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Grace Hightower Lists Manhattan Apartment She Once Shared with Robert De Niro for $20 Million

Grace Hightower, once the wife of actor Robert De Niro, is now prepared to embark on a new chapter. As part of her fresh start after their divorce, she is selling the Manhattan apartment they shared for $20 million.

Hightower
Robert De Niro (photo via Twitter, @Rob_D_Niro). Grace Hightower (photo via Instagram, @graceinthetower)

According to The Wall Street Journal, Hightower and De Niro had shared the Central Park West co-op, which they bought for $20.9 million in 2006. The nearly $1 million loss is due to the co-op market in New York City facing a small decline as more buyers have an increased desire for more flexibility in using their apartments as pieds-à-terre, according to listing agent Leonard Steinberg of Compass, The Journal noted.

PHOTO: JOEL PITRA/DD REPS/COMPASS

“Co-ops have gotten pretty beaten-up, pricewise,” he said.

Coveted Central Park Location

Located in the highly sought-after Central Park West address, 88 Central Park West, The Brentmore, designed by Schwartz and Gross in 1910 and later converted to a cooperative in 1959, is an iconic building that exudes sophistication and charm. 

Comprising 12 floors with 28 units, The Brentmore offers what many envision when they think of elite New York City living, including full-time doorman and concierge services, private storage, and a pet-friendly environment. Residents also enjoy lush views of the scenic Central Park trees through decorative terra-cotta window panels overlooking a tranquil courtyard.

PHOTO: JOEL PITRA/DD REPS/COMPASS

The Brentmore truly embodies luxury living amidst the dynamic surroundings of Central Park West. However, for Hightower, it is about more than just luxurious living. Following a devastating fire in 2012, she’s eager to create a space of her own.

“I want to have my own place and really make it my own,” Hightower shared with The Journal. She expressed her desire for vibrant interiors, noting that her ex-husband did not share her enthusiasm for bold colors. “I want cobalt blue. I want to splash pink everywhere… It will be my dream come true.”

Hightower and De Niro’s relationship began in 1987 when they crossed paths at a Mr. Chow restaurant in London where she worked as a waitress. 

They tied the knot in 1997 but parted ways in 2018, as reported by Huffington Post. The couple shares two children — Elliot and Helen, who was welcomed via a surrogate. Additionally, the Oscar winner has four other children from previous marriages. 

Despite their shared history, their home was marred by an incident in June 2012 when a fire broke out due to lint stuck in the dryer on the 5th floor, The New York Post reported. Their daughter, then just 3 months old and presumably Helen, was inside, looked after by Hightower’s sister, who promptly evacuated with the baby upon detecting smoke.

The couple received news of the fire while dining in a remote area of Gabon, Africa, a place they frequented, The Journal reported. Hightower’s connection to Africa runs deep, as she is the founder of Coffee of Grace, a Rwandan coffee company championing fair-trade principles.

“It was almost like seeing someone you know who died,” Hightower said. “The furniture was charred, and the smell was repulsive. It was almost beyond belief,” Hightower said. “I literally almost fell against the stairs because I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

The 2015 renovation following the fire brought about significant changes to the apartment, not only in its physical appearance but also in its overall energy. 

“The renovation, when it was finally completed in 2015, changed the apartment physically, but it also changed the energy,” Hightower said.

When Hightower and De Niro were together, they temporarily moved from their Central Park West apartment to different accommodations. However, they found the co-ops at One57, a luxury high-rise known as Billionaires’ Row, unsuitable due to a panic room, which deterred Hightower. 

Instead, they opted to rent a glassy West Village duplex at 15 Central Park West, also known as 15 CPW. This residence, with its New Classical and Neo-Renaissance style reminiscent of their old home on 88 Central Park West, offered them a comfortable living space.

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