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53 East 77th Street, #TH (Nest Seekers LLC) 53 East 77th Street, #TH (Nest Seekers LLC)
Memorial Day weekend marks the traditional start of summer, a time when the Manhattan market traditionally cools. But for the week of May 20-26, 2024, leading up to the holiday, the ultra-luxury market seemed to be on a hot streak: CityRealty data shows that several units priced over $10 million went into contract, which couldn't help but drive up the aggregate total by last asking price. Moreover, while townhouses make frequent appearances among Manhattan's top ten luxury contracts, last week makes the first time in 2024 that one has had the highest asking price.
53 East 77th Street had the week’s most expensive contract with an asking price of $26,000,000, more than 25% down from the $35 million it was initially listed for in fall 2019. The buyer and their plans for the house have not been identified, but an extensive and colorful history shows that anything is possible for this house.

In this article:

135 East 15th Street
135 East 15th Street Gramercy Park
111 West 57th Street
111 West 57th Street Midtown West
515 Park Avenue
515 Park Avenue Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.
53 East 77th Street
53 East 77th Street Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.
432 Park Avenue
432 Park Avenue Midtown East
Period styled interiors at 53 East 77th Street (Nest Seekers)
53 East 77th Street dates back to 1901, when publisher/best-selling author Paul Ford designed it with architect Henry Rutgers Marshall for himself and his new wife, the daughter of a prominent Brooklyn family (h/t The New York Times). However, they were not able to enjoy it for long: Shortly after it was completed, Paul’s brother Malcolm Ford shot Paul and himself in the house over a dispute about their father’s will, and Paul's widow moved out a short time later.

In the 1920s, when banker/diplomat Joseph Kerrigan bought the Georgian-style house, he gave it a new brick front in the Spanish medieval style. His wife, Slater Mill heiress Esther Slater Welles, embarked on a massive interior renovation that included a custom wrought iron staircase; however, few of these features remain intact after former tenant Cello Music and Film System ("Cello") embarked on a gut renovation of the space in the mid-1980s.
The Kerrigans moved out in the 1940s following their divorce, and it was used as commercial offices ever since. In addition to Cello, previous tenants have included the Palestinian Resistance Fund, publisher Funk & Wagnalls, and the Standard Reference Works Publishing Company (h/t Daytonian in Manhattan). It also served as the Kips Bay Show House in 1987. Developer Harry Macklowe bought the house for $15.75 million in March 2006, but did not hold onto it for long – public records show that he sold it to antique furniture firm Dalva Brothers for $17,350,000.
Living room with coffered ceiling and terrace access A unit at 515 Park Avenue took the week's top apartment contract (Sotheby's International Realty)
The townhouse’s listing touts its proximity to Central Park, The Carlyle, and Madison Avenue, and the vast majority of the top apartment contracts took place in similarly rarefied areas. The top apartment contract and second-highest of the week, which was not far behind at $25,000,000, was for duplex unit #15/16 at Upper East Side condominium 515 Park Avenue.

The 6,514-square-foot home features an eat-in kitchen with breakfast room, a library/billiards room, a home theater, a dramatic staircase connecting both levels, and approximately 2,000 square feet of private terrace space overlooking Park Avenue. Moreover, the price includes a separate studio apartment on the third floor and a wine storage unit. Public records indicate that the unidentified sellers paid $21 million for it in spring 2006.
Almost directly to the west, a total of $54.75 million in contracts was signed across three full-floor units at super-skinny supertall 111 West 57th Street. The developers might have hoped for that price for one unit at one point, and a penthouse in the building is listed for $56 million, but competition has increased on Billionaires’ Row and throughout the city to the extent where several sponsor units experienced price reductions earlier this year. However, all three units still ranked comfortably among Manhattan's most expensive contracts.
378 West End Avenue
Also of note last week, Residence #7D at 378 West End Avenue entered contract with an asking price of $5,995,000. While well short of the week's top ten sales, it represents one of the final sponsor units at a well-appointed, amenity-rich condominium that rose to prominence thanks to such health-conscious features as advanced air and water filtration, direct elevator entry, and copper alloy door handles in common areas. With this contract, the building is 98% sold and the one sponsor unit remaining is a four-bedroom home asking $7,925,000.

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1289 Lexington Avenue, #15A (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

49 Greene Street, #2 (OFFICIAL)

336 De Graw Street, # (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

111 West 57th Street, #30 (Corcoran Group)

432 Park Avenue, #36A (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

135 East 15th Street, #NA (Corcoran Group)

111 West 57th Street, #65 (Corcoran Group)

111 West 57th Street, #56 (Corcoran Group)

515 Park Avenue, #15/16 (Sothebys International Realty)

53 East 77th Street, #NA (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)
Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Just complete the info below.
  1. Select which properties are of interest to you:

Or call us at (212) 755-5544
Would you like to tour any of these properties?