California is often thought of as the star-struck state, but there are a dazzling number of celebrities that live in NYC as well. As opposed to the glamour of show biz, New York City has always been seen as the place you go to “make it big” in business, Broadway, or song and dance. And for marquee names ranging from Bette Midler to Madonna, Manhattan is where they achieved their success. However, there are also stars of the silver screen that have made New York their home, drawn by the allure of status and security you can only find in Manhattan real estate.
Taking a look on the map of the stars homes in Manhattan it’s possible to point out film legends such as Paul Newman, who had lived just off the park, near Bette Midler, on East 93rd. Tom Hanks has made his home on East 79th Street in the UES. Martin Scorsese lives a few blocks from Spike Lee on E. 62nd. While Steve Martin, Steven Spielberg and Bono share the same address overlooking the park on West 74th Street.
Throughout the storied history of New York City, there have been addresses that have become as iconic as their famous inhabitants. The Apthorp building on 2207 Broadway was built in the form of an Italian Palazzo in Florence, the Piti Palace, and is the size of a city block. Over the years it has had famous tenants including Conan O'Brien, Kate Nelligan, Rosie O'Donnell and Al Pacino. The Apthorp has undergone a gut renovation and is now a condo with units starting in the $2,000 per square foot range. The Dakota building on 1 West 72nd Street was the famous home of Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, Maury Povich, and most notoriously, John Lennon. This was where he was shot and killed in 1980. Yoko Ono still lives there, and across the street is Strawberry Fields in Central Park, where there is a shrine to the Beatles legend.
And of course, we cannot forget to mention the most desirable address in Manhattan, the uber luxury condo building 15 Central Park West. Noted residents that currently are living (or lived) at 15 CPW are: Robert De Niro, Sting, Alex Rodriguez (now living with Jennifer Lopez at 432 Park Avenue), Denzel Washington, Bob Costas, Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs' CEO), steel magnate Leroy Schecter, Sandy Weill (the former Citigroup CEO) and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
There are advantages to having a celebrity in your neighborhood, or the spirit of one in your halls. Their prestige rubs off on your real estate. It becomes a conversation piece, a status symbol, and it reflects on the resale value of the property. To be sharing the same sidewalks with famous Hollywood icons is the kind of promise that sells Manhattan real estate as much as a view, or proximity to Central Park. Not to mention there is always the chance of meeting a star at the coffee shop like I did a couple years ago. While going over some lisitings with a client at the Starbucks on 81st & Columbus Avenue, suddenly UWS's resident & Oscar-winner Diane Keaton asked me if she could share a table with with us. Of course I said yes while telling her that the conversation may be too boring but she said something like: "please carry on, New York real estate seems to be part of anyone's conversation these days".