image ric ocasek nyc house

Ocasek passed away in September of 2019. He and his wife, Paulina Porizkova, lived in this Gramercy Park townhouse for years. (Catherine McGann/Getty Images)

The tragic death of the Cars’ Ric Ocasek in 2019 was a sad surprise to music fans — he had just been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and few were aware he was even unwell. The superstar rocker had strong ties to NYC, having lived in the same Gramercy Park townhouse for three decades. In fact, Ocasek’s home, a townhouse at 140 E. 19th St., had been on the market for about 180 days at the time of his death. According to The Real Deal, the sale of the home has now closed at $10M. Debbie Korb of Sotheby’s represented the listing.

The 5,760-square-foot, four-story townhouse, which dates to the 1850s, boasts five bedrooms, 4.5 baths, a secluded back garden and large terrace, skylights, two fireplaces, and, of course, a private recording studio. Its East 19th Street block is often referred to as “block beautiful” due to its volume of stunning townhomes and historic carriage houses.

Ocasek was something of a fixture in the neighborhood, often seen buying milk at the bodega or grabbing dinner at the local sushi joint, always in his signature black leather jacket. According to a post on Instagram, his estranged wife, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, discovered his death when she stopped by the home to bring him coffee while he recovered from a recent surgery.

Beyond the sudden tragedy — which sparked a makeshift shrine of flowers and toy cars left by fans — this home’s music-business cred may run even deeper. According to one commenter on StreetEasy Discussions, the previous owner was Bob Krasnow, a business-side music legend who was once chairman of Elektra Records — the very label the Cars were signed to.

[This article has been updated and republished.]

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