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Lawyerly Lairs: An M&A Maven’s Magnificent Manse

Behind the blue door lies a world of great beauty.

You’d expect a top mergers-and-acquisitions lawyer to have excellent business sense. So it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that an M&A partner at a leading law firm bought a Manhattan townhouse for $837,000 that is now probably worth more than $7 million.

It’s a gorgeous home, very tastefully decorated (which can’t be said of all our Lawyerly Lairs). Let’s see some pictures and learn more about it, including the identities of the owners….

The elegant townhouse at 323 West 19th Street in Chelsea is owned by John A. Marzulli Jr., an M&A partner at Shearman & Sterling, and his wife Penny Marzulli, who used to work at the firm (and now works as an administrator at a Brooklyn charter school). The Marzullis’ home, which is currently on the market for $7.25 million, was recently featured as “House of the Day” by the Wall Street Journal:

John and Penny Marzulli purchased this single-family townhouse on West 19th Street in Chelsea for $837,000 in 1989, according to public records. The couple met when they both worked at international law firm Shearman & Sterling, where Mr. Marzulli still works as an attorney. The facade of the townhouse, pictured, was cleaned and renovated in 2007.

After graduating from New York University School of Law, Mr. Marzulli purchased a different brownstone on 19th Street with two classmates in 1981. Noticing property values were rising, the Marzullis decided to purchase this townhouse on the same block. ‘My sense was that the area was on an upward trajectory,’ Mr. Marzulli says.

John A. Marzulli Jr.

Marzulli was absolutely right. If he gets anywhere close to the asking price of $7.25 million, he’ll have made a nice profit on this home. Yes, the Marzullis owned the house for almost 25 years, and yes, they put $700,000 into renovating it. But think about all the years of living that they and their three children got out of this home, as well as any tax deductions for mortgage interest. (They did spend six years away from New York, when John Marzulli worked in Shearman’s London office, but they rented out the house during that time.)

One would have had to spend a pretty penny to rent equivalent digs. From the listing (held by Vickey Barron and Ryan Fitzpatrick of the CORE Group):

An abundance of natural light makes this single-family home a true rarity. This stately townhouse combines the elegance of late 19th century New York with the comforts of contemporary living on a beautiful tree-lined block in the heart of Chelsea. Nearly 21-feet wide, this townhouse has five bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms as well as three distinct outdoor spaces, including a large and private patio off of the family room that’s perfect for entertaining. The garden level also features a double-height entry hall, formal dining room, open kitchen, and family room as well as laundry and powder rooms. With ceilings of nearly 11-feet in height, the grand parlor floor encompasses a large and airy living room with a wet-bar and one of five wood-burning fireplaces.

All that living space amounts to approximately 3,680 square feet, meaning that the house is priced at approximately $2,000 a square foot. That’s not unreasonable for a single-family townhouse in excellent condition in the heart of Manhattan. As noted in the listing, the house boasts all the latest comforts and conveniences: “This home has been modernized with central A/C, forced air heat, central vacuum system, and automatic irrigation in both the front and rear yards.”

Now let’s begin our tour….

(hidden for your protection)

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