Alpine Tract Sold for $58M

Posted by — January 8, 2006

Alpine Tract Sold for $58M By PRASHANT GOPAL, NorthJersey.com

A real estate investor on Wednesday purchased a five-bedroom Alpine home on 63 acres of woods and rolling meadows for a whopping $58 million, according to the broker of the deal.

The house itself - a 7,000-square-foot Colonial - represented a fraction of the cost. It's the vast swath of land on Closter Dock Road, north of the Alpine Country Club golf course, that justified the price - a $27 million discount from the asking price.

"It's the most prestigious, beautiful, valuable land in the state," said Dennis McCormack, the owner of Prominent Properties, Sotheby's International Realty, which brokered the deal.

Few people knew the property was even on the market. McCormack marketed the property privately and solicited only buyers with the financial resources to buy it, he said.

McCormack identified the buyer as Richard Kurtz, but said he does not know what he plans to do with the site. Kurtz is the founder of Englewood Cliffs-based Kamson Corp., which manages apartments in four states.

Arthur Tassaro, a Realtor with Friedberg Properties in Cresskill, said the Alpine land might accommodate several dozen houses, which would sell for at least $5 million each. He said there is considerable demand for mansions in the town, which is just about seven miles from the George Washington Bridge and has a limited supply of housing.

"It's gold," said Tassaro, who was not involved in the deal. "To me, this is comparable to finding a few acres in downtown Manhattan that nobody knew about."

Attempts to reach Mayor Paul Tomasko were not successful Wednesday evening. Attempts to locate the buyer and seller for comment were also not successful.

The price tag is remarkable, even in Alpine, where Donald and Bernice Drapkin last year put their 60,000-square-foot mansion on the market for $40 million. The home, which is still on the market, features 13 bedrooms, 23 bathrooms, a bowling alley, a movie theater and a 15-car garage.

Alpine is one of the nation's wealthiest enclaves and home to such celebrities as comedian Chris Rock and Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield.

The seller, Henry Clay Frick II, is also a celebrity of sorts. He is the grandson of a steel magnate with the same name who founded the Frick Collection, one of the world's most famous museums.

Kurtz's interest in real estate began in the 1950s when he was a child in Brooklyn, he said in an interview with Real Estate Weekly in 1994. He read a copy of "How I Turned $1,000 into a Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time" and it changed his life, he told the publication.

Kamson manages numerous properties in New Jersey including Cambridge Arms in Hackensack, the Kennedy Garden Apartments in Lodi, Tree Top Terrace in Bloomingdale and Country Club Towers in Clifton.

McCormack said Frick put his property on sale about a year ago for $85 million.

"Over the past several decades, Dr. Frick had acquired contiguous properties as they became available," McCormack said. "Up until now the Frick family always retained the property for their private enjoyment."

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