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Six-storey mansion once occupied by Michael Jackson sells for US$32m

It is the most expensive closed sale in October, according to New York City property records

New York

A SIX-STOREY, beaux-arts mansion on the Upper East Side that was home to several prominent occupants - including former US president Grover Cleveland's law partner and pop star Michael Jackson - has been sold for nearly US$32 million.

It was the most expensive closed sale in the month of October, according to New York City property records. The seller, noteworthy in his own right, was Marc Lasry, the billionaire hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball franchise.

He and his wife, Cathy Lasry, had listed the house about a year ago for US$39 million, then recently lowered it to US$35 million. They bought it in 2001 for US$11 million.

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The new owner appeared to be Michael Thomas Danson, chief executive of GlobalData, a digital media company based in London. Public records show that he took out a US$15 million mortgage on the home.

The limestone-and-red brick mansion on East 74th Street, sold by Mr Lasry, sits on one of the neighbourhood's most desired streets, between Fifth and Madison avenues.

It was designed at the turn of the 20th century by Alexander Welch and built for Francis Lynde Stetson and his wife, Elizabeth Ruff Stetson.

Mr Stetson was a law partner with Mr Cleveland between Mr Cleveland's two split terms as president.

Over the years, many residents have come and gone, including the artist Marc Chagall, who lived on the top floor with his wife, writer Bella Chagall, shortly after arriving in New York in 1941. They decorated their apartment with his artwork.

Jackson rented the house for six months, from August 1999 to February 2000. (The asking rent was US$75,000 a month in 1998.)

The building also has been featured on the big and small screens. It appeared in the 1991 film The Prince of Tides, starring Barbra Streisand, and more recently, had a recurring role in the Gossip Girl TV series that ran from 2007 to 2012.

The stately structure has nearly 12,750 square feet of interior space including seven bedrooms, eight full baths, two half baths and staff quarters in the finished basement.

Although the home was extensively renovated, many original architectural flourishes remain, like the high ceilings, detailed oak staircase, 10 wood-burning fireplaces, and wood floors, panelling and mouldings.

The exterior includes a private roof deck and a patio on the garden level. Monthly taxes are nearly US$10,000.

This wasn't the only New York property that sold for more than US$30 million last month.

Several blocks away, at a new condominium tower at 520 Park Avenue, a full-floor apartment was acquired for US$31.5 million by an unknown buyer. The sponsor unit, No 36, has about 4,600 square feet, with four bedrooms, five baths and views of Central Park.

The limestone building, designed by Robert AM Stern Architects, was developed by Zeckendorf Development; closings began in early September.

Nearby, Vornado Realty Trust's 220 Central Park South - another limestone tower designed by Robert AM Stern Architects - had its first official closing last month: a three-bedroom, three-bath unit on the 26th floor that sold for US$14.6 million. NYTIMES