The Manhattan Home of an Iranian Princess Finally Sells

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The Midtown mansion that was a longtime home of Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, twin sister of Iran’s last shah, finally closed in August after several years on the market and some legal wrangling. The sale price was $11.5 million, a hefty discount from its nearly $50 million initial price tag.

The stately building, at 29 Beekman Place, situated on a tree-lined enclave with striking East River views, had been in bankruptcy proceedings. It was also the subject of lawsuits by staff and family members against the company that managed the assets of the princess, who died in 2016 at the age of 96.

Credit…Associated Press

The most expensive transactions in New York City in August were also in Midtown. Four more units at 220 Central Park South closed. The priciest, at $61 million, encompasses the 70th floor of the main tower. At the adjacent 18-story villa building, there were three purchases, including a duplex on the 11th and 12th floors that sold for $49 million. All went into contract before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Among the month’s other noteworthy transactions, an Upper East Side townhouse on East 78th Street that had also lingered on the market for a few years found a buyer. Also, Susan White Morrissey, founder of the White + Warren cashmere company, bought a Central Park West co-op, and Robin S. Weingast, who runs an employee benefits firm, bought an Upper East Side co-op.

The estate of Robby Browne, a top real estate broker at the Corcoran Group who died of Covid-19 in April, sold one of his investment properties — a one-bedroom apartment at 25 Central Park West, where he had lived in a two-bedroom on an upper floor for many years. The price was $1.25 million. The estate also sold a ground-floor staff/storage unit in the building for $225,000.

The Beekman Place mansion, just a few blocks from the United Nations, was built in 1934 for William S. Paley, who ran CBS for several decades. Princess Ashraf acquired it in 1975, four years before her brother, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was deposed in Iran. (She also bought neighboring 31 Beekman Place.)

The home, which was sold through the Wansdown Properties Corporation, had been on and off the market since 2014. Its most recent list price was $11.45 million.

The seven-story, limestone and brick structure has 12,260 square feet, including 10 bedrooms and nine bathrooms, eight wood-burning fireplaces, a wine cellar and a solarium, according to the listing with Compass. There are also about 1,500 square feet of outdoor space, including three terraces — off the formal dining room, the main bedroom suite on the third floor, and a sixth-floor office.

Although the home has been updated, many prewar architectural flourishes remain, like the wood paneling and floors, ornate moldings and high ceilings.

The new owner is an entity linked to Finkelstein Timberger East Real Estate, a Scarsdale, N.Y., company with a portfolio of apartments in the Bronx.

Last September, an anonymous buyer had agreed to buy the house for $10.3 million, according to federal bankruptcy court filings, but that deal fell through.

ImageThe house at 20 East 78th Street, which sold for $18.8 million, has a sophisticated security system that features a vault-like panic room.
Credit…September Dawn Bottoms/The New York Times

The other notable townhouse closing was an 1866 building at 20 East 78th Street, about a block from Central Park, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The house sold for $18.8 million, four years after first being listed for $38 million, and more recently, for $24.9 million.

The sellers, the hedge fund manager Michael Price and his wife, Jennifer Price, had purchased the home from the socialite Pia Getty in 2003 for $14 million.

The red brick and limestone building, five stories high and 25 feet wide, has 8,760 square feet, with eight bedrooms and eight and a half baths, as well as a landscaped garden off a conservatory and a terrace on the fourth floor. The main bedroom suite takes up the third floor and features two bathrooms, four walk-in closets and a study.

Throughout the home are rich architectural details, among them three wood-burning fireplaces, hand-carved millwork and high coffered ceilings.

The new owner, identified in property records as Masileste L.L.C., also gets a wine cellar, gym and a security system that features a vault-like panic room.

Credit…Kate Glicksberg for The New York Times

At 220 Central Park South, the 70th-floor aerie, which extends 5,935 square feet, has four bedrooms, five full baths and two powder rooms, according to the building’s latest offering plan. It also comes with two 48-square-foot balconies providing panoramic views of the park and beyond.

The anonymous buyer used the limited liability company 220 CPS NY.

The duplex villa has 4,820 square feet, with three bedrooms, four full baths and a powder room, along with 1,685 square feet of outdoor space. Its monthly carrying costs total $20,817, according to the Corcoran listing. The buyer, using the limited liability company CPS Realty Partners, also picked up a 388-square-foot studio on the 19th floor of the tower for nearly $1.4 million.

Full-floor villa apartments on the seventh and third floors sold for $40.7 million and $30.5 million. Both have 4,896 square feet, with five bedrooms and six and a half baths. They also have outside space — 96 square feet on the seventh floor and 116 on the third. The buyers’ identities were shielded by limited liability companies, 220CPSV710019 and 220 Villa 3.

The limestone complex at 220 Central Park South, near Columbus Circle, set a national record last year for the most expensive single residence when the hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin paid nearly $240 million for four unfinished floors in the tower.

In the top co-op sales, Ms. Morrissey, along with Ronald D. McCray, paid $5.7 million for a park-facing apartment at 239 Central Park West. The sellers were listed as Michael and Chinita Hard. The unit has three bedrooms and three and a half baths. There is also a wood-burning fireplace, central air-conditioning and something most New Yorkers covet: a washer/dryer.

Ms. Morrissey is the chief executive of White + Warren, which she started in 1997.

A co-op at 710 Park Avenue, near 70th Street, was purchased by Ms. Weingast, who runs an employee benefits firm that bears her name, and Claire M. Zeppieri for nearly $6 million in an estate sale. The unit has three bedrooms and three and a half baths, as well as park views.

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