Soho triplex on the market for $88m

In a nod to the building's manufacturing past, industrial elements, such as steel in the skylights, have been incorporated into the penthouse over the years.
In a nod to the building's manufacturing past, industrial elements, such as steel in the skylights, have been incorporated into the penthouse over the years.PHOTO: NYTIMES

Penthouse unit of about 740 sq m, in the building where actor Heath Ledger died, boasts an extensive transformation

NEW YORK • A rambling, meticulously renovated triplex atop 419-421 Broome Street, the 19th-century cast-iron building in Soho, Manhattan, where actor Heath Ledger had been renting a loft when he died 10 years ago, is returning to the market.

The asking price for this penthouse, near Crosby Street in the Soho-Cast Iron Historic District Extension, is US$65 million (S$88 million), according to Mr Shaun Osher, chief executive of Core.

He is listing the property with Ms Emily Beare, also of Core, along with Mr J. Eric Becker of the Corcoran Group.

Mr David Matlin, a distressed asset investor, and his wife, Mrs Lisa Matlin, who once owned a clothing and gift boutique with actress Phoebe Cates, bought the apartment, which encompasses the fifth to seventh floors, for US$17.8 million in April 2011.

They spent far more time on renovations, however, than actually living there. And now, as almost empty nesters with their daughter recently graduating from college, they are looking to downsize.

Mrs Matlin, who is a Broadway producer and hoping to move elsewhere in Soho, said the apartment was too big for just her and her husband.

For more than four years, the couple had worked to transform the unit through gut renovations into a vertical mansion, with amenities and finishes resembling those of a five-star hotel (hot tub and dumbwaiters included).

The Matlins painstakingly selected wood, stone and other adornments. They chose Dinesen oak for floors and panelling, Statuary marble from Italy's Carrara region for the bathrooms and honed black granite and tiles from Franz Mayer of Germany for the kitchen, among the many finishes.

Industrial elements were also incorporated, in a nod to the building's manufacturing past, with the use of metals such as steel in the doors and skylights and La Forge de Style bronze in the railing along the cantilevered black marble staircase from Chesneys.

The apartment was also configured to have an open, loft-like flow with lots of light from the oversized windows and skylights and ready access to the six irrigated and landscaped terraces.

Mrs Matlin, who had spearheaded the renovations and even made trips to Italy for the marble, said the apartment was a great place for entertaining.

The home is about 740 sq m, with three bedrooms and five full and two half baths, though there are several rooms that could be converted into additional bedrooms.

There is outdoor space on all levels, totalling 350 sq m, including an unfinished roof, where there is an additional en-suite bedroom with a built-in bed designated as staff quarters.

The apartment also comes with cedar-lined storage in the basement, two parking spots and other modern conveniences, such as a Crestron home automation system.

Each of the three floors has a private elevator landing with a connecting dumbwaiter, allowing the Matlin family and their guests to easily transport food, towels and other items between floors. And every room has a window.

If this apartment sells for its US$65-million asking price, it would break the record for most expensive single residential sale in downtown Manhattan.

The building at 419-421 Broome Street has four residences and an art gallery on the ground floor. It was built in 1873 and designed by American architect Griffith Thomas, whose work included the New York Life Insurance Building.

Ledger, the actor, had rented a 408 sq m loft on the fourth floor, paying about US$25,000 a month. It was in his bedroom there that he was found dead in January 2008 of an accidental drug overdose.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2018, with the headline 'Soho triplex on the market for $88m'. Print Edition | Subscribe