By Roland Li
Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has rented 153 Franklin Street, and his move is already attracting controversy.
He will pay $50,000 per month for rent, according to reports, but if Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has his way, the tab will be higher.
Stringer is calling for Strauss-Kahn to pay for the cost of extra city services during his stay, which include extra police officers, sanitation workers, enforcement for traffic congestion and impacts on pedestrians.
“At a time when the city is cutting back on essential services and layoffs are imminent, we need to know what taxpayer-funded services are being dedicated to monitoring this man’s every move,” said Stringer, in a statement. “Dominique Strauss-Kahn has cost New York enough as it is – I am demanding today that he repay the city for any ancillary costs incurred as a result of his temporary residency in downtown Manhattan.”
Strauss-Kahn has been placed under house arrest, while awaiting a June 6 hearing on charges that he attempted to rape a housekeeper in a New York hotel. He has been ordered to wear an ankle bracelet and can only leave the house for court appearances, or visits to an attorney or church.
153 Franklin was formerly a one-story structure, but two additional floors were added in 1997, according to building records.
The owner of the building is Michael Marvisi’s 334 Canal Realty Corp, which purchased the property for $6.79 million in 2008, according to city records. Marvisi took a $13.5 million mortgage on the property from Bank Leumi and hired architect Leopoldo Rosati to redesign the property.
The 6,800 s/f townhouse now has its own theater, gym and steam bath and has been on the market since October 2009.
Robert Dvorin, senior vice president of Town Real Estate, is the listing broker for the building, along with Ian Wolf and Young Lee. The Town team is not affiliated with Strauss-Kahn, who found the home through a separate broker.
There have been a number of interested buyers for the building, which has an asking price just under $14 million, but no contract has been signed.
“We’ve gotten close,” said Dvorin.
According to PropertyShark, a lis pendens has been filed on the property by Michael Sternberg of the neighboring 155 Franklin Street.
Dvorin is also representing a converted apartment building at 55 Warren Street, which will have four residential spaces and two commercial spaces. The 33,000 s/f building is listed for $29.9 million, and was also designed by Leopoldo Rosati, who was the architect of 153 Franklin.
Dvorin worked at Citi Habitats in 2002, where he met Andrew Heiberger, the founder of Town and co-founder of Citi Habitats. He later worked at SoLofts before joining Elliman and, in March, brought his five-person team from Elliman to Town.
“They treat agents like clients,” he said of his new firm. “It’s a different level of service.
Meris Blumstein, a senior vice president of Corcoran, who sold 153 Franklin in 2008, said that the attention that the building was attracting would likely help its sales effort.
“It has so much exposure,” she said. “People like to be in the presence of powerful people, even if it’s just the afterglow.”