By Katherine Clarke

Updated June 4, 2019 6:57 p.m. ET

Former hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone has sold a New York townhouse for close to $80 million, making it the most expensive residential townhouse ever sold in the city, according to people familiar with the deal.

The property is one of two he and his wife, Lisa Falcone, own on the same street on the Upper East Side. Another smaller property they own is still for sale asking $29.5 million, according to listings website StreetEasy.




The larger double-wide townhouse is well known as the former home of “Penthouse” magazine founder Bob Guccione. The Falcones bought it for $49 million in 2008 and have invested millions in a multi-year renovation, Mr. Falcone told The Wall Street Journal in March 2018. He said they expanded the property to almost 30,000 square feet and added a pool and a movie theater below ground level.

The house was built as two buildings in 1879, according to city records.

It’s the most expensive townhouse ever sold in New York City, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller. The current record was set in 2006, when financier J. Christopher Flowers paid $53 million for the Harkness mansion on East 75th  Street.

The property was never formally listed. Rather, Mr. Falcone shopped it through real estate agent Adam Modlin for a couple of months, according to people familiar with the off-market deal. The identity of the buyer could not be determined.

Mr. Falcone, a former high-yield bond trader on Wall Street and the founder of Harbinger Capital, is chairman and CEO of Hc2 Holdings , a publicly traded company that owns majority stakes in firms such as DBM Global, a structural and steel construction services company, and Global Marine Group, which installs, maintains and repairs submarine communications cable.

His smaller home came on the market for $39 million in 2018, but its price has been slashed several times since. The Falcones bought that property for $10.375 million in 2004, records show.

Write to Katherine Clarke at