Celebrity Real Estate Roundup Condo and Co-op Activity Among NYC's Rich and Famous

Matt Damon (Miguel Angel Azua Garcia, via WilkiMedia Commons]

Entertainment journalists have long claimed that the rich and famous are just like “us” (plebs) because they do things like wear sweatpants or walk their dogs. Well, it turns out that there is at least a third commonality between the showbiz elites and commoners, as celebrities also engage in various condo- and co-op-related affairs. We have rounded up but a few from the past several months below; we're sure everyone reading can relate! 

Earlier this year, actor Matt Damon purchased the single-most expensive condominium unit in Brooklyn at what used to be the Standish Arms Hotel in Brooklyn Heights. For a substantial $16.75 million, the star of such films as Good Will Hunting and The Martian acquired a six-bedroom penthouse with Austrian white oak flooring, master baths with mosaic tiles, and Italian Carrara marble slab kitchen countertops. Amenities in the building include a fitness center with yoga studio, children’s playroom and bike storage. And speaking of the Standish, celebrity husband-and-wife John Krasinski and Emily Blunt made a splash themselves when they bought two units that make up an entire floor in the same building. Their price: $11 million.

Another famous couple -- Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel -- sold their 2,598-square-foot, three-bedroom/three-and-a-half bathroom SoHo penthouse for reportedly $6.35 million. The two previously listed the apartment, highlights of which include oak floorboards, city views and glass curtain walls, for almost $8 million.

Meanwhile, legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who recently turned 75, sold his three-bed/four-bath penthouse duplex in Greenwich Village last September for $9 million -- a loss considering the $12.23 million purchase price he paid for the co-op. Similarly, guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy of the Norwegian pop band A-ha (best known for the ‘80s hit “Take on Me”) and his wife also sold their four-bedroom/four-and-half-bath unit in a pre-war building at 42 Wooster St. for a cool $9 million.

Given his reputation, Samuel L. Jackson might be letting out some celebratory swears once he unloads his 3,000-square-foot condo at The Leonori on the Upper East Side. The star of the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan movie Glass is looking to sell the pad (which he purchased in 2005 for $4.8 million) for $13 million -- a considerable markup. The multi-unit combo condo housed in a 12-story Beaux-Arts-style building on the corner of Madison Avenue and East 63rd offers four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths.

Three-time Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep listed a four-bed/five-bath condo at River Lofts in TriBeCa for $24.6 million last summer. The penthouse unit is surrounded on three sides by a 10-foot-wide terrace overlooking the Hudson River and some of that famous skyline we all know and love.

Girls actress and writer Lena Dunham put her never-lived-in Williamsburg condo, located at the one-time Gretsch musical instrument factory, on the market for $3 million after buying it in April 2018 for slightly less at $2.9 million. She is said to have fled Brooklyn for greener pastures in the West Village.

Finally, Madonna has been embroiled in a dust-up at her Upper West Side co-op for a number of years over whether she must be physically present while her staff or family members remain in her unit. The singer believes that she does not, while the co-op board has long disagreed. Last November, Judge Gerald Lebovits sided with the co-op, but Madonna will not be deterred, as she is currently appealing to a higher court. Thus far, this legal battle has lasted as long as the time between her studio album releases of True Blue in 1986 and the iconic Like a Prayer in 1989.

Mike Odenthal is a staff writer at The Cooperator.

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