One of New York’s Widest Townhouses Narrows Its Aim to $50 Million

One of New York’s Widest Townhouses Narrows Its Aim to $50 Million


A nearly 55-foot-wide mansion in Greenwich Village owned by Warren J. Spector, the former co-president of the investment firm Bear Stearns, will return to the market for $50 million, down from an asking price of $59.5 million last year.

Even at its reduced price, the home could set a townhouse price record for downtown New York, below 34th Street, where a home sold for $37.2 million last year. The highest price paid for a townhouse citywide occurred in June, when a 48-foot-wide mansion on the Upper East Side sold for $77.1 million, according to Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

The roughly 16,560-square-foot five-story home is 68.5 feet long on a nearly 95-foot-deep lot, with about 5,690 square feet of additional outdoor space. Townhouse buyers especially prize width, because it allows for a more flexible design, and at 55 feet across, this is one of the widest in the city. Property taxes were $101,865 this year.

Mr. Spector bought the property for $34.5 million in 2007 — the same year he was pushed out of the firm amid the growing subprime mortgage crisis. This was Mr. Spector’s primary home, which he shared with his wife, the actress Margaret Whitton, who died in 2016.

Mr. Spector is now the chairman at the private investment firm Balbec Capital, and is also the capital campaign chair at his alma mater St. John’s College, with campuses in Santa Fe, N.M., and Annapolis, Md., to which he pledged to donate $25 million in 2016

Paula Del Nunzio, the listing agent with Brown Harris Stevens, said the owner will donate the proceeds from the sale to charity. Mr. Spector declined to comment.

In a luxury market where townhouses are increasingly being combined to create massive homes, this building, known as the Milbank mansion, was ahead of the curve.

In 1919, the businessman Jeremiah Milbank combined the buildings at Nos. 11 and 13 West 10th Street to create the almost 55-foot-wide spread. The average width of Manhattan townhouses that sold in 2018 was 21 feet, Mr. Miller said.

Until 1994, the building was home to the Ladies Christian Union, which provided young businesswomen with rooms by the week and fed them twice a day. Mr. Milbank was also responsible for creating the double-wide mansion on the Upper East Side that sold for a record $77.1 million.

The home includes a formal dining room that seats 25, a 2,000-bottle wine room, an elevator, a third-floor gym with a terrace, a home theater, a double-height library, five guest bedrooms , a staff apartment and a master suite. The L-shaped mansion is flanked by private outdoor space and the glassy rear facade overlooks the gardens.

The property is returning to a soft luxury market. There were 36 townhouse sales in Manhattan in the third quarter, down 33 percent from the same period last year, Mr. Miller said. And the average sale price on a square-foot basis was down 20 percent, falling to $1,370 a square foot from $1,720 a square foot.

But the mansion benefits from both its width and recent renovations, said Ms. Del Nunzio.

“You don’t have to wait five years before you live here,” she said, referring to a number of townhouse combinations — and costly renovations — that are taking place nearby.

On the same street, Sean Parker, a founder of Napster and the former president of Facebook, paid $58.5 million for three adjacent townhouses with the intention of reconfiguring them.

An influx of tech money to the area could also work in the seller’s favor. Last year Facebook expanded its office space in nearby NoHo, and Amazon recently announced that it would lease space for more than 1,500 employees in Hudson Yards.

“I know some people are saying the townhouse market is off,” said Donna Olshan, the president of Olshan Realty, which publishes a weekly report on the $4-million-and-up residential market. “But when the price is right, it moves.”

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