Back in 2013—incidentally, around the same time Steve Cohen first went to market with his East Side pad—high-frequency trading pioneer Vince Viola had tired of his 20,000-square-foot trophy mansion after just eight years. The Brooklyn boy and his Queens-born wife Theresa just didn’t need a velvet-lined movie theater with a balcony, or the giant geode tastefully repurposed as a soaking tub, or the gold-leaf ceilinged dining room with walnut and mahogany parquet floors, or the pizza over they installed in the kitchen, or the panic room. So he put it up for sale: The house he bought in 2005 for $20 million could have been yours for the low, low price of $114 million. However, even literally putting a bow on the place (and cutting its price to a still would-be-record-setting $98 million) like it was a Lexus didn’t do the trick, and the Violas still owned one of the largest houses in New York City.
A lot has happened since then. Viola bought a hockey team—a bad hockey team, which occasionally required him to go to Florida and bang some heads together. Speaking of smacking skulls, he’s become a noticeable presence in the horsey community, winning the Kentucky Derby this year and spending enough time stalking around tracks to necessitate buying a home near one. And of course he was briefly moving to D.C. to help lead our armed forces, until he wasn’t anymore. Suffice it to say, Vinny and Terry are spending even less time at 12 East 69th Street then they were when they first tried to get rid of it. But what a four-story high and 40-foot-wide ribbon can’t do, an $80 million price tag (still the biggest in New York City townhouse history) and a Chinese aficionado of high-end New York City real-estate can.
If it closes for that price, the property would become the most expensive townhouse ever sold in New York City, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller….
Several people close to the deal said the buyer is the same person who bought a penthouse at trophy condominium tower 15 Central Park West from former Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond. The penthouse sold for $50.5 million earlier this year, according to public records.
Unrelatedly, a certain duplex at One Beacon Court is still very much available.