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A New Adventure Across the River

ELIZABETH STRIBLING, a high priestess of sorts for pricey Upper East Side real estate, has decided to move out of her town house -- with its beloved rear garden -- on East 84th Street near York Avenue. She is moving, not to a swanky Fifth Avenue duplex or an exclusive Park Avenue co-op listed by her firm, but (gasp!) across the East River to a condominium penthouse just south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Ms. Stribling, whose company is based in a town house on Madison Avenue, has signed a contract to buy two adjacent penthouse condos, and a condo parking space, at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, for more than $6.6 million. The building is the conversion of the former Watchtower warehouse, a distribution center for the Jehovah's Witnesses at 360 Furman Street. It juts into the new Brooklyn Bridge park, which is scheduled to be developed over the next few years.

"I'm ready," Ms. Stribling said. "I think anybody who has seen their 50th birthday is ready for a new adventure. After many years in a town house, I would like to try something high in the sky with fabulous views."

Stribling & Associates, Ms. Stribling's firm, was founded in 1980 as a very proper, very high-end boutique brokerage on the Upper East Side, but it has since expanded to all of Manhattan and a bit beyond. It is now part of a marketing team, including a Brooklyn-based broker, the Developers Group, and Spandrel Property Services, a marketing consultant, that is working on the Brooklyn building.

Ms. Stribling said it was "love at first sight" when she toured the upper floors of the warehouse with Robert A. Levine, the chief operating officer of the RAL Companies & Affiliates, two years ago. She signed a contract as soon as the project was approved for sale earlier this year.

"There was the Statue of Liberty and all of Manhattan," she said.

The combined riverfront apartment is 3,400 square feet, according to the offering plan. It is on the 12th floor and includes 2,000 square feet of outdoor space, more than enough, Ms. Stribling said, to compensate for the lost rear garden.

The building has 449 apartments, 18 riverfront cabanas and more than 130 private parking spaces for sale. Asking prices are among the highest for condominium developments in Brooklyn, averaging more than $1,000 a square foot, even though some lower-floor units face the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Though Ms. Stribling has long offered advice to buyers and sellers, she and her husband, Guy N. Robinson, have rented the 18-and-a-half-foot-wide town house where they live on East 84th Street for years. The house had been previously owned by Max Lerner, the educator and newspaper columnist who died in 1992.

"We tried to buy the house three times, but the current owner is comfortable renting," she said.

Margaret Truman's Home for Sale

WHILE many Park Avenue dwellers prefer penthouses, some are drawn to maisonettes, those ground-floor apartments, often with their own entrances, that offer a close-up look at street life and sometimes the flowers in bloom on the median of Park Avenue. Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president, seemed at home in one of them.

In 1960, Truman was visiting his daughter, Margaret Truman Daniel, a writer, in the triplex maisonette apartment at 830 Park Avenue that she had bought with the proceeds of her first book. He was left alone, assigned to baby-sit for her two young children, and was given strict instructions not to open the curtains.

Instead, Truman proceeded directly to the window, opened the curtains and posed for the photographers waiting outside with an arm wrapped around each grandchild, according to the family account of the photograph passed along to his grandson Clifton Truman Daniel, who was 2 at the time. "Remember the 'give 'em hell' Harry Truman of political days? He's now a baby sitter for his grandchildren," read the caption by The Associated Press.

Now with the help of her son Clifton, Margaret Truman, 83, is putting the apartment on the market through Daniela Kunen, a broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman, for $8 million, with the hope that its brush with presidential history will burnish its image and attract interest from buyers. The apartment, near East 76th Street, has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and a separate entrance through the doorman lobby.

Ms. Truman has written more than 30 books, including biographies of her parents and a series of murder mysteries set in and around Washington, most of which were written in the New York apartment. Her husband, Clifton Daniel, a former managing editor of The New York Times, died in 2000.

Her son Clifton, who wrote a tell-all book about his family and his struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, is now director of public relations for Truman College in Chicago. He said his mother, who is working on another book, had decided to downsize and move to Chicago.

The Water's Fine at the Deep End

MICHAEL HIRTENSTEIN, a businessman who flipped a condo at the Time Warner Center in February for an $11 million gain, is continuing to bet heavily on the future of luxury real estate in Manhattan and on the East End of Long Island.

Mr. Hirtenstein signed a contract a few weeks ago to buy a triplex apartment with a private outdoor pool at One York, a development at York Street and the Avenue of the Americas in TriBeCa, for $19.6 million. The project combines the restoration of two prewar buildings with a new 14-story glass tower.

According to people briefed on the terms of the sale, the $19.6 million price includes a parking space in the building's automated garage, and Mr. Hirtenstein agreed to pay another $450,000 for three more spaces, bringing the total past $20 million.

The apartment has more than 6,900 square feet of indoor space and 5,000 square feet of outdoor space, including an outdoor kitchen, whirlpool and steam shower. It will feature a garden designed by Enzo Enea, a Swiss landscape architect.

The place takes in the entire seventh floor, a one-bedroom apartment below and parts of the eighth floor, which will be opened for a living room with a 22-foot-high ceiling.

Mr. Hirtenstein never lived in the Time Warner apartment, but told brokers that this time he would move in when the apartment was finished.

Mr. Hirtenstein made his fortune when he sold most of a specialized telephone company, Westco, serving the financial industry, to JPMorgan Chase & Company. He retains a 20 percent interest.

Six months ago he paid more than $5 million for a house on Ocean Road in Bridgehampton, N.Y. In February, he bought a $14.7 million 27-foot-wide mansion on Gramercy Park as an investment property.

And then in the last few weeks, Mr. Hirtenstein closed on two more investment properties in the Hamptons, on Gibson Lane in Sagaponack. One was a 17-acre undeveloped plot of land, and the second a small adjacent parcel fronting on the beach. The sale prices were not immediately available, but Mr. Hirtenstein is hoping to resell them together, for an asking price of $55 million.



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