Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Whirlwind Tour Through Billionaire Len Blavatnik's Behemoth Digs

A week or two ago Your Mama discussed the dee-luxe digs at 1040 Fifth Avenue that booze baron and entertainment mogul Edgar Bronfman Junior reportedly purchased for clost to $20,000,000. Y'all will recall that 1040 Fifth is the same building where the legendary Jackie-O lived for many years until her death in the 1990s. In that discussion we mentioned that Mister Bronfman Jr. had also reportedly sold his 15,000 square foot townhouse at 15 East 64th Street for a rumored $50,000,000+.

Today, the good people over at the NY Observer, specifically the incomparable real estate gossip Max Abelson, report that the townhouse was purchased for by Russian born oligarch Len Blavatnik, who Forbes ranked as the 40th richest man in the world in 2006 with a $7.0 billion fortune. Your Mama imagines that he's got a couple hundred million more by now.

The oil, gas and metals magnate has made quite a name for himself in the world of excessively expensive real estate. In 2004 he famously spent $100,000,000+ on his London residence, located at 15a Kensington Palace Gardens. If Blavatnik can't be royalty, he may as well have more money than the damn queen and live right next door to where heaps of royals shack up in the elegant apartment house known as Kensington Palace, former home of the dead Princess Diana.

Blavatik's monstrous London house includes 10 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 4 reception rooms and of course, staff quarters. But when you're a billionaire, big is sometimes just not big enough. According to a recent article in The Times, Mister Blavatnik has submitted plans to excavate the under the front and rear yards in order to accommodate an underground parking garage with car stacker, an indoor swimming pool, gym, and home theater. You go gurl!

More recently, the real estate obsessed tycoon has been making a big splash in the upper reaches of the luxury housing market in New York City. Blavatnik attempted to buy big fancy apartments all over town, but was reportedly turned down by the finicky and fussy boards at the San Remo on Central Park West, and also at 927 Fifth Avenue, home to luminaries such as Mary Tyler Moore and Paula Zahn, and the former home of the controversial Pale Male.

Finally, in the Fall of 2006, Blavatnik was able to bully his way into swanky and staid 998 Fifth Avenue where he paid a reported $27,500,000 for a sprawling 14 room apartment with four bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a 35 foot long gallery and two maids rooms. 998 Fifth is the very same building where Edgar Junior's brother Matthew recently purchased society diva Anne Slater's apartment which had been on the market for $17,700,000. It's a small world after all.

Apparently the 14 room apartment at 998 Fifth Avenue was not quite large enough for Mister Blavatnik and his wifey Emily. Max Abelson states in his article that the uber rich couple had hoped to purchase an adjoining apartment to combine with their already large digs. But alas, the board put their feet down on that idea.

So townhouse shopping the couple a-went, finally settling on Edgar Bronfman Juniors massive mansion on East 64th Street. Abelson reports that Blavatnik is paying somewhere around $51,000,000 for the house which features, "a bronze-shaded waxed-steel vestibule, a 2.5-story indoor piazza with Nigerian fertility statue and secret stairways, a balconied master bedroom and children’s playroom, plus a glass-floored library terrace." If reports are accurate, and Abelson usually is, Blavatnik will be only the second person to pay more than $50,000,000 for a New york townhouse, the other being billionaire J. Christopher Flowers who bought the Harkness Mansion last year.

Presumably the Blavatnik apartment at 998 will hit the market soon. Perhaps they can sell it to Matthew Bronfman who may be in the market to combine two massive units at 998 Fifth Aveneu. That is unless the Blavatniks are planning on keeping it to house the staff.

Sources: New York Observer, The Times, The Age, The City Review, New York Post

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kensington Palace Gdns is one of the most beautiful residential streets on the planet ... Kensington Palace is all minor royals - nobody interesting! but his neighbors also include the Saudi Royal Family & The Sultan of Bruneis family who all live in London ... & I think some other middle eastern royals & the odd billionaire or 2, 3, 4 +

Phoenix said...

Whew.. reading this post made me dizzy so early in the morning, lol. Too much to keep straight with less than a cup of coffee flowing through my veins :) Mama, is there a photo of the mansion on East 64th Street somewhere? Thanks

smiley said...

i agree phoenix!

wow, plus a but hungover!

:)

Anonymous said...

mama mama! news just in - paris has apparently bought a new place already, it's ur job to find out where!

smiley said...

old news!!

:)

so_chic_darling said...

SWANKY,yet still very vulgar in a new rich Russian kind of way.All Versace and sable,lots and lots of gold everything!
BUT at the same time all very James Bondish,so you've just got to love it!

Anonymous said...

Smiley :-

If it's old news then perhaps you would like to inform everyone where her new property is & it has NOT been reported on any websites yet so not sure where you're getting ur info.

Anonymous said...

So Chic Darling :-

Are you talking about Blavatniks London home? where did you see pictures b/c I doubt there are any online.

Anonymous said...

Also So Chic Darling

If you are talking about Blavatniks London home then the architects he has hired for his underground 4000 sq ft extension are extremely minamalist & their designs are always very eco friendly etc... so if he was into 'versace', 'sable' & 'gold' ... he certainly wouldn't be hiring these architects.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news!!!!
Hopefully he will bring dozens of his Russian billionare buddies here to the USA and spend the money as fast as it comes in....

We need the boost in our economy and he probably spends a few weeks a year here. That's the kind of neighbor we like.....

