[The Real Deal] Marc Jocobs Co-Founder Pays $5.2M for Skinny Village Twonhouse

Duffy, one of the founders of the Marc Jacobs International fashion brand, has closed on the $5.2 million purchase of a townhouse at 35 West 12th Street, one of the skinniest homes in the city, records show.

The four-story townhouse between Fifth and Sixth avenues is a mere 13.5 feet wide, sandwiched between two much taller buildings. New York's skinniest townhouse is the 9.5-foot-wide 72 1/2 Bedford St. in the West Village, the onetime home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and the actors Cary Grant and John Barrymore.

However, sources said the 2,700-square-foot home feels much more spacious inside, and Duffy's agent, Frank Arends, a senior vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman, said the fashion executive preferred the coziness of the West 12th Street home to "majestic" townhouses.

"The grandeur of those townhouses, he's not really fond of," Arends said. "He likes it intimate."

Duffy recently sold a larger townhouse -- the 22-foot wide, 2,700-square-foot home at 62 Bank Street -- for $7.05 million.

He paid $1,926 per square foot for the West 12th Street residence, which Arends said will not be his primary residence. The property was listed at $5.4 million by Sara Gelbard and Paul Kolbusz, both senior vice presidents at the Corcoran Group, who both declined to comment on the transaction.

The sellers were David and Valerie Hyde, an elderly couple who bought the property in 1974 for $120,000, according to property records. The Hydes are now in their 80s and found the townhouse, which the listing said still has its original mahogany staircase, too difficult to live in, according to a source familiar with the deal.

"They were sad to leave, but they're going to be much happier in Vermont," where they also have a home, the source said.

Indeed, the sellers' desire to extend their stay in the property was a sticking point in contract negotiations, Arends said, since they were not just selling a house, but "selling a life, basically."

As soon as the deal closed, Duffy started renovations on the property, upgrading the kitchen and "making things a little more 'now,'" Arends said.

A spokesperson for Marc Jacobs International said Duffy was unavailable for comment because he is recovering from hip surgery.

Duffy's business partner, Marc Jacobs, also recently made a move, leaving the 2,062-square-foot penthouse he rented at 252 Seventh Avenue in September.