Monday, June 9, 2008

Mariska Hargitay Flips Out on Sixth Avenue


SELLER: Mariska Hargitay and Peter Herman
LOCATION: Sixth Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $8,250,000
SIZE: 4,167 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Spectacular 4,819 sf duplex home atop the O'Neill Condominium offering 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths with 2,549 sf of expansive and private planted entertaining terraces off the living space. A 53' x 19' living space with walls of windows and light opens to 2 terraces, top of the line eat in kitchen with separate breakfast room/family room opens to terrace, Cupola media room and 2 bedrooms and 2 baths comprise the 1st level. Upstairs is the master bedroom suite which opens to a terrace from the bedroom as well as an over sized spa bath with walk-in closets.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last night Your Mama was combing through Manhattan real estate listings while the Dr. Cooter was watching that mystifying momager Dina Lohan on her new E! reality show Living Lohan, which the bigwigs say is meant to be about teenage wannabe superstar Ali Lohan, but seems to be way more about Miz Dina Lohan herself. Anyhoo, as we merrily rolled along scanning floor plans and haughtily scrutinizing the chesterfield choices of total strangers, we noticed a large and strangely familiar living room rug in an impressively terraced penthouse. As we sat on the sofa slowly stroking our pussycat Sugar–who was having an unusually friendly moment–we wracked our gin soaked brain until Bazingo! Yes children, it's the very same rug that once graced the floor of the Jeffrey Bilhuber designed TriBeCa penthouse of Law & Order queen bee Mariska Hargitay and her huzband, the former soap stud (Guiding Light) turned Law & Order princeling Peter Herman.

Naturally Your Mama's little brain went into a tailspin and we had to pour another round of gin and tonics to settle our nerves because a quick search of the internets revealed it was only last fall that all the real estate gossips, including Your Mama, went wild reporting the purchase of a Sixth Avenue penthouse by the then preggers Emmy winning actress and her good lookin' and scruffy faced huzband. Clearly they've changed their fickle little minds and are flipping the penthouse because it's back on the market with an $8,250,000 asking price.

Property records show in October of 2007, less than nine damn months ago, the couple paid an even-steven $7,000,000 for their 4,167 square foot high drama duplex on bizzy, wide and loud Sixth Avenue. The current asking price for the multi-terraced penthouse that includes 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms indicates that even after they fork over the considerable real estate fees, they're still lined up to pocket half a million clams or more for the bother and energy spent purchasing and owning the building topper for less than one year. Not bad work if you can get it.

Situated on the top two floors at the south end of the famed O'Neill Building, the condo includes a 1,000 square foot living/dining room, more than 2,500 square feet of planted terraces, two secondary bedrooms,each with it's own private pooper, and a master bedroom that occupies the entire second floor and features a private terrace, and gigantic bathroom and a large dressing room closet. However, by far the most interesting feature of the south and east facing penthouse is the media room that is located in the circular "cupola" which sits just below one of the two restored and easily recognized gold onion domes perched on the corners of the building. Although much reviled by some, Your Mama actually likes them. They're odd, quirky, totally artificial, entirely unnecessary and give an otherwise ordinary and bland stretch of Sixth Avenue lined with mass market retailers like Old Navy and Blood Bath and Beyond a little visual zip and zeal.

The terraces are vast and lovely and having nearly 5,000 square feet of living space in the middle of Manhattan is certainly a dee-voon luxury only the rich can afford. However, is it just Your Mama or does it seem a soupçon strange that the generously paid couple simply moved the furniture from their previous penthouse on Beach Street to this one? Why is it that we expect rich and famous folks to trash everything when they move from one location to the next? Hmm. We'll have to think about that.

Whatever the case, Miz Hargitay should prolly have consulted Mister Bilhuber before bringing all that furniture to her Sixth Avenue penthouse because it looks rather puny and under scaled in that 53-foot long living room. Speaking of which...it's a lovely room with a long wall of floor to ceiling glass that would surely give our house gurl Svetlana conniptions, but Your Mama worries considerably that a 53-foot long living/dining room might easily suffer from intimacy issues without the deft hand of a nice gay decorator.

