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Yo Duke, Are You Gonna Go His Way?

The action is heating up on the Duke Semans mansion, the 20,000sf, eight-story townhouse on Fifth Avenue that's been on and off the market for a modest $50 million. Given the property's tenuous history of late, we'll take Motoko Rich's news that Lenny Kravitz?Lenny Kravitz!?is in negotiations on the mansion with a grain of salt (there have been three previous offers). We're far more interested in the details revealed in the story, such as the procedure involved to actually get a look at the place?which experts say will need an additional $10 million in renovations to convert back to a single-family residence:

On initial showings, Ms. Baum said, buyers are allowed to see only the first five floors of the property. Only the three buyers who have made offers have been allowed to see the penthouse floors, and even then, the brokers are not allowed to accompany the buyers.No word if Kravitz, who has seen the propety twice, was able to give the "facilities" a test run. You could say he's learned his lesson on that.
· A $50 Million Price Tag, and Still a Fixer-Upper? [NYTimes]
· Listing: 1009 Fifth Avenue [Corcoran]
· On the Market: $50 Million on Fifth Ave. [Curbed]