Phoenix said...

hey smiley, good to see you blogging again :)

Anon @ 11:19 AM, 11:20 AM, and 11:51 AM: Mama posted a link to a photo of Blavatniks London home. It's in the 3rd paragraph, 3rd line, click on the highlighted word 'famously'. As for Paris finding a new home, I saw a quick reference to it on the E! network today while I was channel surfing. And your comment about the Blavatniks' being too extremely eco friendly to hire 'versace, sable & gold' architects is a bit of a contradiction in terms since their London home at 15a Kensington Palace Gardens is a $100 Million pile of precisely that.

mr. smiley said...

anon - 11:19am


It was posted this morning on TMZ - from PARIS HERSELF! (at 9am.. 4 minutes before your post :))

my pre-emptive "OLD NEWS" was not the correct phrase, i apologize.


hi phoenix! thanks for the shout-out
:)

Anonymous said...

PHOENIX :-

I'm aware of the Blavatnik home & the link Mama provided shows only the exterior therefore people can't make judgement on the interior being 'russian'.

"the Blavatniks' being too extremely eco friendly to hire 'versace, sable & gold' architects is a bit of a contradiction in terms since their London home at 15a Kensington Palace Gardens is a $100 Million pile of precisely that"

So Chic Darling stated that the Blavatnik home was 'versace/sable/gold' & very 'russian' & I asked how she/he knew this ... If you read the London Sunday Times link Mama provided [which I read on Sunday in the actual newspaper] you'll see it's regarding extensions underground & that the Blavatniks have hired Michaelis Boyd architects to carry this out - this architect firm are known for their minimalist & eco friendly properties therefore they wouldn't be hired if the interior of the Blavatniks property was 'versace / sable / gold' & very 'russian'! So basically if So Chic Darling is referencing their London property then he / she is talking rubbish. I don't quite understand your point about price, nobody said the Blavatniks were being eco-friendly - I just said the architects they hired are known for their eco-friendly / minimalist architecture & interior architecture. Perhaps read my posts again.

Anonymous said...

"Wonderful news!!!!
Hopefully he will bring dozens of his Russian billionare buddies here to the USA and spend the money as fast as it comes in...."

Russians love London & most of the wealthy ones have made it their home. They're not particularly fond of the U.S & living in London they can get non-dimicile tax status which means they pay no tax in the U.K.

Phoenix said...

Well friends, it took forever, but I finally found a photo of the Edgar Bronfman Jr. mansion at 15 East 64th Street that just sold to Russian born oligarch Len Blavatnik. You'll see it on the left, Edagr in the middle, and the new apartment building he just bought into at 1040 Fifth Avenue on the right. This took some work, so someone else makes the popcorn tonight, lol.. see it here

Phoenix said...

Oh, and also.. when you open the link, scroll down after it loads and you'll also find a floor plan for the place.

Phoenix said...

Nevermind about the floorplan.. it's for the Fifth Avenue apartment.

Phoenix said...

Anon @ 2:18 PM, I hope you feel relieved now that you think you've got Mr. Blavatnik 's particulars all figured out:)

Anonymous said...

"Anon @ 2:18 PM, I hope you feel relieved now that you think you've got Mr. Blavatnik 's particulars all figured out"

No .. I was just replying b/c you failed to read my posts correctly in the 1st place. I just was wondering what made So Chic Darling claim that their property is 'gold', 'sable' etc etc ... There has never bn pictures released of the interior & it's pretty offensive to assume all russians have no taste - in fact, some might say it's a form of racism ... especially when the Blavatniks hire minimalist architects - last time I checked minimalist didn't include gold or sable. Anyway, seeing you're so good at digging up pics I challenge you to find pics of 15 Ken Palace Gdns.

Also, perhaps have a look at Michaelis Boyd architects that the Blavatniks use at Ken Palace Gdns ... http://www.michaelisboyd.com/

Phoenix said...

Anon, I didn't "fail to read your posts correctly", and so_chic_darling isn't "talking rubbish". You're getting a bit personal here. You have your opinion, I have mine, and so_chic has hers. No one here can say for sure what the interior spaces of the Blavatnik home look like, including you. Please respect the community building aspect of a blog and confine your criticisms to the properties being presented, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I hate these oligarchs. That is all.

Anonymous said...

The Bronfman apartment is on the western half of the second floor. The Blavatnik apartment is on the western half of fourth floor. If Blavatnik made an offer on another apartment at 998, it would have been either the western third floor apartment, owned by a shipping executive, or the eastern third and fourth floor duplex, owned by a very rich German heiress.

Anonymous said...

"No one here can say for sure what the interior spaces of the Blavatnik home look like, including you"

OMG!!! You're missing the point once again - forget it!

"You're getting a bit personal here"

well then ppl shouldn't stereotype a nation - it wouldn't be that if I started slating americans [which, believe me I can easily do]

Phoenix said...

I didn't miss your point once again. I'm ignoring it. If you want to change the world, run for public office. This is a blog about real estate.

Anonymous said...

^

You're just clearly to stupid to get the point. "run for office" - thankfully i'm not an arrogant, void of style american so thats pretty much impossible.

Phoenix said...

You just called me stupid, presuming to stereotype me in an utterly demeaning and subjective manner. Now, once again, please leave others here alone, as you have proven yourself to be no better :)

Anonymous said...

From someone who knows the Blavatniks and their families, it needs to said they're really nice people they deserve everything they have. Have some respect - envy is ugly.

Anonymous said...

He is a very nice man and worked hard for what he has