We are a little distressed by the unhappy marriage between the cabinets and the lovely wood floors in the kitchen, and we think the crystal chandelier–while a nice touch and an interesting juxtaposition to the clean lined cabinetry–is simply too meager to make the statement it could and should be making.

We do, of course, love the relationship of the master bedroom suite to the rest of the house...who needs guests near enough to hear the host fornicating or fighting? And we also appreciate that the developer thoughtfully included private poopers for each of the secondary bedrooms, a feature we don't see enough in ultra high-end properties.

The couple reportedly unloaded their Beach Street penthouse –for $5,100,000–because they wanted and needed more square footage to house their expanding family. That place, amazingly, included a private garage, a feature worth a lot of money to anyone who pays an extortionist amount of money to park their fancy car in a Manhattan parking garage where the attendants bang up the bumpers and run down the battery while they sit in the cars and eat their lunches and listen to the radio. 'Tis true, puppies. We know from experience.

Anyhoo, where this peripatetic pair and their itty bitty baby will move once this penthouse gets sold is nuthin' but a mystery to Your Mama. Will they leave the city for some leafy and expensive Westchester suburb to raise their family? Will they move back to Los Angeles where they sold their Warbler Way house back in 2006? Did they find a cute little townhouse in the West Village that has a roof terrace and a wee back yard? If Your Mama was the betting type–and we're not because we love our money way too much to give it away–we'd put our cards on the ever intrepid and enviously rolodexed Max Abelson at the NY Observer as the one who will get that scoop. So get to it Maxie Boy, we're counting on you this time.

YOUR MAMAS UPDATE (later same day): Well, we like to give credit where credit is due and it turns out that Mister Josh Barbanel, the gentleman who writes the Big Deal column for the New York Times, actually wrote about Miz Hargitay flipping her penthouse yesterday...on June 8...we just hadn't seen it yet. Nor did we, obviously, bother to look.

Mister Barbanel reports that Miz Hargitay and Mister Herman are looking to move uptown because their young son will be attending a (no doubt esteemed and ridiculously expensive) pre-school on the Upper East Side and it's an awfully long daily trek from Chelsea to the Upper East Side.

So there you have it...just another of many examples of the crazy real estate ways of the rich and famous.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the listing agent that this penthouse is Spectacular. Why celebrities flit from interest in one home to another with the same speed and dexterity as they do from one movie/TV role to another is beyond me. I need a place I can reliably call home to be my anchor and sanctuary from this crazy life.

so_chic_darling said...

Well maybe she realized that 6th Avenue is a truly shit location no matter how lovely the apartment,and this is a very lovely apartment.

Anonymous said...

It's gorgeous, but the kitchen is HIDEOUS! I hate those poop-brown cabinets. They'd be the 1st to go. Otherwise, it's beautiful.

Chris said...

I thought US real estate was in an unprecedented downward trend. What's will all these celebrity flippers who think they can make a million or so in less than a year flipping their "homes"? Are they mad, or is real estate really booming? I am confused.

bentley said...

The kitchen irritates me, as does the location. The rest of it, especially the floor plan potential, delights me.

The cupola rocks.

pch said...

I'm with Bentley on the cupola. Supercool. As are the terraces. But that semi-vaulted ceiling in the dining/living area would drive me nuts.

eddie from pdx said...

I love the cupola. Wish that more pics of the interiors where published (Like the master bed/bath).

Not sure about the location, as it's not my town, but the apartment is beautiful (except the kitchen)

thevinylvillage said...

I agree on the kitchen...but I think I got a little wood looking at that floorplan!

Anonymous said...

I'd refinish the kitchen cabinets, swap out the island for one without the "eating bar" (which means lose the chairs/stools) and then I would love the place. As a west coaster, I have no idea of neighborhoods so can't comment on that part.

lil' gay boy said...

Great sleuthing, Mama!

Wonderful floorplan, locale, um, not so much. Kitchen is salvageable, but would probably have to cut into some of the laundry room floor space to get enough countertops for this size apartment.

