Monday, April 21, 2008

Tom Freston's New York City Ka-ching!



SELLER: Tom Freston
LOCATION: East 66th Street, New York, NY
PRICE: $38,500,000
SIZE: 4 bedrooms (+ 2 staff rooms), 6 full and 3 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...Standing six and a half storied with an elevator, this house abounds with exceptional finishes and extraordinary architectural detail. From the elegant entry gallery to the luxurious rooftop terrace, the house epitomizes luxury living. It features a master floor plus three additional master bedrooms, a wonder library, living room, dining room, chef's kitchen, staff suite, gym and seven wood burning fireplaces...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: New York's favorite bewigged pop artist and self styled superstar Andy Warhol epitomized and documented that brazilliant brand of New York City swank where the high meets low and where Nobodies can be Somebodies and Somebodies can be Nobodies; Where well bred Lee Radziwell types cozied up to a heroin addict hookers on booze soaked sofas at Studio 54 and the Park Avenue socialites like Edie Sedgwick eagerly passed through the gates of The Factory where the iconic and not always well understood artist and his cadre of orphans and misfits turned the art world on its tinfoil lined and Duchampian ear.

In the process of turning outsiders into the ultimate art world insiders Mister Warhol got rich. Or sorta rich anyway, and in 1974 the white haired wonder scooped up this six and a half floor townhouse between Madison and Park Avenues on elegant East 66th street for just $310,000. After Mister Warhol went to meet the great silk screener in the sky in 1987, property records show the house remained part of his estate until it was sold in 1991 for $3,000,000 to a fashionable Spanish ladee named Elena Benaroch who kept the house until the year 2000 when she sold it on to former Viacom bigwig Tom Freston for $6,500,000.

Listing information indicates that Mister Freston renovated the house with a meticulous attention to detail. The floor plan porn reveals that guests are greeted in a guaranteed to impress 47 foot long reception hall that features a long row of book cases and one of the seven wood burning fireplaces. Although a lovely and dignified stair case serves all the main floors of the house, Your Mama could not be more pleased to see an elevator that lifts and descends to five of the six floors because we are 100% certain the steps and landings would be sticky with gin and lime juice if we had to do all that stair climbing while attempting to balance a prodigious platter of sausage and booze all the way from the kitchen to the teeny terrace off the library with it's lurid but appropriate red velvet sofas.

The master bedroom includes two bathrooms and occupies the entire third floor, a fine set up for fornicating when guests are in residence. However, we're not thrilled that the master (and/or mistress) of the house is required to cross a public hall to get to the main bathroom and both of the respectably sized walk in closets. Fortunately, the architect was thoughful enough to include a bathroom attached directly to the bedroom because who wants to be eyeballed on the way to the terlit in their morning all together by their household staff or, even worse, their children?

Speaking of children and/or guest, they're well provided for in three additional bedrooms on the fourth and fifth floors, each with a private pooper. Also on the fifth floor a generous staff suite includes a small sitting room and kitchenette as well as an actual bathroom as opposed to one of those dreadful cave like water closets that are too often seen in the staff rooms of the super rich.

The tippy top of the house features a good sized home gym, a lovely feature if you like sweating to the oldies in your own home...which Your Mama does not. We prefer not to sweat to the oldies anywhere, but certainly not in our own home. We'd have preferred to see a full bath up here with a steam room (we do like a steam after all), but alas. The sixth floor is completed by a decent sized roof terrace, a feature that Your Mama finds enviable and priceless. In the tight confines of New York City, having a small slice of outdoor space like this can help save the sanity as well as provide an excellent spot for our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly to sun bathe.

Mister Freston has listed his modest sized townhouse with a not so modest $38,500,000 asking price. If we're being honest, and Your Mama always is, we think the price is a wee bit optimistic. However, what do we know? And besides, Mister Freston has hired two of the top real estate pushers at Corcoran who are certainly no strangers to persuading buyers to cough up the major moolah for prime properties like this one.

Before Your Mama heads out to focus on some paying bizness, let's get out our bejeweled abacus children because it is not the sweetly turned spindles on the staircase or the 9 terlits that have our mouth hanging open like the Lincoln Tunnel, it's the ginormous profit Mister Freston stands to make when he unloads this high priced pile of bricks. Okay, the man paid six and half million smackers and let's say he spent a generous $15,000,000 in renovations (we have NO idea what he spent so don't any of you wackos quote Your Mama on that). That would put the Hollywood honcho into the place for just over twenty million clams which means that minus the humongous real estate fees he stands to pocket a significant $10-$15,000,000 profit for his eight years and renovation headaches. Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would welcome those sort of headaches for that kind of return, thank you very much.

Property records show that Mister Freston owns several other properties including a 7,351 square foot home in the same swanky section of the Bev Hills where several other big names also bunk including music exec Guy Oseary. Fading blond bomber Jessica Simpson currently owns a house in Mister Freston's neighborhood that was formerly owned by Tom Freston (who sold it to house hopper Ellen Degeneres in 2001) and sits right next door to the home of soon to be dee-vorced Baby Phat fierceness and bling queen Kimora Lee Simmons.

Source: NY Post

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

My 1st thought was what a nice townhouse, which it is, but then I saw the price and my jaw dropped. Perhaps one of these days I'll get over real estate sticker shock, but I still wouldn't fork over that much for it.

pch said...

Nice joint. But is it a bit narrow for super-duper pricing?

bentley said...

Ridiculous price! East 66th is a gorgeous street, though.

