For years, gaudy Midtown East co-op River House's strategy for staying out of the spotlight has simply been keeping its lips tightly sealed. Using the building's address (435 East 52nd Street) or name is strictly verboten in brokers' listings for the place. But secrecy means doodly-squat, the Observer's Dana Rubinstein says, for a building like River House, because it has seen better days. Ruh-roh! The evidence: the neighborhood is boring and prospective buyers would rather just live in condos. Worst of all, the building's most expensive sale took place in the better market of nine years ago and still only rang up at $12.25 million. Chump change! The Observer decrees: "In the era of $26 million sales at the newer 15 CPW and $14 million transactions at Superior Ink, that is, dare we say, kind of pathetic." Does that mean it's time for every building not designed by Robert A.M. Stern to just take its ball and go home?
· The Has-Been [NYO]