Nobody wants to buy the 'Versailles in Manhattan,' a $19.75 million Upper East Side townhouse that has been on and off the market for 15 years

  • The "Versailles in Manhattan," an Upper East Side townhouse, has been on and off the New York real estate market since 2003.
  • Its highest asking price was $35 million; now that it's in the hands of residential brokers for the 12th time, it's listed for $19.75 million, reports the New York Post.
  • No one is buying the townhouse due to its less prestigious location, museum-like grandeur, and long market history, according to real estate experts.

With steep prices for little space, the New York real estate market is known to be a bit outrageous.

Even so, one of the city's most lavish townhouses with more than 8,000 square feet of living space can't find a buyer.

Dubbed an "architectural masterpiece" and the "Versailles in Manhattan" by brokers, a 15-room, Neo-Georgian townhouse can arguably add "unsellable" to its list of nicknames.

The Upper East Side townhouse, owned by commercial real estate broker Kenneth Laub, has been on the market since April 2003 and now finds itself in the hands of its 12th set of residential brokers trying to sell the home, reports the New York Post.

Newly co-listed with agents Douglas Elliman and Corcoran, the price has been slashed to $19.75 million.

That's quite the drop from its $35 million asking price in December 2007, its heftiest price tag in the last 15 years. Word through the real estate grapevine is that no other Manhattan townhouse has spent as much time time bouncing around the market, according to the New York Post.

Laub purchased the home in 1986 for $4 million. He told the Observer in 2009, when the home was still at its $35 million asking price, "If I'm overpriced, then so be it. If someone feels that the house is worth what I think it is worth, then they'll buy it. And if not, then they won't. And it's not the end of the world one way or another."

Even now, more than $15 million cheaper, some real estate experts find it priced a little higher than its "no-mans land" location calls for, according to the New York Post. Its price tag is more on par with sought-after townhouses that hold the prestige of Central Park and Fifth Avenue locations. A townhouse in the same area as this one recently sold for $9.5 million in January, reports the New York Post.

Sources told the New York Post there are a few reasons why buyers aren't biting: the square footage is a bit misleading since it includes the finished basement; the property may have gained a bad reputation after sitting on the market for so long; and its gorgeous Versailles-inspired interiors, which came to life after Laub renovated the townhouse, may be a bit old-fashioned for the contemporary buyer.

Keep scrolling to see inside the townhouse.

Inside the townhouse dubbed the 'Versailles in Manhattan'
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Inside the townhouse dubbed the 'Versailles in Manhattan'

The Versailles-inspired townhouse covers about 6,700 square feet across four stories — counting the finished basement with inlaid marble and wood flooring and a window, it's roughly 8,000 square feet. It was built in 1872 by architect John G. Prague in Neo-Georgian style with an exterior facade of raked limestone and red clay brick and has monthly real estate taxes of $8,290, according to the listing. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

Laub renovated the townhouse when he bought it for $4 million in 1986. The entry forecourt includes a separate service entrance and radiant heat sidewalk for snow removal. Among the home's many features are 15 rooms, eight ornate fireplaces, eight marble baths, an elevator servicing all floors, a gym, and a tasteful rooftop garden. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

But that's just the beginning of its opulent interiors. The Louis XIV-style living room features 10 painted canvas panels inspired by the Fragonard Room of the Frick Collection. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

Not far from the living room on the second floor is an English pine library dating back to 1872. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

On the opposite end of the townhouse's second floor is a sumptuous dining room‚ but it's not worth a visit without bringing a bottle from the temperature-controlled wine cellar in the basement. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

To get to the dining room, you'll have to pass through a Belle Époque bar area featuring a Lalique-style glass ceiling that illuminates the interior. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

There are also five bedroom suites in the top two floors of the townhouse as well as cedar closets. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

Despite all the grandeur, the lavish spread may not appeal to buyers seeking a more modern look. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

There's a beautiful European-designed rooftop garden. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman

Current zoning permits approximately 1,400 square feet to be added as a fifth floor with a private sixth floor deck above. 

Photo credit: Douglas Elliman



SEE ALSO: Nobody wants to buy this $79.5 million Upper East Side mansion that costs $240,000 a year in taxes

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