Shortly after Epstein died in August, brokers began to hover over 9 E. 71st St. The 50-foot-wide townhouse “is the best in the city,” says super-broker Dolly Lenz.
Even though a sale would be complicated given Epstein’s estate and the lawsuits against it, the seven-story mansion would be worth at least $100 million, several brokers say.
At first, there were reports that the “creep” factor — women have reported being kept in the home and farmed out for sex to Epstein’s powerful friends — would translate to a lower sales price.
But brokers have revised their thinking. “Whoever buys it will renovate the hell out of it, literally, and put their own mark on it,” adds another broker.
Townhouse expert Jed Garfield says he has been in the home and shown it to interested buyers seven or eight times — though when Epstein was alive and with his explicit permission.
“It looked like any other rich person’s house,” he says, including a home office filled with photos of Epstein with celebrities and politicians. (Bizarre taxidermy and a weird painting of Bill Clinton have also been reported in the home.)
Les Wexner, founder and CEO of the L Brands corporation as well as a benefactor to Epstein, bought the home in 1989 for $13.2 million. By 2011, Wexner had transferred ownership to Epstein for $0. Since his death, it has become a ghoulish tourist attraction.
No matter what happens with the sale of 9 E. 71st St., it will take a long time before heirs to Epstein’s estate, including his brother Mark, see any money.
The estate is valued at about $577 million, including art and property in Palm Beach, Paris, the Virgin Islands, and New Mexico along with the New York mansion.
First, the estate will pay Epstein’s debts and taxes. Then funds will likely be tied up by alleged victims’ lawsuits.
“If an asset like a mansion is converted into cash, that does not in itself hurt the victims’ claims,” says attorney Stan Pottinger, who represents some of Epstein’s alleged victims. “But they still have to pursue those claims through litigation or other means, and the timing of that process is impossible to gauge at this point.”