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A Frankenmansion Sets a New Downtown Record

The exterior of the conjoined townhouses at 138–140 W. 11th Street. Photo: Google Maps

The downtown townhouse market has hit a new record. A double-wide townhouse, a Frankenmansion at 138–140 West 11th Street in Greenwich Village, sold for $72.5 million in an off-market deal, The Wall Street Journal first reported. Just a decade ago, the building was an 11-unit multifamily that sold for $19.2 million. Now, it’s going to be a single-family pied-à-terre.

The seller is Dexter Goei, the former chief executive officer of telecom company Altice, who paid $30.6 million for the nearly 12,000-square-foot property in 2016. The two townhouses had long ago been combined into a multifamily rental building; the property developers who bought the building in 2014 vacated it and planned to turn it back into two townhouses, but received multiple unsolicited offers from buyers who wanted to turn it into a single-family home. Goei prevailed, paying what was about the going rate for a Greenwich Village Frankenmansion in the making at the time — Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick paid $34.5 million for adjoining townhouses on another block of West 11th the same year. In 2014 and 2015, Chipotle founder Steve Ells paid $32.5 million for two townhouses, also on West 11th. Sean Parker, meanwhile, spent $58.5 million for his townhouses on West 10th Street, but he bought three of them.

So far, however, none of these renovated megamansions have come to market. (Although Mets owner Steve Cohen was rumored to be shopping around his very un–West Villagey bunker on Washington Street for $150 million.) Now that Goei’s mansion has sold, there’s finally a comp in the neighborhood. It’s not quite as high as what Tal Alexander, co-founder of luxury brokerage Official, estimated in the spring, when he told Curbed that some of the megamansions would command “in the $100 million-plus price point,” but it’s not that far off, either.

The sale of 138–140 West 11th far surpasses downtown’s existing townhouse record — a $58.5 million purchase in 2016 — and is not far behind the Manhattan townhouse record of $77.1 million, set in 2019 for a sale on the Upper East Side, according to the Journal. (A commercial townhouse, also on the Upper East Side, traded for $90 million in 2018. And that was a fixer-upper, no less, according to the New York Post.)

When this West 11th mansion sold in 2014, the broker told The Real Deal that it was configured as a 5,400-square-foot owners’ duplex and ten other, mostly one-bedroom, apartments, two of them rent-stabilized. The property was in terrible shape, with holes in the ceiling and bad water damage. “It’s beyond amazing that people even live there,” the broker said at the time. “It’s literally scary having to show the place.”

So who will be using this presumably very nicely fixed up, 12,000-square-foot mansion, as a pied-à-terre? The unidentified owners, the broker told The Wall Street Journal, are a retired couple from out of state.

A Frankenmansion Sets a New Downtown Record