In West Chelsea, a Triplex Near the High Line Is Asking $2.795 Million


In his search for a new home, Darren Spaziani, a top executive at the fashion house Louis Vuitton, was immediately drawn to the 19th-century Fitzroy Townhouses in West Chelsea.

The apartment he and his partner, the jewelry designer Philip Crangi, settled on 11 years ago, a townhouse triplex at 450 West 23rd Street, had scenic views of the historic neighborhood and its verdant gardens, not to mention ample outdoor space. It was also where the renowned poet Edwin Arlington Robinson had once lived.

“We wanted something with a lot of character and history — that’s what drew us there,” said Mr. Spaziani, Louis Vuitton’s creative director of leather goods. “It was like the second place we looked at,” Mr. Crangi added.

Mr. Spaziani paid $2 million for the co-op in the summer of 2013. He and Mr. Crangi then commenced a gut renovation, modernizing the unit with new central air and HVAC systems and adding in and retaining period details. It took around 18 months and “$1 million-plus” to complete, Mr. Spaziani said.

“It was very dated, probably redone not on a big budget in the early ’80s,” he said of the apartment’s condition. Mr. Spaziani and Mr. Crangi decorated the home with an eclectic mix of furnishings and artwork. This includes paintings and photography from New York in the ’80s and British Surrealist art from the ’60s and ’70s, as well as furniture from Italian designers like Gae Aulenti and Afra and Tobia Scarpa.

The result: “It’s like you’re transported out of the city,” said Calli Sarkesh, an agent at Compass who is now marketing the property with his colleague Esteban Gomez. “It has that feeling of grandeur that you would find in Paris.”

“Like living in a townhouse within a townhouse,” Mr. Gomez added.

The apartment, which occupies the top three floors of the five-story, walk-up townhouse, is being listed for $2.795 million. Monthly maintenance is $3,185.

At about 1,500 square feet, the unit has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. Exterior space, which includes two landscaped and irrigated terraces with a wide range of potted plants, totals around 400 square feet.

As part of the renovations, the couple reconfigured the middle floor to enlarge the primary bedroom suite and include a home office/guest bedroom. They expanded the great room on the lower level by removing a drop ceiling and reducing the size of the kitchen and closing it off. Several windows were also replaced.

“We wanted to architecturally create an almost symmetric space where the fireplace became the central focal point — before, it was set way to one side,” Mr. Spaziani explained of the changes in the great room. “There was a lot of rebalancing.”

There are ebonized wood floors and classic moldings throughout the home.

The main entrance is on the lower level. A foyer with a powder room opens to the 23-foot-by-16-foot great room, which is anchored by a wood-burning fireplace with an ornate marble mantel and has built-in bookcases in the dining space. Three French doors lead out to a terrace.

Off the great room, the kitchen, with sliding pocket doors, is outfitted with marble countertops, wood cabinets and a solid brass backsplash.

The primary bedroom suite on the second level features two walk-in closets, a laundry area and an en suite bathroom clad in Moroccan tiles. There’s a third bedroom with another bathroom and a large walk-in closet on the top floor that is currently being used as a lounge. Just outside is the 24-foot-by-12-foot rooftop terrace.

“Having the two outdoor spaces has been incredible,” Mr. Crangi said, noting that he and Mr. Spaziani would often drink their morning coffee on the lower terrace and entertain guests on the roof. “We’ve had some very memorable moments.”

The four-unit co-op at 450 West 23rd Street, between Ninth and 10th Avenues and near the High Line, is part of a row of Italianate-style buildings erected in the mid-1800s that make up the Fitzroy Townhouses.

While the couple will miss their West Chelsea townhouse apartment, they have been spending less time there. They also have a Paris home, now undergoing renovations, and have been traveling a lot.

The pair hope to eventually buy another place in Manhattan, perhaps farther downtown, to use as a pied-à-terre.

“A loft would be cool,” Mr. Spaziani said. “Some place where we can showcase our art with more wall space.”



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