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Heiress Buys Vanderbilt Mansion on the Upper East Side for $48 Million

By Tom Liddy | May 7, 2011 11:33am | Updated on May 8, 2011 8:03am
Elizabeth "Libet" Johnson poses with then-boyfriend Lionel Bissoon and their adopted son William in 2003.
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New York Magazine

By Tom Liddy

DNAinfo News Editor

UPPER EAST SIDE - Heiress Elizabeth "Libet" Johnson has snapped up the massive Vanderbilt mansion for more than $48 million, according to a published report.

The eyepopping price for the five-story spread at 16. E. 69th St., near Fifth Avenue, is the most paid for a Manhattan townhouse since 2008, the New York Post said.

"This is the highest reported residential sale of any type this year, and it would be the highest Manhattan townhouse sale since 2008 pre-Lehman," real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller told the paper.

Johnson, the sister of Jets owner Woody Johnson and an heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, already has an extensive real estate portfolio that includes a 20,000 square foot triplex at the Trump International Hotel and Tower on Central Park West.

The 12,100 square foot, 69th Street mansion was built in 1881 and used to belong to Alice Vanderbilt, the widow of railroad mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the paper said.

The stately home was renovated with a focus on entertainment by Beauty.com founder Roger Barnett, a previous owner.