Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New York's priciest rental apartment !!! Rent This NYC Pad for $100,000 a Month

The pool at the building with $100,000 a month rent in Manhattan.
Photo: Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal

Step through the weathered front door of a 19th-century building on Lafayette Street in SoHo and you face a window of blue water—a view into the depths of a 39-foot-long swimming pool.

It is an unusually edgy entrance—crafted by a filmmaker who is a master of the horror movie—to what is currently the most expensive residential home for rent in Manhattan.

Slideshow: Private Properties for SalePrivate Properties for Sale

The huge loft-like, 13,000-square-foot townhouse went on the market Wednesday for $100,000 a month furnished, or $50,000 a week, or $20,000 a night for short stays.

The fourth floor living room.
Photo: Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal

The building, once a 19th century power station, was transformed into a downtown-style palatial-size home with some intentionally rough edges by director Marcus Nispel and his wife, Dyan, who bought the apartment in 1996 for $1.75 million.

Exterior of the building on Lafayette Street in Manhattan.
Photo: Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Nispel's films include remakes of famous horror movies, including "Friday the 13th," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Frankenstein." His latest major release was a new version of "Conan the Barbarian"last summer.

The Nispels now live mainly on the West Coast and have used the space as a New York pied-a-terre, renting it out for video-shoots and parties.

A 2008 Beyonce video of her song "Halo" was filmed at the house, in a vast 29-foot high living room, and in the pool as well, where Beyonce was filmed hovering underwater in a white dress. The video has been viewed 112 million times on YouTube.

The Nispels paid $1.75 million for the space in 1996. It was listed in city records as a warehouse, but it was used as an art gallery at the time. The couple finally obtained a certificate of occupancy for their renovated space in the fall of 2010, and have now decided to put it on the market.

"It took a long time to get everything up to code," said Steve Halpern, a broker with Citi Habitats, who has the listing. Mr. Halpern said he was only authorized to the say the building was "the New York home of a movie director and his family."

But Mr. Nispel's name appears in the property records, along with his wife's name. A basement corridor was lined with posters of his movies. He didn't respond to a request for comment.

The asking price is the most expensive residential rental listing in New York City, according to listings compiled by Streeteasy.com. This count doesn't include several large combined suites with hotel services listed at the Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue and East 50th Street. One 6,000-square-foot unit there is listed for $150,000 a month.

Who might be interested in this expensive rental? "It is not on Fifth Avenue, so you need someone with a funkier sensibility," said Bill Kowalczuk, a broker at Town Residential of the Lafayette Street house.

Margaret Bay, a broker at Brown Harris Stevens who lists the suites at the Waldorf, said the dramatic space on Lafayette Street would "probably be for some sort of celebrity."

The home has several unusual features.

The pool is eight-feet deep, and 12-feet wide, and has a window on one side and large portals on the other. The portals open out onto a guest room, with a spiral staircase, designed to evoke a submarine.

A round window that allows views of the pool's depths.
Photo: Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal

The living room has a large retractable movie screen and is illuminated with 13-foot high windows and two nautical lamps said to have been salvaged from a Staten Island Ferry boat.

There is also a 925-square-foot terrace and a dumb waiter next to the open industrial kitchen. An antique French fireplace mantel was installed in the living room, and carved stone sinks and floor tile in the bathroom were imported from a French monastery.

One drawback is that the 100-foot deep house has only three legal bedrooms, but it also has a number of other bedroom-like spaces for additional guests. The Certificate of Occupancy says that one occupant of the space must be a "certified artist," but brokers said this provision is rarely enforced.

"They wanted rough edges and still have that luxury feel to it," said Gary Malin, the president of CitiHabitats. "There is nothing like it on the market."

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