As soon as he stepped inside the East Village duplex 12 years ago, the theater director David Saint knew that it would be his next home.

“I saw about 20 apartments while I was looking to buy, and this was the last one,” he said. “The minute I walked in, I knew.”

What sold Mr. Saint on the brand-new penthouse, just off Union Square, at 123 Third Avenue and East 14th Street, was the wraparound terrace and its stunning cityscape and river views. He would eventually transform the terrace into his “little Garden of Eden” with fountains, obelisks, and potted trees, plants and flowers — not to mention a happening place for parties.

Mr. Saint, who has worked in theater for decades and more recently was an associate producer on the 2021 film “West Side Story,” has entertained numerous celebrities there, including Marlo Thomas, Tyne Daly and Steven Spielberg, along with the casts of many shows. “When people come to visit the apartment, they don’t want to leave the terrace,” he said.

But Mr. Saint is now ready to do just that. After a breakup with his partner, with whom he had shared the apartment for several years, he said he had determined that “it’s time for me to move away — it’s a new chapter.” He is selling the penthouse for $4.995 million, according to the listing broker, James Foreman of Brown Harris Stevens; monthly carrying charges total $8,633.

Mr. Saint bought the unit in the spring of 2012 for nearly $3.9 million and then spent about $750,000 more, by his recollection, landscaping, designing and irrigating the terrace, as well as building out the closets and adding bookcases to the living room.

“Arthur Laurents was my mentor, and I inherited 75 first-edition books from him,” Mr. Saint said, referring to the Broadway director, playwright and screenwriter who died in 2011. He serves as the executor and literary executor of Mr. Laurents’s estate and the president of the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, which helps support new theatrical works. Mr. Saint is also the longtime artistic director of George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J.

Mr. Saint’s home has other items that once belonged to Mr. Laurents, including artwork, various pieces of theater memorabilia, elegant crystal chandeliers and a Baldwin grand piano, which, as he pointed out, “has a lot of history.”

“I pried open the bench, and inside was original sheet music from ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Gypsy,’” he said, adding that the composers Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein both “played songs on this piano.”

Encompassing 2,049 square feet, the penthouse, one of several in the building, sits on the 15th and 16th floors of the condominium, which was completed in 2011. It has two bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom, and a powder room. There are 11-foot ceilings and oak floors throughout the space.

The home’s main entrance is on the lower level. A foyer leads to a great room with floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that open to the 960-square-foot terrace. The loftlike room, measuring 40 feet by 13 feet, has a living room area, a marble powder room and a dining space. Nearby is an open kitchen outfitted with high-end appliances, along with Caesarstone countertops and Poliform lacquer cabinets.

“It’s a good kitchen for cooking,” Mr. Foreman said, noting, too, that each area of the great room, including the kitchen, has an entrance to the terrace. “It flows so beautifully.”

Upstairs are the bedrooms and a laundry area. The primary suite has an extra-large walk-in closet and a 13-by-7-foot balcony.

Mr. Saint says he’ll miss the apartment’s outdoor space, as well as the vibrancy of the neighborhood. “The views are breathtaking,” he said. “You see all the great landmark buildings” — among them the Empire State, Chrysler and Consolidated Edison Buildings and One World Trade Center.

And then there are the “pyramids.”

“I would sit on the terrace, and I counted 27 pyramids atop the buildings, all mainly designed by Freemasons back in the early 1900s,” Mr. Saint said. On the terrace, “I wanted to continue that theme, so I created three obelisks with pyramids on top,” he explained. “The pyramid shape is supposed to bring the energy of the sun into the city.”

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