Two grand Upper East Side co-ops are being put on the market in tandem with the hope that a buyer will nab both and return them to their unified duplex glory, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The co-ops at the posh Rosario Candela-designed 720 Park Avenue, built as a single massive duplex, were formerly occupied by Jesse Isidor Straus, the heir of R.H. Macy & Co. According to Andrew Alpern’s Luxury Apartment Houses of Manhattan, Straus’s home had “a 40-foot entrance gallery, a 36-foot library, separate wine and vegetable closet, a valeting room, a sewing room, and a kitchen larger than most modern living rooms.”
The apartments are being offered for a combined $43 million, though in separate listings. (So far, only the 11-room 12A has appeared on the market with Serena Boardman at Sotheby’s seeking $20 million.) To sweeten the pot, Boardman tapped lauded traditional architect Peter Pennoyer to draw up plans to recombine the two apartments, owned by the estate of the late Nanette Ross and philanthropist Emily Fisher Landau.
According to the Journal, Pennoyer pins the cost of rejoining the apartments into a roughly eight-bedroom spread at $1,000 per square foot, “factoring in all the costs of construction and design.” (It’s unclear how many square feet the joint co-ops would cover.)
The massive co-op was divided in two shortly after the death of Straus’s wife Irma in 1970, a time when New York’s economy was not at its best. It was asking $500,000, or $3 million in today’s dollars. “It was a huge duplex at a time when the city’s economy wasn’t in good shape,” Alpern told the Journal. “Even very wealthy people were hesitant to take on financial commitments of this size.”
While the apartments can be purchased together to recreate the expansive duplex, they are also being offered individually. Ross’s apartment, on the market with Sotheby’s, is seeking $20 million while Landau’s apartment is asking $23 million.