ESCAPE FROM MOLD MANOR: APTS. ON SALE

By BRADEN KEIL

January 30, 2003 -- RESIDENTS at 515 Park Ave. are fleeing - and listing - their eight-figure luxury lairs after learning about a toxic mold spreading throughout their high-maintenance building.
Several of the condo apartments, ranging from $7.9 million to $23 million, are flooding the already-strained market for ultra-luxury properties.

One source familiar with the structure's moldy menace says sales should get brisker after a report in The Post about a lawsuit brought by resident Richard Kramer against the building's board, developer and financiers.

"Some people in the building are just realizing how serious this is," said the source. "There are apartments on two floors that are destroyed. Many are now talking to brokers."

So far, five apartments - full-floor simplexes and duplexes - are presently on the market. Former Bankers Trust chief Frank Newman, who was on the building's board, quickly listed his duplex after a short stay at the building, with a price tag of $23 million.

Sources say that Vivendi Universal is trying to sell the apartment bought by ousted CEO Jean-Marie Messier for $17.5 million, but could end up taking a loss now that word of the contamination has leaked.

Other apartments for sale include those of Goldman Sachs exec Tucker York, for $7.9 million, and the 29th-floor pad of investment banker Charles Brandes for $12.75 million - reduced from $13.5 million.

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