Damn those kiddies influencing your choice of residence; what's wrong with keeping them on a chain on the balcony with a bowl of water? You wouldn't even have to spread out papers . . .

;-)

StPaulSnowman said...

I would get rid of the furniture and add a nice row of treadmills and a Lifetime Fitness sign. The kitchen looks like an upscale Italian locker room already. I would prefer to be chained on the terrace with my bowl of sparkling water.

Anonymous said...

R1: I think they flit from one role/home to another on a whim reflects how they go from one partner to another.

I suppose because they can. I'm with you R1, I need an anchor, a safe castle to be in and I'll tell you this, I'd be at that apartment for a very long time. Terrific terrace.

Anonymous said...

I like to walk around my pad in the nude - let the balls breathe. This living room seems like a fish bowl to me. The layout is hideous for $8m

luke220 said...

I think she is moving because there isn't enough closet space.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, in a rush, so I can't look now, but I just read about this - I think in yesterday's NY Times Real Estate section. I am pretty sure Mariska said that her kid got into a pre-school on the Upper East Side, and this place is just too far for the daily trek, so she's looking for something closer to the school. Good reason, but didn't they consider this when they bought this place??

eddie frompdx said...

anonymous 1:07:

With the competion for private schools (and pre-schools!) it's no wonder that people will sell their $8mil condos to be closer to a school. And most likely, when they bought the place they didn't know their kid got into some fancy pants private school....

but with that kind of money, wouldn't it be easier just to hire flippin car service to take the tyke to pre-school? Unless it's super duper uptown (Like Columbia University), the island is not that big.

bentley said...

The island is not that big, but the island is awfully busy.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want to schlep (or hire a car to schlep) a kid back and forth every day from 6th and 20th or so (wherever this place is) to the UES. I don't remember the age of the kid, but I am pretty sure she had the kid before they bought this place. It would have been the first thing I would have thought about - where are the (likely) schools and where is the park?

With that kind of money, I say it's actually easier to move again.

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely property (that kitchen would need work, though), but the location...eh...not that great. Still I don't think I'd relocate for a freakin' preschool, especially to UES, which I hate. That little August is cute one, though.

luke220 said...

Speaking of reality shows, I saw the Denise Richards show on E the other night. This must be set at her new house in Hidden Hills. I thought that it was very tastefully done and comfortable too. I didn't realize that people could keep farm animals on their property (pigs!), but another story I guess.

Alessandra said...

I love the floor plan. I don't hate the kitchen cabinets, but I would have gone with a glass or marble topped counter, instead of that dark material, a different backspash (maybe glass tiles in shades of green) and possible a different type of flooring.

The terraces and the cupola rock. If the NYC children say the location isn't worth it, I'll believe them. I'm a firm believer in buying a good location as much as a good house.

Anonymous said...

I hate this building & for the price you could get something nicer - location sucks too, it's neighborhood no mans land!

As for the school - Chelsea/Flatiron to the UES is not far! My cousin lived in Greenwich, CT & went to highschool in Manhattan each day!

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to get into a good school in Manhattan - celebrity or not. Even if Mariska had her child when she moved into this place, she couldn't possibly have known what school would accept her child.
Anyone who would suggest hiring a car service to transport a mere three year-old across town obviously doesn't have children of their own. Only a total shit would do that.

Anonymous said...

Love the place. I don't think I'd like to live on Sixth Avenue, though.

Anonymous said...

I'd appreciate it if someone would explain in factually objective terms why 6th Ave. is so bad. Thanks :)

sandpiper said...

Please don't get me wrong. I caught a tv interview with Mariska the other day. Truly a good person.

But, when Mama posted this place originally, and again now -- same reaction. Looks to me(ow) like it could be a hotel in Orlando.

Anonymous said...

