Thursday, July 24, 2008

The 740 Park Avenue Sell Off


SELLER: Peter Huang
LOCATION: 740 Park Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $38,000,000 (maintenance and common charges: $10,574/month)
SIZE: 7,500 square feet (approx.), 5 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...A private elevator landing opens to an impressive entry gallery with a grand staircase. It boasts large scale rooms with 10 foot ceilings. There is a separate staircase that leads to the servants quarters. This elegant duplex has beautiful moldings throughout, hardwood floors and wood burning fireplaces...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oh children, Your Mama is betwixt and breathless this morning contemplating the latest co-operative apartment to become available in the dee-luxe and obscenely-exclusive 740 Park Avenue in New York City. Seldom do apartments in the Rosario Candela designed building on the corner of 71st Street and Park Avenue hit the open market. However, a dy-no-mite doo-plex on the fourth and fifth floors has recently hit the market with a blistering $38,000,000 asking price.

According to property records and recent reports, the dee-lishus doo-plex is currently owned by Chinese born financier Peter Huang who purchased the lavish spread back in 1977. Mister Huang, who seems to keep a pretty low public profile, was once married to a ladee named Nancy who reportedly ruffled a some of the freakishly rich and security conscious feathers of 740 Park residents when she invited such colorful and flamboyant rock stars like Kid Creole, Fab Five Freddie and Chic's Nile Rodgers to parties. While Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would love nothing more than to have such folks as guests, this is just not done at 740 Park Avenue children.

Listing information indicates the 5 bedroom and 7.5 bathroom apartment measures in at (approx.) 7,500 square feet. That figure alone is unusual in that many of the more restrictive co-ops in New York don't care for details of the building leaking out. For example, real estate agents lucky enough to secure a listing in the ridiculously ritzy River House on East 52nd Street are reportedly forbidden to use the name of the building in advertising and marketing materials. We think that is simply stoopid and silly, but then again so are many of the arcane rules and regulations that govern New York's most expensive addresses.

Anyhoo, before we pick through the fa-boo floor plan which provides some serious real estate porn for anyone interested in how the mega-moneyed elite live in New York City, let's run the numbers: 2 floors, 16 rooms, 22 (or 23) closets, 44 windows, 10 foot ceilings, 4-5 bedrooms (depending on how the rooms are used), 5.5 family bathrooms plus 2 more for the 4 staff bedrooms, 3 fireplaces, and 2 stair cases. Phew!

Although there are at least three other swanky units that share the fourth and fifth floors, including one owned by billionaire biznessman David Koch, Mister Huang's apartment features a private elevator landing that opens into a large foyer with a Scarlett O'Hara worthy curving stair case. The 725+ square foot corner living room is large enough to hold a hoe-down and sports a wood burning fireplace, intricate moldings and several large windows overlooking pristine Park Avenue. The other generously proportioned public rooms include a 25 foot long dining room, a 400+ square foot library–also with a fireplace–and a curious little room located off the dining room that is perfect for sipping tea and going over the social calendar with one's private secretary. The well scaled eat in kitchen at the back of the unit includes a laundry room, two walk in pantries and access to the the service entrance and staff quarters.

Upstairs the master suite encompasses a sitting room, six closets, two bathroom and a corner bedroom with a fireplace. Three additional bedrooms each have a private pooper, an excellent feature because let's be honest, who wants to pay upwards of thirty-five million clams only to have overnight guests be subjected to the durty bizness of someone else.

Although it would probably cause Your Mama to have a nervous break down to live is such lavish circumstances, we imagine that any Richie Rich buyer of this property will appreciate that the two floor staff quarters are connected by a private staircase which will spare them the indignity of having to share stairs with the cleaning gurls unless they are vacuuming the main staircase.

Your Mama is going to move beyond the day-core which we think relies much too heavily on printed wallpaper, contrasting curtains and carpets with dizzying patterns for our personal taste and enjoyment. It goes without saying perhaps then that Your Mama thinks this place, even with it's mind bending asking price, is in obvious need of a hard core and full scale re-decorative re-do. We think it's super-safe to assume the new owner will hire a very expensive team of architects and nice gay decorators to work over, update and upgrade every inch of this palatial property because as far as we can tell, this place lack central heat and air. We can only hope with held breath that the new owners, whomever they may be, will be kind enough to invite Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter for a tour after the curtains are hung and every last upsettingly expensive settee is in place .

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a rule at 740 that you're only allowed to refurbish during the summer months? so basically any full-scale redo can take several years to complete

StPaulSnowman said...

Just curious...........as far as the live in help is concerned......can they have friends over? Would your friends have to have an appointment to see you? Does the Doorman require a password? Do these places have trash chutes? It seems to me that living in such swank digs could require a lot of energy, not to mention hassle. Given the option, I would rather butle for a country house where you only had to deal with one demanding, security obsessed private family.

lil' gay boy said...

