Breaking News

Coveted National Arts Club apartments coming to rental market

By Linda O’Flanagan

Some of the most coveted apartments on Gramercy Park are about to come to the rental market for the first time ever.

Dianne Bernhard, the new president of the beleaguered National Arts Club, said 10 vacant apartments in the historic property are being prepped for new tenants.

And, if they play their cards right, the club could pocket $100 per s/f for the units — or around $80,000 a year.

“If the apartments are renovated right and have a view of the park, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t rent for $90 to $100 a foot,” said Brett Solomon, an agent at Town Residential who specializes in the Gramercy Park neighborhood.

“Right now, there are only a handful of availabilities. One or two studios are out there for $3,100 a month. Add a doorman to that and the right exposure and you are easily looking at $3,700 [per month],” he said.

In fact, lists the priciest rental on Gramercy Park at $30,000 a month.

The fully furnished five-story townhouse at 323 East 17th Street — listed by Torsten Krines at Sotheby’s — has 6,000 s/f of interior space and an 800 s/f garden and terrace. The tony home has a front and back door, mud room, maid’s and laundry room. It also has its own media/screening and fitness rooms.

The National Arts Club has been at the center of a media maelstrom since the beginning of the year following renewed calls for the resignation of longtime president O. Aldon James, who is currently under investigation by the District Attorney for alleged financial irregularities at the club.

James, who finally resigned this month, has been accused of abusing his position and the 113-year-old institution for over a quarter century. He and his twin brother John — who’s also been accused of harassment of club members and employees — and family friend Steve Leitner, continue to stay in their apartments at the landmarked building, for which they pay below-market rents.

According to the most recent tax filings, John James pays $4,272 per year for his digs while Aldon pays $13,712 a year.

While Dianne Bernhard declined to comment on the current investigations, she said the club was eager to get back on the right footing with other residents of the park.

She said the club was currently “financially healthy” and the 10 vacant units were being readied for the rental market.

“We’re getting them all cleaned up,” said Bernhard, who paid $91,200 in rent for her apartment at the club, according to the tax filings from 2009, the most recent available. “We have to work on the electricity and the plumbing, but it’s early on in the process.”


She said new tenants would pay market rates which will be determined by an appraiser and the club’s executive committee.

All together there are 35 apartments of varying size in the building. It is unclear which are being released to the market.

Gramercy Park has long been a haven for a well-heeled, artsy crowd whose residency secures them a key to one of only two private parks in the city.

The 25th Governor of New York, Samuel Tilden lived in what is now the Arts Club and other noted residents have included the Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth — who founded the neighboring Players Club — movie star John Barrymore and circus legend Alfred Ringling.

Today, residents include actress Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Rufus Wainwright and Amanda Lepore.

Solomon suspects the new rentals will be scooped up quickly by “someone who appreciates the history of New York.”

He said, “Everyone will want to look at them, but the people who will really want to rent them will be those with a true appreciation for the history of New York.

“They will be people who enjoy the arts, and visit museums. They have one of the oldest taverns in the city [Pete’s Tavern] on the block and the Farmers Market, which is a New York institution. People who truly appreciate all these things will race to rent these apartments.”

Solomon added, “Priced right, and renovated well, I expect they’ll only last three or four days on the market.”

Additional reporting by Sabina Mollot, Town & Village

28 Responses

Leave a Reply
  1. Anonymous
    Jun 30, 2011 - 03:56 PM

    Julia Roberts moved out some time ago, according to the president of the park.

  2. Anonymous
    Jul 04, 2011 - 02:25 PM

    So will there be 13 vacancies when the James Gang is finally gone–or even more if they still control an apartment or two for ‘storage’? & btw–did they pay ANYTHING in rent for the apartments they misused for junk storage?/Jake

  3. Sarah Miles
    Jul 11, 2011 - 01:53 PM

    Some of nice places available? This is a big opportunity for those who are interested in apartaments


  4. telavivapartments
    Aug 29, 2011 - 01:44 PM

    this is a good news for the people who wants to rent the apartment..

