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Rita Moreno Buys Condo in New York

March 08, 1987|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

Rita Moreno and her husband, Dr. Leonard Gordon, have bought a penthouse in the new Manhattan high-rise, 100 United Nations Plaza.

And if the name of the tower isn't impressive enough, get this: Moreno's is just one of 23 penthouses in the 52-story condominium building on East 48th Street.

The penthouses occupy the top nine floors--"the largest number (of penthouses) ever built in a residential building," a spokeswoman for the Albanese Development Corp. said. Obviously, builders don't limit penthouses to the top floor anymore.

Above the penthouses (which are 3,000 to 8,000 square feet in size but can be combined so a unit could have as much as 12,000 square feet), the building soars into a sharp pyramidal top. The tower was designed by architects Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron to be the signature building of the Albanese brothers, Anthony and Vincent, who built apartment buildings, town houses and office buildings throughout New York City and Long Island for nearly 30 years.

Prices at 100 United Nations Plaza range from $330,000 to $5 million, and even more, depending on requested extras. The actress/doctor couple paid about $1.5 million. They also have a home in Pacific Palisades.

They're not the only celebrity buyers at 100 United Nations Plaza, which is in the process of being occupied.

Alan Pakula (who produced and directed "Klute" and directed "Sophie's Choice" and "All the President's Men") and his wife, Hannah, bought two adjacent residences (for a total of about $2 million), and they are combining and customizing the units. Hannah Pakula is a biographer who recently wrote "The Last Romantic," about Queen Marie of Romania.

Michael Caine has been talking about moving back to England for awhile, and now he's taken a step closer by putting his Beverly Hills-area house on the market.

The popular British actor has lived in the house with his family since 1976--20 years after it was built by Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton for her son and only child, race-car driver Lance Reventlow, who was killed in a 1972 light-plane crash at age 36.

The home--which has a gated entry, large motorcourt, poolhouse and guest apartment--was one of the first to have an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, although only a small part of the pool was in the house. Today, the home has a pool outside and a spa in the family room.

The Caines also built a tennis court on the 2.5-acre property, which has "a view to die for," Debrah Constance of Jon Douglas Co. said. David Perry, with Douglas Properties, has the $3.85-million listing.

Eddie Murphy just moved out of a Trousdale Estates home that was leased, before Murphy rented it, to Prince and is for sale at $2.95 million.

Ali Araghi, who represents the property with Schreiber Realty, says he'll sell or lease the five-bedroom, 6 1/2-bath home with tennis court, gym and guest house. The home was built for the owner four years ago. "And so far, he's been making money on the house by leasing it," Araghi said.

No wonder! The actor/comedian was paying $32,000 a month during the 4 1/2 months he lived there. The rock star was there about six months. "That's how it is with many people in entertainment," another Beverly Hills realty source observed. "They rent for a few months, and then they're off somewhere, shooting a movie or something."

For a two-month rental, Araghi is asking $40,000 a month, but "long-term" lessees can get "a deal:" The house rents for only $22,500 a month if the tenant stays a year.

What's a million or two between friends? That's what it seems like sometimes when talking about the asking and selling prices of expensive homes.

Remember the Malibu Kirkeby Estate that the wealthy bachelor W. Jerry Sanders III bought for $2.3 million? Carla Kirkeby, one of the Kirkeby heirs, phoned to say that she and her brother listed the home in January, 1986 for $3.5 million, and although the house had been marketed by her mother for about a year before she died in 1985, it was never listed at $9 million.

True, says Mike Silverman, who represented Sanders in the purchase. Silverman told us he had heard that the house was once listed at $9 million but after further checking, he said, "I think the 9 was turned around. It should have been a 6."

Lois DeButts of Jon Douglas Co. agreed, saying, "When it was first on the market in 1983, I shared the listing with Fred Sands Realtors, and the asking price was $6 million." At one point, she also had the listing at $4.4 million.

The drop from $3.5 million to $2.3 million is enough to make most people blink.

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