By Roland Li
The Upper West Side townhouse at 311 West 74th Street known as the Music House has been sold for $8.55 million, according to city records.
The sellers were Andrew and Alla Bares, who purchased the property in 2007 from George Wein, the founder of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. Wein told the Observer at the time that the building regularly saw visitors that included jazz icons like Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, although Wein never actually lived in the five-story building. Rather, it served as his office and wine storage space, while he made his residence at the nearby 33 Riverside Drive. Wein and his late wife, Joyce, had originally purchased the building for $100,000 in October 1974.
Alla Bares, one of the sellers, also works at the Corcoran Group and was the listing broker, along with colleague Aurora Ortega.
Bares had initially listed the townhouse through a number of other brokerages, with an asking price of $9.98 million in May 2009, later trimmed to $9.5 million in September 2009. But no deal was made, and she and her husband were unsure of what to do with the building. (They also have homes in Chelsea and upstate New York.)
But as the market improved, they took another look, researching the marketplace and chose what they believed was a realistic price. In May 2011, it was listed at $8.695 million, and received two offers.
At the time, filming was occurring at the home – it has hosted the likes of “Fresh Food Fast,” a cooking show and “Law & Order,” as well as photo shoots for Armani and Redbook – and they took it off the market for a few months. Scenes from “The Necklace,” an independent film, were also shot at the home.
After being relisted, two more offers were submitted, and Evans’ was deemed the strongest. The home eventually closed at less than 2% below the asking price.
“I thought that the economy had good momentum,” said Bares. “Especially the financial sector, people get bonuses early in the year.”
Chris Toland, also of Corcoran, represented the buyer.
The home has three parlors, a central staircase, mahogany wood panels in the dining room, a sushi counter, and a planted roof deck. C. P. H. Gilbert, an architect known for his mansions and townhouses, originally designed the building in 1896. The 7,530 s/f property has seven bedrooms, five full baths and two powder rooms, as well as a 22 feet of frontage.
Video of the property below.