  5. Anonymous
    Sep 07, 2011 - 07:20 AM

    I’m excited to see these apartments. 🙂

  6. Student Houses For Rent in New
    Nov 25, 2011 - 06:17 AM

    When something is wanted only quickly, as in the situation of a particular instrument, a vehicle or a miss.

  7. apartments of tel aviv
    Dec 29, 2011 - 04:39 AM

    it seems its an affordable apartments renters or tenants will surely like it especially if they offer a low rental its easy for them to pay the monthly rental

  8. tel aviv apartment rentals
    Jan 04, 2012 - 06:14 AM

    it seems this is an affordable apartment and its a government project people who are homeless can benefit this 

  9. Domain registration
    Jan 06, 2012 - 11:41 AM

    Great reading Really like your blog,thanks for sharing it with us Thanks to sharing

  10. tel aviv apartment rentals
    Jan 06, 2012 - 12:47 PM

    really a great blog i’m sure travelers will really appreciate this lots of vacationist love this it seems its an affordable apartments 

  11. Student Flat in Newcastle
    Jan 09, 2012 - 07:52 AM

    Hope to see this style more often. i miss casual posh very much. Getting tired of her mature/professional style.

  12. sell my car
    Jan 09, 2012 - 02:49 PM

     you probably know what I mean but for those who are experiencing first hand,the lessee may be informed that the house would not have been hired in the future.

  13. Rea
    Jan 19, 2012 - 07:00 AM

    Nice post.You have put huge information in a single blog.I’ve recommended this blog to some of my colleagues. I’m sure they’ll find it is useful as I did.

  14. Register domain name
    Jan 19, 2012 - 12:59 PM

    Good idea. I used to be staying constantly on this blog and I am inspired! Very much useful information specially the last part which you have posted. I take care of such information much. I used to be seeking this particular information for a long time. Now only I have got it. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Thomas White
    Mar 24, 2012 - 06:09 AM

    fort walton beach
    condo rentals
    If the apartments are renovated right and have a view of the park,
    there’s no reason why they shouldn’t rent for $90 to $100 a foot,” said
    Brett Solomon, an agent at Town Residential who specializes in the
    Gramercy Park neighborhood. Meanwhile, James pays $13,712 per year for
    the apartment he still has in the club.There are a total of 35 apartments of varying sizes in the building, but it is unclear which ones will be up for grabs.

  16. USB 3G
    Mar 26, 2012 - 08:27 AM

    good news for me, thanks!

  17. fore kazık
    May 11, 2012 - 08:50 AM

    I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  18. russel
    May 26, 2012 - 01:15 PM

    I would never have normally come here to read the blogs but I’m really glad I did. Will definitely be coming back.Some interesting thoughts on the subject. Looking forward to see what else you post in the future.

  19. Gordon Freeman
    Jun 05, 2013 - 11:09 AM

    Thanks for this great post. I have been trying to find some apartments for rent in Worcester, MA.

  20. Jensen
    Jul 03, 2013 - 10:44 AM

    Does anyone know if it would be cheaper to rent or buy an apartments in edmonton? I am looking for one but I don’t know if I should rent or buy.

  21. Aaron Banks
    Oct 08, 2013 - 10:48 AM

    Where is the best place to start looking for apartments for rent in Worcester, MA? I would love to start looking for a place of my own, I just don’t know where to start.

  22. jeanblake80
    Nov 07, 2013 - 04:47 PM

    I wonder if they’ll have these rentals in Fort Mcmurray. I am getting anxious to move!

  23. Timon Berg
    Sep 20, 2014 - 07:14 AM

    These are actually wonderful some ideas in the blog. You have touched good quality points here. In whatever way continue writing.townhouse for rent hua hin

  24. Sheamus Warior
    Nov 14, 2014 - 03:01 AM

    This is one of the most important blogs that I have seen, keep it up!

  25. Eric Jackson
    Dec 08, 2014 - 01:44 AM

    I wanna thanks to a great extent for providing such informative and
    qualitative material therefore often.Anchor Your Assets



  1. Mess of a Mansion : National Arts Club Apartments Coming to Rental Market Soon - The Broker Buddy
  2. Union contracts go down to the wire, realtors vent over foreclosure delays … and more | East Coast Realty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *