76th building2

A brownstone at 118 West 76th street that had become a virtual rat clubhouse after sitting empty for decades has finally sold for a whopping $6.6 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. As we reported last year, the building had been driving neighbors nuts for years because owner Diane Haslett-Rudiano would not sell it or rehabilitate it. They even started a Facebook group to beg someone to “Save 118 West 76th Street.” Haslett-Rudiano had purchased it for $5,000 in 1976.

But at the prodding of Borough President Gale Brewer, she finally unloaded it to a developer who plans to restore it and sell it as a single-family mansion.

The buyer of the property was an investment group, Holliswood 76 LLC, headed by Dana Lowey Luttway, a developer and daughter of U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D, N.Y.).

Ms. Luttway said that while the home’s exterior “was a disaster,” its shell was structurally sound. “We have plans drawn up and are ready to go,” she said. “We want to make it a gorgeous new addition to the neighborhood.”

Luttway is known for her skill at flipping upscale townhouses.

Haslett-Rudiano told the Journal that she had held onto it for so long for sentimental reasons:

Ms. Rudiano said she didn’t sell the house for many years because she had an emotional attachment to it. She said her late husband, Jean, had “a lot of plans of trying to do something with the house” and dreamed of living there and renting out part of the space.

Haslett-Rudiano also appears to have sold another eyesore building that Brewer said she owned at 44 West 73rd street (although property records indicate it was owned by someone named Lois Voyticky). City property records indicate that the property is now owned by Kojo Global Property Development, a company based on Wall Street. No sale price was recorded. The deeds recorded in city property records are confusing, because multiple parties appear to have controlled the property before the sale. The building had quietly gone on the market earlier this year, asking $5 million.

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NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 12 comments | permalink
    1. Scott says:

      So in 1976 you could buy an entire brownstone on the UWS for the price of a Ford station wagon.

      • ScooterStan says:


        And on your walk to or from the 72nd Street Subway you’d probably meet a lot of the fascinating UWS “characters” who inspired the film “Panic in Needle Park”.

        As Wikipedia explains: “the film portrays life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in “Needle Park” (the nickname of Sherman Square on New York City’s Upper West Side near 72nd Street and Broadway.”

        And, since in the early 70s Hollywood was still making “bad guys” acceptable to middle-America/middle-class taste, the real druggies in the real park were probably a lot more psychopathic than those portrayed in the film.

        On this very site some long-time UWS residents told of being afraid to be out after dark on side streets in the 70s.

        Maybe them ‘Good Ol’ Days’ really weren’t?

        • RBB says:

          Depends…if you’re the type who could deal with that risk more than an overly sanitized streetscape, maybe the older would be better. But it’s never so simple as “choose one.”

    2. webot says:

      at $6.6 MM for a rat invested hole plus renovations, Nita Lowy’s daughter is not building subsidized housing – unless we the taxpayers kick in.

      I am fine with that, but let the affordable housing jihadists take note that EVERYTHING costs money. and developers like any business, is entitled to a return on its risk investment.

      • Rat A. Tooey says:

        Re: “…for a rat invested hole….”

        Ummm…shouldn’t dat be ‘rat-inFested’ ?

        Us rats inFest places…we don’ got the money to inVest in places, especially wit’ today’s prices.

        Whaddaya t’ink we are? Donald Trump?

        Ummm…ya know, dere is a similarity dere!

    3. Pedestrian says:

      Give Credit where credit is due. Lamdmark West kept the pressure up on the owner and the City for Years to get this resolved. Thank You, LANDMARK WEST!

    4. Ddd says:

      Did the seller live there, given it was such a mess? Either way, I wonder what the carrying costs were (real estate taxes, etc). I assume tens of thousands per year.

      • webot says:

        Mr. Rat Tooey- Yes sorry, it was typo , should have been Rate Infested. and sorry, I did not wish to offend your species. Here on the UWS, People speak of rats like they do landlords.

        Pedestrian – wasn’t it Brewer who championed the sale?

        Ddd – no the buyers never lived in either. The City sold them to them for bubkis ($5K?) in the 70s and they sat on them for decades. regarding the taxes, Not 100% about this, but I think that the city values the vacant building less then if it was occupied., thereby incentivizing them to keep them vacant and paying low taxes. Another illogical public policy.

    5. k says:

      Dear Ms. Luttway: please deal with the rats responsibly (e.g. not driving them out into the rest of the neighborhood). Ugh.

    6. Ted says:

      Wow! 6.6 million for a literal rat hole. I think I remember this scene from Herzog’s Nosferatu.