Hedge Fund Finds Buyer for Manhattan Lehman Mansion

A Manhattan mansion owned and restored by hedge fund Zimmer Lucas Capital LLC is under contract more than a year after it was put on the market.

The buyer of the five-story townhouse at 7 W. 54th St. is a local firm that paid cash and is seeking to use it as office space, said Carrie Chiang, a residential broker with Corcoran Group who handled the sale. The property was first put on the market last May for $65 million and was relisted in December for $49.9 million.

“It’s somebody who wants a signature building to be their office,” Chiang said in an interview, declining to disclose the sale price or the buyer.

Zimmer Lucas Capital acquired the limestone building, once home to the son of a Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. founder, for $13 million in 2005, according to New York City property records. Within a year, the company began renovations estimated at $2.1 million, including $50,000 to replace windows, $375,000 to install heating and air-conditioning systems and $200,000 on an elevator, according to mortgage documents. It demolished all the walls and finishes inside the mansion and added a sixth floor, data from the city Department of Buildings show.

The owners, who had operated their hedge fund from the landmarked space known as the Philip and Carrie Lehman House, have partially moved out and will vacate by September, she said.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art consulted on the redevelopment of the landmark building, according to property listings website StreetEasy.com.

Price Cut

The owners listed the 16,600-square-foot (1,540-square-meter) mansion in May 2012, seeking $65 million, according to StreetEasy. They withdrew it from the market in November and a month later shaved 23 percent from the asking price, relisting the property at $49.9 million, or $3,006 a square foot.

The founding partners of Zimmer Lucas split last year into two competing firms, after citing “philosophical differences,” Hedge Fund Alert reported in March.

Stuart Zimmer, a founding partner of the fund, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail or telephone call seeking comment on the sale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at ocarmiel1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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