Katie Couric Buys Big, Brand New New York City Condo

Katie Couric Condo

BUYERS: Katie Couric and John Molner
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $12,170,000
SIZE: 3,966 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: We first heard it early this morning via covert communique from from someone who identified himself by the nom-de-snitch Beau Nansuh turns out the ever-perspicacious celebrity real estate gossips at 6sqft.com were the first to ferret out the $12.71 million acquisition of a brand-new, never been occupied full-floor condominium on New York City’s Upper East Side by television journalist Katie Couric and financier John Molner. The sale price suggests there was some competition for the apartment that was officially listed at $10.95 million. The tenth-floor spread, one of just 14 spacious apartments in a full-service 16-story red brick edifice designed in a stately, post-modern Neoclassical manner by fearsomely capable traditionalist architect Peter Pennoyer, is certainly roomy but well shy of garishly huge at 3,966-square feet with five bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Online marketing materials show the elevator opens directly in to an entrance gallery with barrel-vaulted ceiling and swish St. Laurent polished marble floor while a perfectly aligned enfilade of three public living and entertaining spaces — living room flanked by library and dining room —stretches a combined 57-feet with sublime quarter-sawn chevron pattern hardwood floors and “Parisian-like mahogany double hung weight-and-chain floor-to-ceiling windows.” Double pocket doors in the dining room open to a thoroughly modern-minded and coffer-ceiled kitchen complete with: two fridge/freezers and two dishwashers; oak cabinetry painted with and finished with black walnut interiors; dedicated spice, cutlery, utensil and pot drawers; a wide center island with integrated, three stool snack counter; and an adjacent laundry room and marvelously over-sized walk-in pantry.

Only one of the three guest bedrooms is properly en suite while the other two make what amounts to private but still less than ideal use of a pair bathrooms that open off the bedroom hall. The master suite, positioned at the extreme rear of the apartment for maximum privacy, includes a wee entrance vestibule with small closet, a dressing corridor off of which open two walk-in closets, a bedroom just ample enough to comfortably accommodate a small seating area, and a five-star hotel-style bathroom equipped with marble paneled walls, maple-lined vanity, heated marble floor, and eight-jet steam shower, and a bedroom just ample enough to comfortably accommodate a small seating area.

On a townhouse- and tree-lined street between Lexington and Third Avenues, the building might be a tetch too east for some high-nosed Upper East Siders who can’t bear the thought of being even a handful of designer shoe shod steps more than three blocks from Central Park. None-the-less, amenities provided the boutique building’s few residents are akin those provided in upper-tier Fifth and Park Avenue buildings such as uniformed doormen and porters; an on-site resident manager; bike storage room; a private gym and yoga studio, and a lobby-level salon that’s perfect for meeting with visitors who don’t rank high enough on the totem pole to be admitted to one’s private apartment and opens to a small private garden with what online marketing materials described as “foliage tapestries” and seasonal plantings.

Miz Couric, a network news and early morning chat show veteran who now shakes her professional tail feathers as the lucratively compensated global news anchor of Yahoo, continues to own an approximately 4,000-square-foot Park Avenue apartment she’s had since the late 1990s as well as a 1.55-acre estate in East Hampton, NY, that she picked up in June 2006 for $5.65 million and where she and Mister Molner were married last summer in a small, elegantly casual ceremony.

Listing images and floor plan: Stribling

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  1. Dane says:

    It’s not a skyscraper, but rather a contextual fourteen-odd floor mid-block building designed very much in the image of a number of similar buildings that dot this part of the Upper East Side and were constructed mostly in the 1920’s and 30’s. Peter Pennoyer is a very well respected architect with a classical bent. In general, I think, his work is primarily extremely high end residential projects — houses and apartments. Given his reputation, I would bet that this building is way above the norm in terms of floorpans, details and finishes — even at this rarified level. The fact that the building is completely sold out, and that John and Katie paid several million over the developer’s asking price means that they were selling something that people really wanted. And there were only fourteen apartments to choose from. That helps.

  2. James says:

    I’d be interested to know what the children, especially Lil’ and Rabbi, think of this Georgian-house-became-skyscraper. Odd.

    • Rabbi Hedda LaCasa says:

      I generally appreciate Pennoyer’s designs. This project is appealing at street level; however, the combined volume of the three penthouses appears disproportionate to the overall building mass. The full floor apartments each have an approximately fifty-five feet library, living room, dining room enfilade with liberal southern exposure. The guest powder room (actually a full bath in each floor-through plan) is discreetly located. The bedroom wing is separate and the master bedroom is further isolated. Unfortunately, there are no entry vestibules and, with the exception of one penthouse, no fireplaces. Secondary bedrooms are small. Duplex penthouses feature galleries with gracefully curved staircases, natural light and terrace access; however, living and dining rooms do not relate well. The simplex penthouse has a combined great room, simpatico with loft-living and not with neo-prewar elegance. Y ay que horror, 151 E 78th Street is east of Lex!

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