Stephen M. Silverman
January 28, 2002 10:00 AM

Who says the New York real-estate market is sagging? Not Will Smith. Or, if it is, he’s not paying any attention to that fact. Monday’s New York Post reports that the “Ali” star is seeking a one-month sublet in Manhattan, and he’s willing to go as high as $80,000 per month. Smith, 33, is said to be seeking privacy for himself and his family in the Big Apple as he wraps up a new album and continues to promote his latest movie, in which he stars as the boxing hero. Smith and his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, have three children (one is from Will’s previous marriage). So far, says the Post, Smith or his reps have rejected a 32nd-floor, terraced apartment near the United Nations, renting for a mere $40,000 per month. Smith, along with many stars, prefers not to stay at a hotel, where he potentially would have to deal with the prying eyes of fellow guests in the lobby and hotel employees. (Thus, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California, stars traditionally prefer the more private bungalows, which can be accessed without walking through the hotel’s public spaces.) Still, notes the Post, Manhattan hotels such as the Plaza or the Pierre probably could arrange private entrances for Smith and his entourage. Private apartments are also available throughout midtown Manhattan — and at about half the price Smith is reportedly willing to spend.

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