Actor Robert De Niro has finally sold his West Village townhouse after having it on the market for more than a year. Although De Niro didn’t get the $14 million he had listed it last year, he was still able to sell it for $9.5 million to an anonymous buyer.
The 160-year-old Italianate house, which De Niro owned for three decades and was once owned before that by playwright and screenwriter Arthur Laurents (who wrote “West Side Story” and “The Way We Were”), includes five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a private garden, a private terrace off the master suite, and 12-foot ceilings.
Though the “Raging Bull” and “The Godfather” star had to lower his price on the five-story townhouse, at least his son, listing agent Raphael De Niro, got the commission. And the elder De Niro still got a handsome sum for a place that needs to be fully renovated from a fire that ravaged not only the three-bedroom apartment but also most of the Central Park West building itself just last month.
The Allure of West Village
West Village, a singular section of New York City with no high rises or towering office buildings, has long attracted the creative and the carefree. Bon vivants, artists, writers, and bohemians disconnected from mainstream society are among those that have long populated West Village, though recently there has been a surge in the building of distinctive apartments from designer architects near the Hudson River on the western section of the area.
Attractions include narrow streets, alleys off the beaten path, and historic town houses like De Niro’s above. Although the area is mostly residential, other temptations abound: specialty restaurants, quaint cafés, and charming boutiques that add to the warm and sometimes funky neighborhood vibe. Small restaurants such as Little Owl offer as much of a lure as do the larger ones that have outside dining settings.
Shopping is also a draw because it’s easy to fit in and disguise yourself as a local, which you cannot do on trendier and pacier Fth Avenue or in chic and more pretentious SoHo. In small-scale West Village, the pace is slower and the streets quieter. Unlike on 5th Avenue or in SoHo, this is the place for more local or unusual brands instead of global brands.
Stroll down Bleecker Street and indulge all types of eclectic appetites. Find funky high fashion between West 10th Street and 8th Avenue. Browse the prime boutiques and shops on Hudson Street and Greenwich Avenue. Christopher Street, known for its connection to the gay and lesbian community, has a number of rainbow-flag shops.
West Village points of interest include 75½ Bedford Street, home to New York City’s narrowest house at 9½ feet wide and 32 feet deep, built in 1873; Christopher Park on Christopher Street with popular gay-centric sculptures; and St. Luke’s Place between Hudson Street and 7th Avenue, which is often used for filming, has classic brownstones and townhouses, and is home to shady gingko trees. Legend has it that the lost son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette is buried near a playground close to where Hudson Street meets Leroy Street.