Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion to undergo ‘complete makeover’

The Upper East Side mansion in New York, on August 10, 2019, that belonged to Jeffrey Epstein. (Photo: NYTimes)
NEW YORK — A longtime Goldman Sachs executive expects to do “a complete makeover — physically and spiritually” before settling into the Upper East Side mansion where Jeffrey Epstein had resided.اضافة اعلان

Michael D. Daffey, who is retiring as the chairman of the investment bank’s global markets division in London, and his wife, Blake Daffey, paid $51 million for the grand limestone building at 9 E. 71st Street, according to city records. The couple, using a bridge loan and cash, according to a spokesperson, made the purchase through the limited liability company Back to New York 71.

The widely reported sale went into contract February 4 and closed March 8. It was recorded in New York City property records on March 19, becoming one of the city’s largest closings for the month.

The mansion had entered the market with an $88 million price tag in July 2020, less than a year after Epstein’s suicide in a Manhattan jail cell, where he was being held on sex-trafficking charges. With no takers, the asking price was then slashed to $65 million in early January.

Adam D. Modlin, the founder of the Modlin Group, was the listing broker for the property and also represented the Daffeys in the transaction. He said he had a nondisclosure agreement and could not discuss details of the sale.

But a spokesperson for the Daffeys, Stu Loeser, said the couple saw the mansion “as a place with a lot of potential,” and have enlisted their go-to interior designers Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts to overhaul the space.

“The first order of business is a complete makeover — physically and spiritually,” Loeser said, adding that the renovations were expected to take a year to 18 months to complete.

The couple also own a four-bedroom, 4-1/2-bathroom penthouse at 25 Bond St. in NoHo, which they are now putting on the market.

The Daffeys are looking forward to relocating back to New York from London, where they have been living since 2005, Loeser said.

“Their goal is to spend more and more time in New York,” he added. “They’re confident that New York is going to come back from its current challenges stronger than ever.”

Michael Daffey, an early investor in Bitcoins, had worked for Goldman Sachs since 1994. His retirement this month was disclosed in February.

The neo-French Classic mansion sits between Madison and Fifth avenues in the Lenox Hill neighborhood, a short walk from Central Park. The building, 15 meters wide and seven stories high, has around 2,601 square meters of interior space that includes 10 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms and a two-story reception area.

The structure was designed in the early 1930s by architect Horace Trumbauer for Herbert N. Straus, an heir to the Macy’s fortune, but Straus died before it was completed. It later became part of Saint Clare Hospital, then housed the private Birch Wathen School.

In 1989, Epstein’s mentor, Leslie H. Wexner, founder of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, bought the building from Birch Wathen for around $13.2 million and converted it into a private residence after extensive renovations. At the time, it was the highest recorded price for a town house.

Wexner never moved in, but Epstein did. In a 1996 interview, he said, “Les never spent more than two months there.” Public records show that in 2011, a deed to the property was transferred to Epstein’s Virgin Islands-based company, Maple Incorporated.

Epstein, a financier, was charged with running a sex-trafficking operation that lured dozens of underage girls to the mansion, as well as his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Funds from the mansion sale were expected to be transferred to a compensation program for the victims.