By Holly Dutton
As some look forward to Valentine’s Day while others groan at the annual holiday, one thing everyone can agree on is that love (or lust) has been the catalyst to some spectacular and unforgettable real estate in New York City.
Some of the most famous people who ever lived, from athletes to movie stars, have had love nests in Manhattan.
One of the most famous was John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s spread at the Dakota building overlooking Central Park on the Upper West Side, where the couple moved in 1973.
Ono still lives there, 33 years after Lennon was gunned down in front of the building by Mark David Chapman in 1980.
On the East side, a famous couple that called Sutton Place home was baseball star Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, who lived at 444 East 57th Street.
Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail group at Douglas Elliman, and Joseph Aquino, executive vice president, sold a six-story townhouse at 10 West 56th Street to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim that Elizabeth Taylor and third husband Michael Todd once lived in.
The 11,700 square foot limestone mansion sold for $15 million back in 2011.
But famous lovers didn’t just hole up in Manhattan.
In the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, rocker and author Patti Smith and late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe rented an apartment at 160 Hall Street in 1967 for just $80 a month, according to her 2010 memoir detailing their love affair and lifelong friendship Just Kids.
The pad was a full-floor apartment in a three-story townhouse, which recently sold for $1.075 million.
Malcolm X lived in East Elmhurst with wife Betty Shabazz.
The couple lived in a single family home at 23-11 97th Street. The house is still standing today and the street was re-named Malcolm X Place in 2005.
One of the most infamous love nests in the city was in the artist-friendly Chelsea Hotel, where 80’s punk rocker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and girlfriend Nancy Spungen lived in room 100.
The love didn’t last long. Spungen was stabbed to death in the hotel room in 1978. Vicious was arrested under suspicion of murder, released, then died of a heroin overdose soon after.
Another rock star, David Bowie, and model wife Iman, lived at Essex House on Central Park South. That two bedroom with views of Central Park was listed for $5.48 million in 2008.
Hip-hop mogul and rapper (and Brooklyn native) Jay-Z and superstar wife Beyonce live in an 8,000 s/f penthouse at 195 Hudson Street that they bought for $6.85 million in 2004.
But does an apartment fare better on the market if it’s been inhabited by a celebrity?
“I think it does,” said Jennifer Dorfmann, senior vice president and director of sales at Modern Spaces. “It seems to support commanding a higher price, with the idea of exclusivity and it being more discreet.”
Dorfmann said she had a client years ago who was willing to pay more for a condo because it was in a high-profile building on the Upper West Side that had famous residents.
“That spoke to her at the time,” she said. “40 Bond, and 15 Central Park West — they do attract a certain person and fame. Maybe people are comfortable being with like-kind.”