By JOSH BARBANEL
A FEW years ago, a celebrity apartment would more often than not be marketed by a celebrity broker, and be offered at a high price, a celebrity premium to the real estate market.
Two weeks ago, as Gordon Sumner, a k a Sting, moved to put his Central Park West duplex on the market, the internal listing system at Prudential Douglas Elliman, showed that Claudine De Niro and her husband, Raphael, a son of the actor Robert De Niro, would be handling the sale. The $26 million asking price was $2 million more than the sticker said a few years ago.
But not so fast. It turns out that the listing, at 88 Central Park West, near 69th Street, went to a broker at Halstead Property, who has a much lower profile and will offer it at a much lower price: $19 million.
The Halstead broker, Mark D. Friedman, has been in the business for a decade, more as a solid utility player than a star. He has handled large sales, including a $1.7 million purchase by the actor Mathew Modine in Chelsea last year. But he currently has only one listing at Halstead, a $379,000 one-bedroom apartment in Inwood that went into contract last month after a 15 percent price cut.
Robyn Kammerer, a spokeswoman for Halstead, said that Mr. Friedman had obtained a signed contract for the Sting listing in early February. But he won’t be showing it until March, after new photographs are taken.
The 14-room apartment has four bedrooms and looks out on Central Park. It was once owned by Billy Joel. Mr. Sumner bought another duplex at 15 Central Park West last year.
Mr. Friedman and Mr. Sumner do have at least one connection. Ms. Kammerer said Mr. Friedman had volunteered with the Rainforest Foundation, founded by Mr. Sumner and his wife, Trudie Styler. Mr. Friedman declined to discuss the listing.
Sunday, February 22, 2009