For Anonymous @ 6:49 PM -- IMHO the location isn't bad for the newly married (sans enfants) or empty nesters. The apartment is in the middle of the "Ladies Mile" section of Chelsea with Union Square to the east and the Village to the south. Great location for restaurants, nightclubs and shopping... not exactly a family neighborhood though. Also, this building is on a busy commercial Avenue. Although you're at the top of the building, it's doubtless still pretty loud compared to a side street. By and large the UES is quieter and certainly more family friendly. BTW I've moved back to the Pasadena, CA area (where I was born and raised) but used to live in Manhattan: The Village - charming but lots of people; Lower East Side - edgy but kinda hip; and Chelsea - expensive but fun! Of course I'm a single GWM, so Mariska and family's move uptown makes sense, but wonder why they chose this neighborhood to begin with.

Alessandra said...

Thanks, Anon 8:09. I appreciate the detailed analysis. I'm not as familiar with Chelsea as I am with the Village and the UES, so your insight in helpful.

I also live in the Pasadena area and love it, but I can imagine that it is a change of pace from NYC (though if you grew up here, you're not surprised).

Anonymous said...

It's odd they chose 6th Ave - but they sell great knockoff ipod accessories and sunglasses on tables outside her front door all day (does that describe the neighborhood?) It's next to APEX TECH SCHOOL, which basically means people freshly sprung from Rikers hang around learning about HVAC equipment all day. And there's great street meat in lkike 4 carts across from her building.

I'm a single gay guy, I'd live here in a sec, but a family? Really? Some 28 year old heiress will snatch it up in a sec.

Anonymous said...

Oh,weren't there two shootings across the street at Duvet in the past 2 years, AND Fabolous the rapper got shot here across the street too when that garage was on 21st?

Alessandra said...

So, Sixth Avenue is the equivalent of Venice Beach in LA. Got it.

Mar said...

Hey Alessandra & GWM - I'm also in the area. Let's hang! LOL!

BTW this place is fantastic...And weird. Is that possible? Now tell us where does Det. Stabler live? How about it Mama?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the scoop on 6th Ave. From what was expressed previously, I was expecting considerably worse, like a drug infested hooker haven or something, lol

Anonymous said...

Mar, funny that you asked about Detective Stabler - there was a spread on his new digs in Architectural Digest recently. I can't remember exactly where, but I think he had the same issue - lived downtown for years, had some kids, then moved uptown for the schools. I THINK he's on the UWS, but not too far up, maybe in the Columbus Circle area.

Anonymous said...

I just found the Stabler piece. It says "high rise in Hell's Kitchen", but I can't figure out where. From the views of Central Park, it looks to be East of 8th Avenue and a couple of blocks south of Central Park South. For those who don't know NYC that well, Hell's Kitchen (now often called Clinton, but it seems HK is hanging in there) is a once pretty tough area that, like everything else, is rapidly gentrifying. It's basically the West 40s and 50s, I thought west of 8th Avenue, but apparently not according to Stabler. While not the UWS, it's not too far from it and its many schools or the park.

john r. pope said...

Dubai comes to mind......new, big, pretentious and a setup for buyer's remorse.........good thing the rich have such flexibility.

Mar said...

Glad I came back anony. Thank you! I will google for this article. Can't wait to see where my fantasy hunk lives...with his wife & family. Grrr.

New York Toimes said...

We picked up this story, thanks Mama.

Irving
Toimes.com

MHButtahz said...

I really don't think that any of the house looks bad....I love Mariska's taste in furniture--wait I love her taste in everything! Hmm...also about the house in LA that Mariska used to live in...that was her mother's house. She moved to a different place-an apartment when she first started Law&Order SVU. So she only moved once there, than she moved again to be closer to her work..filming of SVU. Then she moved to this place a few years later after marrying Peter, and since August luv will start pre-school. I think Mariska & Peter move around like why some other people move around...for work or because their son is going to start school soon so they wanted him to be closer. I mean...the question is not why they in particular move around..it's why do people move in general..because they are people. Mariska doesn't "act" like most celebrities...she and Peter probably also thought about how they most likely will have a lot of guests based on the fact that she does have a lot of friends, he does too, and because she possibly has members of the staff of The Joyful Heart Foundation come over to discuss things/ spend the night and other things.

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