Tech entrepreneur behind record-breaking $22.5M Chelsea townhouse sale

You read that right. A trust managed by Luis von Ahn, the reCAPTCHA inventor and Duolingo co-founder, is the buyer behind the record-breaking, $22.5 million townhouse sale in Chelsea. The five-level, 7,000-square-foot mansion was sold by Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz’s Sterling Equities in November. Von Ahn developed reCAPTCHA while teaching computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. The omnipresent program generates the squiggly words websites use to confirm users are human. Von Ahn sold it

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Sterling Equities’ $22M Chelsea townhouse sale claims neighborhood record

A renovated 19th-century townhouse sold by Sterling Equities has reportedly broken a Chelsea record. The home at 334 West 20th Street sold for $22.5 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The sale price came in underneath the March listing price of $25 million. Nevertheless, the sale easily set the record for most expensive townhouse sold in Chelsea. The previous record was a $16.25 million sale in 2014, Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Real Estate

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Biometric screener CLEAR grabs 120K sf at Vornado’s 85 Tenth Ave

The company that maintains a ubiquitous presence at airport security points has been cleared for landing on the High Line. Biometric screener CLEAR is leasing 120,000 square feet across two floors at Vornado Realty Trust’s 85 Tenth Avenue, according to the Commercial Observer. The company will relocate from Blackstone’s Park Avenue Tower at 65 East 55th Street in October 2022. TRD contributor Lois Weiss first broke the news on Twitter. During its 15-year lease, CLEAR

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Appellate court kills Maverick’s Chelsea foreclosure bid

 After three years of lawsuits, Maverick Real Estate Partners appears to have failed in its quest to foreclose on a Chelsea apartment building, whose elderly owner — a Holocaust survivor — buckled down and fought back. On Thursday morning, a panel of five Appellate Division judges rejected Maverick’s appeal of two lower court decisions, effectively ending its foreclosure bid. Andreas Steiner, the owner of the building at 416 West 25th Street, now plans to pay

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Greystar eyes $250M for Chelsea apartments

One of the country’s biggest apartment landlords is testing the appetite for the kinds of high-end buildings that got hit hard when renters fled Manhattan at the height of the pandemic. Greystar Real Estate Partners aims to sell its 18-story rental building at 160 West 24th Street in Chelsea with a price tag of about $250 million, sources told The Real Deal. All 204 units in the building are market-rate, making the listing a test

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eXp exec buys Zaha Hadid-designed Chelsea condo for $12M

It’s been a good year for virtual brokerage eXp Realty, and one of its parent company’s top executives is cashing in. Randall Miles, vice chair of eXp World Holdings, and his wife Karen picked up a condo at 520 West 28th Street for $12 million, or $3,000 per square foot, property records show. Miles went into contract on the West Chelsea property in April, according to property records. The 4,023-square-foot home overlooking the High Line

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A NoMad rental for $363 a month — courtesy of Loft Law

How to nab a NoMad loft for less than $400 a month? Suss out a loophole in the city’s arcane Loft Law. A complaint filed Tuesday alleges that Christopher Gelinas — the second-floor tenant of a loft building at 35 West 26th Street — was charged $4,000 a month more than he should have been for an apartment with a stabilized rent of $363. The discrepancy dates back to the early 1980s. The property, likely

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Maverick denied yet again in battle over Chelsea rental

They were certainly preying for a different outcome. On Monday, a judge ruled yet again against Maverick Real Estate Partners in its quest to foreclose on one of its borrowers. For three years, the distressed debt firm led by David Aviram has been battling Andreas Steiner, the owner of a five-story rental building at 416 West 25th Street, alleging various breaches of contract. But the latest ruling against the firm sides overwhelmingly with Steiner, leaving

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At wits’ end over stalled project, “Skybox Chelsea” developer sues partner

A legal dispute blocking development of one of the last empty lots in West Chelsea has taken a dramatic twist. After six years in court, mired in discovery and docket filings, Israeli financier Jonathan Leitersdorf appears ready to walk away from his long-planned development at 182-188 11th Avenue. But he doesn’t plan on leaving empty-handed. The Leitersdorf company that signed an 88-year ground lease for the property, Audthan LLC, is now suing its landlord for

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From suits to costumes: Former Barneys on Seventh Avenue to be Spirit Halloween

Barneys New York shoppers are in for a fright next time they try to go to the former luxury department store. Spirit Halloween will be moving into the location soon for at least the season, according to Curbed. The store at 101 Seventh Avenue has been sitting vacant for almost two years. Barneys was at the 101 Seventh Avenue location from 2016 to 2019, when the company went into bankruptcy. The brand was eventually sold

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