Justin Timberlake has gone “(Sexy)Back” to the drawing board in an attempt to sell his home.
The singer has just knocked $245,000 off of the price of the downtown New York City penthouse that he owns with his wife, actress Jessica Biel. The three-bed, 3.5-bath condo was originally listed for sale for $7.995 million in March 2018. But after it had sat on the market for nearly five months, they decided to drop the price to $6.75 million, just slightly more than the $6.57 million Timberlake paid for the place back in 2010.
Luxury properties like Timberlake and Biel’s penthouse are notorious for taking longer to find the right buyer than your standard single-family home. But when a property does go stale, there are a number of factors to blame: The home may be in poor condition, the price might be too high, or the photographs might be off-putting. In the case of Timberlake and Biel’s penthouse, though, the interiors, price, and photographs clearly aren’t the problem.
The 2,600-square-foot penthouse is a property fit for an A-list celebrity, located on the border of SoHo and TriBeCa, two of the city’s most glamorous neighborhoods. It features floor-to-ceiling windows, an 853-square-foot wraparound terrace, a modern chef’s kitchen, custom wood paneling, and sweeping views of Manhattan. It’s clean, modern, and beautiful—exactly the type of aesthetic you’d want if you’re looking to buy in one of the world’s hippest locales. It’s even priced right in line with comparable properties in SoHo.
So we have to wonder: Why have they had so much trouble finding a buyer?
The onus likely falls on the building itself. The Soho Mews, built in 2007, stands nine stories tall and is made up of 68 apartments. In a neighborhood famously characterized by revitalized cast-iron buildings (an aesthetic that gives SoHo its desirable edge), the building’s façade is notably bland.
“Soho Mews is a totally uninspired development, just a basic building,” says Dolly Lenz, a luxury real estate agent and founder of Dolly Lenz Real Estate in New York. “It takes a lot of heavy lifting to move units there. When we’ve had listings in this building, we’ve had to really pump people up to even look at the place, because it’s just so ordinary.”
Lenz says the building’s amenities leave much to be desired, especially given what you’d expect to get in that area.
“You want to be wowed and walk into a lobby with really high ceilings, a luxurious gym, long hallways. … This place has none of those,” Lenz says.
Granted, it does have a 24-hour doorman and concierge, and an attached parking garage. But we have to agree with Lenz that some of the other amenities—for instance, the lobby—are lacking that extra pizazz one expects in high-profile buildings where people are paying top dollar. The fluorescent lights and choice of wall art are … interesting.
So maybe the key to attracting a buyer for Timberlake’s place is to boost the appearance of the building. Perhaps putting in an exclusive rooftop garden, a swankier gym, or a jaw-dropping redesign of the lobby could help. At least do away with the fluorescent lighting!
Updates to the building could mean an increase in homeowners’ fees, but folks who can afford to buy in this building would probably be happy to pay up. And although they haven’t found the right person yet, Timberlake and Biel still have that celebrity cachet that Lenz says is invaluable in luxury real estate sales.
“His provenance is so bankable,” she says. “They’re A-plus list: He, his wife, his child … they’re the whole nine yards.” Here’s hoping that’s enough to nab a buyer.