Soho Gallery Building penthouse with intriguing past sold for $10M

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What a steal!

Developer Ara Hovnanian and his wife, the artist Rachel Lee Hovnanian, are in contract to buy a $10 million penthouse at 420 W. Broadway, otherwise known as the Soho Gallery Building.

But the striking triplex, with four private terraces, has an intriguingly tangled history.

It was formerly owned by billionaire hedge funder Bill Ackman and his first wife, Karen — they had bought it for $17 million in May, 2015. (Bill then sold his half to Karen for $7 million in 2018; she then listed it for $15.5 million.)

Here’s the intrigue. Remember the price-gouging at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which led to a $4 billion loss for Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management?

Well, Ackman bought the penthouse from ad mogul Drew Katz, who earlier that year had warned him about Valeant’s price-gouging issues. The penthouse had been languishing on that market. 

The Soho Gallery Building is also where art dealer Leo Castelli once had his famed gallery. 

The new deal comes after the Hovnanians sold their Greenwich Village townhouse for $15.9 million and moved to Miami.

They had bought the townhouse for $15.4 million in 2010, and first put it on the market for $21 million in 2011, according to Streeteasy.

“Though we’ve been residents of Miami since 2019, and I have my studio there, it is a spiritual experience for me to have a place in the original Castelli building around the corner from where I first showed my work with David Beitzel in 2001,” Lee Hovnanian tells Gimme. 

The two-bedroom, 2½-bathroom, 3,593 square feet loft — designed by architect Edward Siegel and designer Ernest de la Torre — was featured in Architectural Digest.

Details include a walnut-paneled foyer, white oak floors, walnut-covered columns, and 11-foot-two-inch ceilings.

There’s also a chef’s kitchen, and a great room with a woodburning fireplace wall and a wet bar, along with French doors that open to one of the terraces.

A stone staircase anchors the room and leads to the private areas — like a main bedroom floor with a large, windowed walk-in closet, a sitting area with a projector screen and surround sound, and a 430-square-foot hot tub on the terrace, along with two private outdoor showers.

In addition, there’s a 1,145-square-foot private garden with hedges for privacy — and a 637-square-foot upper roof terrace, with a woodburning fireplace, stainless steel wet bar and panoramic views of the city.

The home is smart-wired for climate control, lighting and electronic shades.

There’s also extra storage and, natch, a custom built 1,070-bottle, temperature-controlled wine cellar with additional crate storage, according to the listing from Douglas Elliman’s Merrily Connery. 

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