Even before the luxurious town house at 153 Franklin Street came under the spotlight for its newest tenant, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, it had attracted attention in the real estate world for its long and costly renovation.
Purchased for almost $6.8 million in 2008, according to PropertyShark.com, the 27-foot-wide town house underwent a renovation that cost about $1.6 million and took about a year and a half, said Leopoldo Rosati, the architect who oversaw it.
Mr. Rosati said he had gutted the house to make it feel more loft-like — “we are in TriBeCa so we needed to create open spaces,” he explained. He added a kitchen enclosed by sliding wood panels, a basement gym and screening room and a planted terrace on the second floor, with much of the stone and metal work completed in Italy.
The property’s status is not entirely clear, but there is a lis pendens — often the first step toward foreclosure — that was filed in March. The owner had put the house on the market in 2009 for just under $15 million, later dropping the price to just under $14 million, where it remains now.
There had been interest in the property and a number of deals that came close but fell through for different reasons, said Robert Dvorin, who said he handled the property at Prudential Douglas Elliman and brought it to the Town agency, where it was listed for rent at $50,000 a month.
Mr. Dvorin, who represented only the property owner, said Mr. Strauss-Kahn was brought in as a renter by an agent from another brokerage. He would not discuss the transaction.
But, Mr. Dvorin said that the renewed attention could help finally sell it.
“Who knows?” he said. “Maybe somebody somewhere in the world will see it and fall in love with the house and buy it. That would be incredible.”