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

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