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Alicia Keys Seeks Hefty Profit in Manhattan Condo Sale (photos)

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz are selling their swank New York City apartment barely two years after buying it in what will likely be a key test of Manhattan’s luxury condo market. They want a whopping $17.95 million, a hefty $5.2 million mark up over their purchase price.

The 5-bedroom, 4.5 bathroom condo is located in a star-crossed building at 30 Crosby St. in Manhattan’s trendy SoHo neighborhood.

The converted factory building has been home to a slew of celebrities, who don’t stay long in the building. Keys bought the property from fellow musician Lenny Kravitz for $12.75 million in Jan. 2010, according to Real Estalker.

Check out the condo; click pics to enlarge.

At the time, Karvitz’s condo was closely watched because it was considered a litmus test of the strength of New York City’s ultra-high-end real estate market. The deal ended the property’s on-again off-again odyssey on the real estate market.

The seven-story building was built in the mid-19th Century to house factories. It was converted to 13 condominium apartments by Landmark Development in 2000.

When the property was converted in 2000, it contained eight 4,100-square-foot lofts, three maisonette duplexes with private gardens, and two penthouses. The developer spared no expense on the fixtures, and the penthouses originally listed for $7 million.

Celebrities flocked to the building as it was opening.  Kravitz, Courtney Love and Liv Tyler, daughter of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, all signed contracts to purchase units there.

Kravitz reportedly bought the duplex penthouse for $8 million, and Love bought a $2.6 million loft. But the publicity caused Tyler to back out of her contract.

At one time or another, Claudia Schiffer, Rosie O’Donnell, Mike Piazza, Cindy Crawford and Denzel Washington all were reported to have checked out apartments in the building – and passed.

The building gained even more notoriety when Ben Stiller used a model apartment on the third floor in his film, “Zoolander.”

Kravitz first put the penthouse on the market in January 2002 for $16 million.

By then, designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz had massively renovated the property, adding suspended staircases, a communal shower and a urinal in the master bathroom. At one point, it listed for almost $20 million.

As it languished on the market, the home reportedly became a crash pad for celebrity friends like Washington and Nicole Kidman, who briefly dated Kravitz in 2003, according to the New York Observer.

The building, itself, contains crazy expensive amenities. The penthouse terraces contain outdoor fireplaces; the bathrooms have wide “rain” showerheads and the kitchens contain a  “smart garbage” recycling system that automatically sorts paper and plastic and Bosch appliances.

The building has a shared wine cellar and tasting room where residents can store at least 1,000 bottles of their favorite vintages or dine around a farmhouse table in front of yet another fireplace.

The decks are covered with titanium–inspired by the Bilbao Guggenheim museum–and floors are tiled with San Cristobal marble.

The penthouse, which Kravitz called “a study in rock ‘n’ roll design,” includes a gourmet stainless-steel and marble kitchen, 30-foot ceilings, a billiard room, a media room, a glass-enclosed terrace with a hot tub and living room that features the apartment’s signature detail—an undulating wall that spits fire.

A glass staircase leads to the upstairs master bedroom and three guest bedrooms, while a second glass staircase leads to the roof deck and its built-in grill.

Keys was raised by a single mother in the Hell’s Kitchen, a once tough neighborhood that was the setting for the Broadway musical West Side Story. Today, it’s largely gentrified.

It’s unknown whether Keys poured any money into additional renovations, but the aggressive asking price says a lot about her chutzpah or her confidence in the Manhattan real estate market.

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