Professor Sells NYU-Owned Townhouse For Millions

The university’s current tax filings reveal a payment they received after a faculty member sold their home.


Kenzo Kimura

A front view of 77 Charles St, a property originally owned by NYU, and recently sold for millions. (Photo by Kenzo Kimura)

Alexandria Johnson, Deputy News Editor

An NYU professor made $8.3 million by selling a property originally owned by NYU — a deal which the university profited from, too — as reported by the New York Post.

In 1996 the NYU School of Law Foundation made a deal to rent the Charles Street Townhouse to Law Professor Richard Stewart for an undisclosed price, according to the university’s most recent tax filing. The deal had a provision which allowed the professor to sell the house — with NYU receiving a set amount based on an agreed-upon formula — and Stewart receiving the rest. The house was sold in 2017 but came up in NYU’s tax forms, which showed that Stewart pocketed $8.3 million after Le Petit Francozuelan LLC purchased the property for $15 million.

University spokesperson John Beckman noted that the large sum of money Stewart received stemmed from the property having increased in value over the 20-plus years it was used as faculty housing.

“The vast majority of Professor Stewart’s compensation as reflected in NYU’s 990 form did not come from the University or from tuition dollars,” Beckman said.

The New York Post notes that another law professor, Daniel Shaviro, does not have the option to buy a townhouse on the same street. Instead, he only rents it from the university.

The university had bought the townhouse in 1996 from Loren H. Plotkin, who studied tax law at NYU Law, according to city documents. Although the amount NYU paid for the property is not listed, a neighboring townhouse sold for $2.9 million in 2011, less than a fifth of the $15 million Stewart’s property sold for in 2017.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, print edition. Email Alexandria Johnson at [email protected]