Mama, Mama, Mama. How can you come up with lines like "...while attempting to balance a prodigious platter of sausage and booze..." so early in the morning? SAUSAGE AND BOOZE! Oh my God. I have to go back to bed.

Good thing the floor plan indicates the vault's location.

Love the curve-walled seating area in the 2nd floor hallway.

Anonymous said...

Love the Chevron floor pattern

Alessandra said...

If I lived full-time in NYC, this would be the kind of property that would tempt me. The price is a bit optimistic, but perhaps one walks in the door and just falls in love.

Also, I agree that a home gym requires a shower or a steam room or a sauna on that floor. The home gym concept doesn't thrill me, except as a nice place to practice yoga and meditate.

And I'd be nice to my staff and give them a little mini-kitchen or something on their floor.

Anonymous said...

This home is in Jed Johnsons book in which he did an amazing job. Too bad the owners didn't maintain his design, but it's still nice.

Anonymous said...

This home is in Jed Johnsons book in which he did an amazing job. Too bad the owners didn't maintain his design, but it's still nice.

luke220 said...

Maybe LuAnn and the Count will consider a move? A home like this is much more appropriate for people of their stature- their current townhouse looks pretty modest to me.

Anonymous said...

pch, precisely, and I can't imagine myself sitting there writing out a check for $38 Million while thinking in the back of my mind that I wish it were just a wee bit wider. For that kind of money, I wouldn't compromise on anything.

Anonymous said...

Why can I not connect the floor plan and photo of the elevation here? I see the lower level under street level, then four living floors above that, then what looks like a parapet above? I know the penthouse level sits back from the street so you wouldn't see it in this photo, but what happened to the fifth floor? I am still pulling out of the weekend so maybe I am missing something...anyone care to help?

so_chic_darling said...

It's not wide enough for the price.There are larger wider town houses on the Upper East side for the same money,or less.

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out the elevation either. WAY too long and skinny for me. In fact, it reminds me of the "Long and Skinnies" in Huntington Beach. I'll pass on this one.

pch said...

I'd guess the staff floor is obscured from this angle by the parapet.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you luke!

Viva! said...

I like...I don't love.

WillLDS said...

Looking at the "Bird's Eye View" of this property, it looks like there is a steep mansard style roof behind the parapet with the two windows on the front facade being dormers projecting ever so slightly from the roof. You can slightly detect this from the floorplan by looking at that floor and noting the thickness of the front wall. On all other levels, it is normal, regular size, but on that level, it is about two to three times as thick, with the windows set into the wall. This would indicate to me a steeply sloping roofline in this area.

Anonymous said...

Randolph Lerner, the billionaire MBNA heir from Cleveland, once lived there.

sandpiper said...

WillLDS, Good one! The 5th floor had me going, too.

No plans to plunk $38.5 down on anything today, so I'll ignore the price tag.

It's a lovely building. Twenty-five-ish foot wide rooms seem more than enough. That's fairly standard in parts of western Europe, which, I believe influenced early NYC's brownstones.

What's the guess on patio off the kitchen? Is it a little sub-level well?

Mama, fun floorplans. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

If those rooms are 25 feet wide as someone mentioned, they sure don't look like it. Look at the living room for example. There's just enough room for a sofa and coffee table without blocking traffic.

sandpiper said...

1:09, oops, that was me. Anyway, 18' is still okay. It think it's just that chair in front of fireplace that really make the room feel tight, plus all the clutter. I still like it. :)

ms_wonderland said...

About a third of the floorspace is taken up with staircases and the elevator. That's about 12 million dollars worth. I expect the stairs were originally walled off, leaving small rooms on each floor. Would have been better to leave those walls on the bedroom floors.

Anonymous said...

his wife writes books about having a great marriage, (and goes on Oprah to shill) yet his long affair with his assistant ended when she committed suicide..he quickly left Viacom after that.

aunt mary said...

Oh, thank you sweet mama! Forget the price tag. I want to play house here: After I awake, Rose will have a carafe of French Roast and a pint of cream to help me get out of bed and gather my wits. Still in my silk dressing gown I'll take the stairs down to the parlor to a breakfast tray and the morning paper. I'll watch the news shows and take the elevator back to my suite to dress for the day's activities.

Next, Carruthers will bring the mail to the library, where I will tend to paper work on the large desk covered with six computer monitors, keeping track of important blog activity and the stock market.

At 1 o'clock, I have a luncheon appointment with my publicist who will again waste my time telling me that "There has been no publicity and probably never will be. You are a nobody about whom everybody wants to know nothing. Get a life!" We take our sherry in the library, where I will show her my scrapbooks lovingly compiled by my mother recording the triumphs of my life back to the beginning of the last century. This will undoubtedly boost her enthusiasm and plant seeds for new projects.

If the day is nice, I'll take my laptop to the terrace to play Spider Solitaire for several hours. By now, Sven will be here for my "stretching exercises". We will repair to the gym, where he will work miracles on my thighs and buttocks,oh yes........... Ahem, I beg your pardon. Excuse me, I'm, you, if you'll just, let's see, can I get back to you on this? Ta ta!

sandpiper said...

Oh Aunt Mary,
Can you imagine the effort it would take to enjoy this place as your own? Skip that. You covered it. I would be in heaven, as I know you would ... as would infinite others.

But it will be you (and Sven...errr...your therapeutic muse) that will reign here in my quirky imagination, regardless of whomever so undeservedly acquires this lovely brownstone.

Sherry and Belgan rasberry truffles for all.

Alessandra said...

Aunt Mary, your vision is perfect. And Sven is essential.