The New York townhouse that belonged to disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is under contract to sell for $50 million.

The 28,000-square-foot townhouse at 9 East 71st Street is slated to become the most expensive sale in New York City so far this year after an anonymous buyer entered contact to buy it, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Jeffrey Epstein | Associated Press

Along with a nine-bedroom waterfront estate in Palm Beach, the ostentatious townhouse hit the market a year after Epstein died of an apparent suicide in a jail cell in August 2019. Epstein committed suicide while waiting for trial on charges of running an extensive worldwide sex trafficking scheme involving underage girls. The New York townhouse was the site of a police raid in which photos of underage girls, piles of cash, diamonds and an expired passport listing Saudi Arabia as Epstein’s residence were uncovered after Epstein was arrested in 2019.

Throughout his life, Epstein mysteriously amassed a fortune of around $636 million and a real estate empire that also included an apartment in Paris, a ranch in New Mexico and a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The sale of both the townhouse and the Palm Beach mansion are part of  a victims’ compensation fund that the judge and Epstein’s estate negotiated for his alleged victims. While the Palm Beach property had sold by November, the 40-room townhouse stayed on the market for longer.

The site of a private school in the 1930s, the Neoclassical Upper East Side townhouse had been shrouded in secrecy and controversy for decades — Leslie Wexner, the founder of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands, bought it in 1989 and later sold it to a company headed by Epstein. After Epstein’s death, a group of preservationists unsuccessfully tried to push the Frick Collection to buy it so that the museum could go forward with their plans to expand without tearing down part of its existing Gilded Age gallery.

The New York townhouse was originally listed for $88 million with Adam Modlin of the Modlin Group and later lowered to $65 million. Local agents and real estate analysts predicted it would be a tough sell given its connection to Epstein and the ring of sex trafficking. While the property sits on some of the most valuable real estate in the city and the country, almost no detail currently exists on what will happen to it after the planned sale.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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