Burns and Graham, who met in L.A. in 1998 and have recently been staying at his Upper West Side apartment, had looked at several co-ops in the area but were won over by the Kennedy loft, with its 14-ft. ceilings, wood floors, private elevator, skylights and views of New York City in three directions. "It's really open and has many more windows than the typical loft," says Corcoran, whose agents have seen the property. (The deal was brokered by Sotheby's International Realty.) "It has only one bedroom, so the bulk of the space is left open."
Kennedy bought the 2,400-sq.-ft. penthouse for $700,000 in 1994, two years before his marriage to Bessette. After he and Carolyn were killed in a plane crash last summer, ownership passed to a trust set up for the three children of his sister, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. Taking into account the lure of the Kennedy name, the trust put it on the market in December with an asking price of $2.5 million, nearly twice the cost of similar dwellings in the area. "It's a much sought-after building," says Deborah Schoeneman, real estate reporter for the New York Observer. "With no doorman or concierge, it's very private and quiet." To maintain the Kennedy family's privacy during the sale, prospective buyers were required to show proof of their financial status before being allowed into the loft and to sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to talk about what they saw.
But Burns shouldn't expect to discover any Kennedy mementos left in the closets. Soon after the tragedy, the families retrieved the couple's personal belongings. "Anything that had a stitch of his personality was removed," one real estate broker told New York magazine.
Even without the Kennedy aura, the neighborhood boasts plenty of star power: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal and Mariah Carey all call Tribeca home. "It's a great hood. It's got that downtown feeling," attests singer Marc Anthony, who also lives on North Moore. "It's not hard to understand why celebrities love it," says Corcoran. "Tribeca looks grubby, but you've got millionaire stacked upon millionaire. And when they come down on the street, they can be invisible."
Burns and Graham, who just finished shooting his film Sidewalks of New York in Manhattan, are already making themselves at home on their new stomping grounds. "I've seen them walking around," says an employee at Bubby's, a local restaurant that the Kennedys frequented. "I hope they're as nice as John and Carolyn were."
Julie K.L. Dam
Natasha Stoynoff in New York City