Ben Stiller List Manhattan Duplex at a Loss

SELLERS: Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $9,600,000
SIZE: (approx.) 4,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Four years ago comedian turned sizzlingly successful and toilet-humored screenwriter/director/producer/movie star Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor packed up their trio of shorties and decamped their two residence compound in Los Angeles's Hollywood Hills for the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Mister Stiller grew up. He said, in a 2008 interview quoted in The Observer, they opted to move east from the near constant SoCal sunshine to the angsty urbanity of New York City in order to provide his off-springs with more excitement or some such thing.

In August 2008 the suntanned Stillers spent $10,00,000 to acquire a spacious duplex apartment a swank but low-key Upper West Side building. Property records and reports from the time of their 2008 purchase show the apartment was purchased off-market (with a blind trust) from gourmet/kosher grocery store scion Ann Zabar who's family owns an eponymous Upper West Side food shopping emporium.

Your Mama isn't sure what their real estate motivations may be but last week the Stiller-Taylors quietly slipped the completely and expensively renovated duplex back on the market with an asking price of $9,600,000.

It only takes one or two quick flicks of the well worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus to figure out that Mister and Missus Stiller must really want to move because even with a full price offer—and it could happen—they're faced with a spine-straightening $400,000 gut punch to their pocketbook, not counting renovations and improvements, upkeep and carrying costs, and any associated real estate fees they'll pay out of the proceeds of the sale.

Current listing information, forwarded to Your Mama by one of the more helpful children, shows the substantial river-view spread has four family/guest bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms plus (as per the floor plan, above) a discrete, staff suite tucked into the service wing behind the kitchen with an additional, prison-cell-sized but river-facing bedroom and (windowless) bathroom as well as a laundry room and access to the service elevator.

The main living and entertaining areas, located on the duplex's upper level, include a double-wide (and somewhat corporate-looking) foyer with long built-in waiting bench that connects through to an unusually roomy, river-view living/dining combination space finished with gallery white walls, pale pale pale wood floors (that may or may not be white oak) and a quartet of over-sized windows with direct and unobstructed views across the Hudson River towards the not entirely scenic shore of New Jersey.

As with the couple's former Tinseltown compound—part of which was sold for $7,325,000 in summer 2011 to hunky action movie stud Jason Statham—the duplex's low-slung mid-century modern infused day-core was conceived and installed by the fine folks at Roman and Williams who juxtaposed the light and airy living/dining room and the crisp, light-flooded eat-in kitchen against a more richly textured and moody media room (marked library on the floor plan) outfitted with seal grey silk wall-to-wall carpeting, heavy, light-blocking drapery, (what appears to be) upholstered walls, and state-of-the-art equipment.

An adjacent wet bar houses the a/v equipment in a custom cabinet and also features open glass shelves for bar ware display and storage, a handy-dandy dishwasher, and an under-counter mounted fridge/freezer/ice maker.

The master suite, all done up with more than a hint of high-glam, 1930s ocean liner chic, has cherry wood paneled walls, grey silk wall-to-wall carpeting, ship-like views of the Hudson River, and a to-die-for dressing room lined with custom, cherry-wood wardrobes and built-in dressers. The attached master bathroom has double sinks and a mosaic-tiled wet area with super-sized soaking tub and glassed in steam shower fitted with a huge, river-view window.

Two of the three family bedrooms have direct access to a private bathroom and, as per the floor plan, the unlucky occupant of the remaining bedroom must either traipse through one of the other bedrooms to access a restroom or climb the stairs to make use of the full bath that adjoins the media room, the half bathroom off the foyer or the squeezy one in the service wing.

We're not sure what real estate plans are in store for Mister and Missus Stiller but we do know they're hardly homeless. Our research indicates they still own a modest, 1,608 square foot residence on the Studio City side of Laurel Canyon bought August 2006 for $1,100,000 and, as far as Your Mama can tell, they still maintain an ocean front estate on the northern shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai purchased in October 2002 for $8,500,000.

listing photos: Prudential Douglas Elliman