Olivier Sarkozy's Turtle Bay townhouse is listed at $ 11.5 million

After Olivier Sarkozy bought a terraced house in 226-228 49th Street East in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay neighborhood in April 2014, and sho...


After Olivier Sarkozy bought a terraced house in 226-228 49th Street East in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay neighborhood in April 2014, and shortly before her wedding Mary-kate olsen in November 2015, the couple launched what was supposed to be an ambitious top-to-bottom renovation.

But things did not go as planned. The renovation has stalled, the couple divorced earlier this year, and now Mr Sarkozy, a banker who is the half-brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is selling.

“They’ve never lived there,” said Michael Bolla, an agent for Sotheby’s International Realty who lists the property. He said Ms Olsen, the former actress and fashion designer who founded The Row with her twin sister, Ashley, is not the owner.

Credit…Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Apollo

“This is his home,” Bolla said. “He was the buyer, and he is the seller.

Still, at first, the couple used Ms. Olsen’s design contacts for the renovation. According to city records, the architect in office was Montalba Architects, the same company that designed The Row’s first flagship store in Los Angeles.

Mr Sarkozy bought the townhouse, which comprises some 8,700 square feet over five floors, from artist David Deutsch for $ 13.5 million, through a limited liability company. He is now asking for $ 11.5 million, Mr Bolla said, a remittance that reflects the unfinished state of the interior. (The annual property taxes are $ 101,870.)

“It is sold as is,” he said.

Much of it has been ripped off, though some of the house’s distinctive elements remain, including a living room with two fireplaces under a 22-foot-high, ornately decorated coffered ceiling. A rooftop pool and elevator have been removed, Mr Bolla said.

The townhouse, which has a historic past, backs onto Turtle Bay Gardens, a shared private oasis surrounded by townhouses on East 48th and East 49th Streets, between Second and Third Avenues, which together form the Historic District of Turtle Bay Gardens.

Mr Sarkozy’s townhouse once housed Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan (who changed her last name to Martin after remarrying in 1921), who established the gardens after purchasing a group of 21 townhouses in 1919 with the vision of cultivating a sumptuous common courtyard.

“She came up with this idea, chatting with some of her wealthy friends at the Ritz-Carlton over tea, to form a group that would rehabilitate and renovate the townhouses together and create a community,” Andrew said. S. Dolkart, professor. of Historic Preservation at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. “It didn’t really work out, so she decided to do it on her own.”

After purchasing the townhouses, she hired architects Edward C. Dean and William Lawrence Bottomley to renovate them all. Everyone was different, but along East 48th Street, architects designed new façades in Georgian style; along East 49th Street, the facades had a more Flemish style.

Behind the houses, the last six feet of each yard were used to establish a 12-foot-wide shared promenade for the gardens, which have fountains and lush plantings. Low walls were built to delimit private gardens without blocking lines of sight.

Ms. Martin kept 226-228 East 49th Street as her own home and sold most of the other homes after construction was completed in 1921. “She sold the homes at cost,” said Pamela Hanlon, the author of “Manhattan’s Turtle Bay: Story of a Midtown Neighborhood”, with the exception of four units she originally rented.

“They immediately attracted very artistic people,” Ms. Hanlon said. “Writers, personalities from the theater, as well as some prominent lawyers. “

Over the years, residents have included author EB White, actress Katharine Hepburn, composer Stephen Sondheim, journalist Dorothy Thompson, playwright and director Garson Kanin, and book editor Maxwell Perkins, who worked with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

A willow tree that has long grown in the gardens of Turtle Bay was immortalized by Mr. White at the conclusion of his 1949 book, “Here Is New York”, in which he wrote about “a threshed, long-suffering tree and very climbed, held by strands of thread ”, as a symbol of the resilience of the city.

This tree was reduced in 2009, but the restrictions that Ms. Martin originally placed on the properties to create the gardens remain largely, having been renewed by the owners of the townhouses on each expiration.

These restrictions keep the 12-foot-wide walkway, prevent the construction of high walls and fences, prohibit kitchens from facing gardens, require vents to be routed through the roof or the front of each building, and prohibit drying clothes or storing garbage cans behind the houses.

The owners share the cost of maintaining the promenade and the common gardens. The fee for 226-228 East 49th Street is $ 3,200 per year, Mr Bolla said, paid quarterly.

Although the townhouse is not ready to move in, it could be turned into a gorgeous single or two-family home, Bolla insisted: “She’s looking for her next matriarch.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Olivier Sarkozy's Turtle Bay townhouse is listed at $ 11.5 million
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