Earlier this year, photographer Albert Watson's longtime live/work townhouse at 777 Washington Street was torn down to build a new house for the property's buyer, a hedgie who paid a staggering $34 million in 2008. To some this was a tragedy, but to the owners of the Pro Piano showroom across the street at 85-89 Jane Street, it was inspirational! The ivory ticklers, who have owned the historic low-rise warehouse and its adjacent garage since 1985, have put the buildings on the market for $35 million and are seeking the same sort of mansion-hunting madman.
Josh Barbanel had the story over the weekend, and the same broker who sold 777 Washington has the listing here. According to Peter McCuen (also Palazzo Chupi's broker, by the way), a deal will probably depend on whether the Landmarks Preservation Commission will allow the buildings to be demolished and rebuilt as a larger structure, which seems like a stretch unless Norah Jones is somehow involved. The piano place was recently used as the showroom for the Superior Ink condos, so it's not the first time the siren call of the Far West Village luxury real estate world has put the buildings' owners under a spell. Which piano standard will make for a fitting soundtrack if the wrecking ball arrives? All we know is "Chopsticks," which doesn't seem to fit the occasion.
· Leaving on a High Note [NYT]
· The $34 Million West Village Teardown [Curbed]