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Jeff Gordon puts N.Y. condo on sale for $30 million

By ROBIN FINN
The New York Times

An inventively embellished three-bedroom condominium at the reigning superstar of Manhattan trophy residences, 15 Central Park West, is about to enter a trophy-conscious marketplace priced at $30 million.

The seller of No. 7C also happens to be a bit of a superstar and trophy-magnet: Jeff Gordon, the telegenic four-time Nascar Cup Series champion whose precocity and precision at treacherous speeds early in his career earned him the sobriquet of “Wonder Boy” from the guru of the stock-car genre, Dale Earnhardt. A multitasker, Mr. Gordon was the first racecar driver to host “Saturday Night Live” and was a frequent guest host on “Live With Regis and Kelly” when Mr. Philbin required a glib substitute.

So it comes as little surprise that Mr. Gordon, whose main residence is in Charlotte, N.C., home to a stretch of Interstate 85 named after him, exhibited a similar precocity in his real estate acquisitions. A confirmed early bird among the initial wave of well-heeled buyers at 15 Central Park West, Robert A. M. Stern’s postmodern paean to prewar spaciousness, Mr. Gordon signed a contract there in August 2007. A few months later, Bob Costas paid $10.8 million for No. 8C.

Buying from the offering plan, Mr. Gordon spent $9.67 million for his apartment: before he and his wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, customized it to their specifications, it was a big white box with high ceilings and stunning views of Central Park from the trio of oversize picture windows in its east-facing great room.

Now it does not resemble a box, nor is white the dominant color. The floors are Brazilian cherry; flamed black granite, a matte surface with intriguing variations, makes repeat appearances on portions of the floor, walls and countertops. Except for the glass doors that separate the dining area from the eat-in kitchen, the doors throughout are rift-cut oak; a hulking built-in that Mr. Gordon refers to as “the sushi bar,” an oak bar with a blackened-steel countertop and a hidden refrigerator, is the showpiece of the living room.

The unit is in the 20-story limestone frontispiece of 15 Central Park West known as “the House,” with intimate treetop views of the park and its ever-evolving vegetation, as opposed to the soaring 43-story rear section known as “the Tower,” where the upper floors have Central Park and Hudson River vistas. The bedroom wing faces west onto the courtyard, and all three bedrooms have en-suite baths and ample closets; the opulent master bath combines limestone and crema marfil marble, and has a Boffi tub and a two-person glass shower. The monthly carrying costs are $7,221.80.

Just inside the 3,454-square-foot residence, the floor in the foyer is inlaid with bronze, and off the cloakroom is a powder room with a limestone vanity. A custom-built floor-to-ceiling room divider with movable fins made of American walnut with brass inserts separates the foyer from the living and entertainment area. The ceiling in the media section is covered in the same hand-stretched ecru leather that appears on the closet doors and walls in the 743-square-foot master suite.

The kitchen has Italian ceramic floors, a Wolf double oven, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a wine cooler, and an off-white backsplash of neo-Paris stone, a substance impermeable to stains. The counters and center unit are of matte black granite. The park can be seen through the glass doors to the dining area.

According to Nora Ariffin of Halstead Property, Mr. Gordon had been renting a pied-à-terre on the Upper West Side before buying at 15 Central Park West but wanted to be closer to the park. Ms. Ariffin and Christopher Kromer, her partner at Halstead, are the listing brokers and also represented Mr. Gordon when he bought the apartment.

Mr. Gordon decided to sell at this time, Ms. Ariffin said, because “the demand for trophy apartments is pretty strong.”

The $30 million asking price was arrived at after the neighboring No. 7D, a slightly larger unit, listed for $36 million and sold for $32.5 million last December.

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