West Village Townhouse On Charles Street Hits The Market For Nearly $50 Million

As properties go, this three-story building is a jewel for a well-healed buyer.

By Jeff Vasishta February 27, 2017
Image courtesy of Dolly Lenz Real Estate

Purchase price—$17 million, sales price—$49.95 million. How’s this for a flip?

OK, so there is a nine-year gap between the buying and potential sale of the 13,238-square-foot West Village mansion on Charles Street. But as properties go, it’s a jewel for a well-healed buyer. The three-story building is currently configured as two floors of office space and two rental units. But the property, though in a historic district, is not itself landmarked, so it can be converted a one-family behemoth, says Dolly Lenz, chief executive of the brokerage Dolly Lenz Real Estate, which is handling the sale.

“So far, there are varied interests,” Ms. Lenz told Mansion Global. “Some potential buyers want to create a mega-mansion, some want to merge the rental units into a penthouse, still others might keep the current configurations.”

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The trend among the wealthy is to combine separate units into massive urban playpens. Manhattan real estate, despite a recent hiccup after years of unbridled growth, continues to be a safe place for high rollers to park their cash. For example, singer and actor Justin Timberlake was recently said to have toured a smaller penthouse in the area.

The building has an artistic past. It  was built in 1911 for William H. Woolverton, president of American Railway Supply Co. Then the building became a gallery and urban hideaway for automotive heir and avid art collector Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. in 1965. He sold the townhouse in 1973, according to property records. Painter and print maker Jennifer Bartlett moved into the townhouse in 1989 and resided there for two decades. Ms. Bartlett received wide acclaim for monumental installations such as “Rhapsody”  which is now part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

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Converting properties into mega mansions, particularly in the West Village, can be a contentious issue. The reported billionaire owner of 85-89 Jane St, Jon Stryker, discovered it all too well in the summer, when a landmarks commission couldn’t green light a conversion. However, in that case, there was significant construction and additions involved. When a multi-unit building is being converted to single family, without significant change to the size or exterior, a permit is usually granted.

Comps for the Charles Street property shouldn’t be an issue, either. Another townhouse on Christopher Street changed hands for $45 million in 2014. It is now being gutted, according to the ubiquitous Ms. Lenz, who at the time represented the seller, New York Foundling, a foster and child-care agency.





Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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