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Antonio Versace Rents In The Forward Building, Sells In Soho

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Antonio Versace, one of several heirs to his uncle's fashion fortune, is making moves in the downtown real estate market. The Post reports that the wealthy bachelor recently signed a $9,000/month lease for the penthouse in East Broadway's Forward Building. The recently renovated 1,330-square-foot unit has two-bedrooms (although one is quite small), two-bathrooms, and a gas fireplace. The renovation installed some interesting design features, like a tin ceiling in the kitchen, blue upholstered walls in the bedroom, and, oddly, steel and glass French doors leading to the bedrooms. There's also an original wall painting by the artist Jordan Betten. So is this place better than the condo that Versace sold?

In 2009, Versace picked up a 2BR/2BA condo at the seven-unit building 44 Mercer Street for $2.44 million. He's now in contract to sell the place for $3.35 million, which is not a bad return considering he didn't do anything to the place. The unit has floor-to-ceiling windows, dark wood floors, an open kitchen, a gas fireplace, and a patio off the bedrooms. Any theories on why Versace went from owning to renting? Which place do you prefer?
Poll results

· Fashion Forward [NYP]
· Listing: Forward Building, #10A [Town via StreetEasy]
· 44 Mercer Street, 3 [Elliman via StreetEasy]

Forward Building

175 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002