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China Institute Wants Tycoon To Pay $32M For Its UES Mansion

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As the Qatari consulate moves into the Upper East Side with an epically expensive townhouse buy, a Chinese cultural institution is abandoning its own mansion, dropping it on the market for $32 million. The Journal reports that the China Institute in America, which has operated out of a 35-foot-wide, Federal-style townhouse at 125 East 65th Street since 1944, is relocating downtown to a larger space at 40 Rector Street.

That means that the handsome wood-paneled manse—built in 1905 by prolific architect Charles A. Platt—is up for grabs. The listing is officially live, complete with photos, and the WSJ says the house has "considerable original detail, from a curved main staircase with a decorative iron railing to a library with an exposed wood beam ceiling and paneled walls." A possible conversion to a grand single-family home is touted, with brokerbabble like "the manse offers the ultimate in discretion and luxury for the well-heeled tycoon" as it "awaits a discerning purchaser who desires the ultimate, gracious and grand New York manse."

There's about 9,000 square feet of interior space, with 18 rooms across four stories (though the building is six floors total), and a 1,050-square-foot rock garden, though the Institute might take the latter with them to FiDi. The broker for the sale is Corcoran's Carrie Chiang, notable because she also sold the Wildenstein manse on 64th Street to Qatar for some $90 million. Though that single-family conversion seems coveted, it's also being marketed as "uniquely suited for a school, private club, diplomatic residence or institution." The Institute isn't the first organization to capitalize on the white-hot market for townhouses and other properties right now; on East 88th Street, the Children's Aid Society is selling off their Rhinelander Children's Center as a possible $20 million single-family conversion.
· Listing: 125 East 65th Street [Corcoran]
· China Institute to Move to Lower Manhattan [WSJ]
· Qatar To Buy UES House In What May Be NY's Priciest Townhouse Sale Ever [Curbed]
· UES Kids' Center Seeks Buyer With $20M For Big Conversion [Curbed]