By VERENA DOBNIK - Associated Press
NEW YORK — The $50,000-a-month Manhattan townhouse that Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife rented while he fought sexual assault charges is on the market again.
With the former International Monetary Fund chief back in France after the criminal charges were dropped, one might wonder whether his four-month presence in the lavish home will boost or bust its value.
"All press is good press. It brings a lot of attention," said Robert Dvorin, senior vice president of Town Residential, the Manhattan real estate company handling the home.
The media had camped out for months in front of the four-floor, 6,800-square-foot townhouse at 153 Franklin St., a cobblestone block in the tony Tribeca neighborhood. The home, which is also for sale at just under $14 million, has been freshly painted and cleaned since the French couple's departure two weeks ago.
Within 24 hours of the listing going up, inquiries poured in from the Middle East, Europe and Asia, Dvorin said.
"It's amazing, the global attention created by this rental," he said. Many people have seen the property, but it's too early for bids, Dvorin told The Associated Press on Friday.
Strauss-Kahn, then the chairman of the IMF, was arrested in May and charged with assaulting a maid at the Sofitel, a midtown Manhattan hotel. He was jailed for several days, then released on $1 million cash bail plus a $5 million insurance bond.
Strauss-Kahn and his wealthy wife, Anne Sinclair, first moved into a lower Manhattan apartment where tenants and the landlord objected to their attention-grabbing presence.
They then moved to the townhouse, paying $50,000 a month to walk across its antique French floors. They left after the charges were dropped.
Built in 1915, the 27-foot-wide home was recently renovated by Italian architect and designer Leopoldo Rosati.
It has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, a living room with a large skylight and fireplace, a nanny suite, a state-of-the-art movie theater and a gym. The third-floor master bedroom boasts a wet bar, his and hers walk-in closets and dressing rooms, and a bath with rainfall steam showers for two and a deep-soaking jetted tub. A terrace offers privacy in the form of delicate Japanese paper in a double glass wall blocking voyeurs.
When word first got out that Strauss-Kahn was living there, "Web traffic for the company went up by 20 times; people wanted to see the listing," Dvorin said.
But Dvorin said the lasting interest is not attributable solely to Strauss-Kahn.
The fact is, he said, "the house is gorgeous."WATCH this NBC New York report for a glimpse of the apartment:
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