that space like way too many people do but, anyways…
Each of the three, decent-for-NYC-sized second floor bedrooms has a woeful dearth of closet space and direct access to a private and windowless bathroom. The largest bedroom has a corner fireplace, two small closets and a sky-lit bathroom with separate tub and shower while the smallest bedroom has a separate entrance and a large sky light in lieu of an actual window.
The switchback staircase continues up to a roughly 800-ish square foot private rooftop deck with a lovely and coveted, over-the-treetop view of the Empire State building.
Listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman