January/February 2014

The penthouse at 383 Broadway, now on the market for $32M
The penthouse at 383 Broadway, now on the market for $32M

An artist’s lofty idea

Penthouse asking $32M could set a record for a Downtown co-op

To set a sales record in just about any part of New York City these days takes a lot of zeroes—perhaps no place more so than in downtown Manhattan. It is there, through a penthouse atop 383 West Broadway, where a seller hopes to set a fresh sales record for a co-op: $32 million.

The total would best downtown’s previous co-op sales records, both set by the same property: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s apartment at 141 Prince Street, which designer Elie Tahari bought for nearly $24.7 million in 2005, and then sold for $27.5 million five years later, the New York Times reported.

The 383 West Broadway penthouse loft hit the sales market through Leonard Steinberg of Douglas Elliman and Adam Modlin of the Modlin Group in November. Though the approximately 7,500-square-foot space lacks the bells and whistles of other higher-end co-ops, such as white-glove concierge services, it does boast some serious amenities. These include six custom skylights capping an oak and marble staircase; a library and game room; a 2,600-square-foot great room; a Boffi rooftop shower and a humidor in the wine room. Throughout, too, there are soaring ceilings—some as high as 22 feet; and a 60-inch revolving LED television.

The seller is the minimalist sculptor and earthwork artist Charles Ross, one of the first artistic colonizers of largely industrial Soho in the late 1960s. When he and several friends bought 383 West Broadway in 1973, he rented out a top-floor space facing Wooster Street.

In 2006, during the last real estate boom, Ross’ friend, the fine arts photographer Damion Berger, proposed a renovation of the top-floor spot. According to The New York Times, the pair did not skimp on the finishes. Besides the shower, for instance, other rooftop amenities in the possibly record-setting pad include an outdoor kitchen with a Wolf barbecue and a dumbwaiter, Balinese stone walls, an ipe wood deck, a covered patio, outdoor television and audio, plus a hammock “large enough for a crowd.”

As of late December, this wonderland capping 383 West Broadway remained on the market at that same tantalizing price. –Tom Acitelli

Average November rents

Studio         N/A
1 bed           $4,200
2 beds         $8,133
3 beds         $16,926
> 3 beds      $19,329

Average November sales price

Studio         N/A
1 bed           $1,250,000
2 beds         $4,141,666
3 beds         N/A
> 3 beds      N/A[/column]

Source: StreetEasy
Sweet treats, houses of worship and silly soaps

Price for a loaf of babka bread at Dean & DeLuca at 580 Broadway. There are two flavors: cinnamon and chocolate

Churches in Soho

Colors of brain soaps—yes, soaps that look like brains—at the Evolution Store, 120 Spring Street. These eerie but cool hand soaps come in green, pink and lavender

Sources: Dean & DeLuca, FaithStreet, Evolution

Everyday Italian

Italy’s famous for its food and fashion—and its contemporary art, if a soon-to-open foundation has its way. The Center for Italian Modern Art will open its doors Feb. 22 at 421 Broome Street. There will be one major exhibition here annually, which will be dedicated to contemporary and modern Italian artists whose work is not typically seen outside Italy. The inaugural exhibit will feature the works of Futurist Fortunato Depero.

Shave and a haircut

Harry’s Corner Shop—an old-school barbershop offering cuts, trims and shaves—opened at 64 MacDougal Street late last year. The vintage-inspired space—with two 1920s barber chairs, a record player and 1950s photos of men’s hairstyles on the walls—is owned by Jeff Raider, a founder of the hip, low-priced eyewear company Warby Parker. Raider also launched Harry’s, which sells affordable shaving products online—and now at the barbershop.

Little Sweden in Soho

A Swedish retail scene is popping up on Greene Street. At least three brands from Sweden have opened there within the past year, the most recent being outdoor apparel label Fjällräven—whose backpacks are a hipster favorite—at 38 Greene Street. Gudrun Sjödén, a women’s clothing and homewares store, set up shop at 50 Greene Street, and jeans retailer Acne opened a flagship at 33 Greene last summer.

Beautiful like closets in the sky

Pop songstress Rihanna has so many clothes that she turned three of her duplex penthouse’s four bedrooms into walk-in closets. She inked the $39,000 monthly lease in the fall for the digs at 129 Lafayette Street, which has a 2,400-square-foot terrace, a media room and a bar.

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