Just like Michael Gross' book, 740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building, the pictures say a lot without actually revealing anything of the inhabitant.

Sure the riotous clash of colors and patterns is nerve-wracking in the extreme, but most assuredly of the finest quality; however, can anybody confidently ascribe it to a definitive era? I can't…but hey, that's me.

Known as one of the most exclusive addresses in the world, almost every resident has graciously tolerated the arcane restrictions place upon them by the co-op board.

But in a blue blood (and hair) world of aigrettes, lorgnettes, and reticules, whoever the buyer is must pass muster with the said co-op board, whereupon they will fade into graceful discretion, where a woman's name only appears in the paper 3 times in her life - when she's born, when she marries, and when she dies.

That is what $38M buys you on Park Ave.

Anonymous said...

Nile Rodgers should never be used in the same sentence with Fab Five Freedy and Kid Creole.....

OY said...

Wonder what Russian, who got rich with shit, will buy this over priced dump?

Anonymous said...

Stpaulsnowman, as with all places like this, it's not a matter of having the option of this place vs. a country house - anyone who buys this will have BOTH.

Oy, I highly doubt that any Russian will pass the board.

The building itself and the apartments are incredible - I've been in two of them, both bigger than this one. I can't even imagine what they'd go for today.

Anonymous said...

I would highly doubt any Russian would get past the board, especially when there are so many question marks surrounding how they created their wealth - An entire town banned them so I think an apartment building certainly can.

Kellie Wessels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I would rather have Candy Spellings new place then any condo in 740 Park Ave.

Let the Russians or Hedge fund managers have it.

diamond in the rough said...

IMO...
OMG the day-core (as mama calls it)is a hot mess. After looking at the floor plans I am convinced the place could be turned into a complete stunner.
It would be nice to see what the new owners will do with it.

Alessandra said...

I love the floor plan, though those are some small maids' rooms. Luckily, there appears to be extra space on both floors, if you wanted to give the staff a little more room.

I realize space is at a premium in NYC, but I guess I'm just used to seeing larger servants' quarters in Los Angeles. And perhaps I'm not supposed to care about the maids' digs, but a happy staff makes for a happy household.

As for the decor, it's rather appalling. The master suite is like living in a candy cane.

I also doubt that any Russian and very few hedge fund managers will be graced by the co-op board of this building.

nycer said...

Hedge fund managers? yes.

Industrialists?, you bet.

Heireses? Of course.

Russians? No fucking way. Not in this building.

I'm not defending it, I'm just saying...

so_chic_darling said...

It looks like it hasn't been touched since 1977 and it looks very old lady too.

Anonymous said...

I always love little gay boys comments! Birth, marriage, death; that IS SOO old school. Any southern girl would have a cotillion in there. Many of todays heiress' would have at least one divorce. (AT LEAST!) Some WEALTHY mature lady will love this place from the green striped PAPER(conveniently matched on the headboard fabric, and with trim in the tired master bath.), the flame red bespoke carpet on the stairs (reminds her of her favorite hotel), the red paper with trim and GREEN draperies in the living room, to the lollipop bedroom with matching scottish hop-scoth painted floor. But any LADEE as your mama would say, is gonna need her some central heating and cooling! The furs! the renoir's! the tapestries! $38,000,000+++ years of renovation, MILLIONS in renovations! And a board that is sure to let you know you are not good enough, not quite what they were looking for.....but you did commit to spend 10 million on renos, only do the work from 10-2 on saturdays and half day sunday june 1 thru august 1st, and not live there until the work was done......WELCOME HOME IVANA!

aunt mary said...

so_chic, were you speaking of me?

Anonymous said...

Anon @1:49, you think it's just today's heiresses that would have at least one divorce? Read Michael Gross' book "740 Park" - it seemed as if just about every single occupant of this building, from the very beginning, had at least one divorce. The number of multiple marriages and affairs was astounding. Rich people today are no different than they were 60 years ago. If they could afford to get divorced, they did.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't worry about a Russian buying the place. Would never happen. Most top building like that have a code to "keep it christian". Thats no longer the case in most of them but it was not too long ago that jewish people were allowed to buy in there.

StPaulSnowman said...

Aunt Mary......you are not old, but you have a mellow, piscene patina about you. I don't think she meant to imply that you hadn't been touched but that you hadn't been touched by anyone else since 1977. ps,,,,,,,,I bet Mischa Baryshnikov could wheedle his way into the Park Avenue duplex..........isn't he Russian enough?

sandpiper said...

Little Buddy (LGB), love your post today. Really do. :)

Can't add much to what's already been said. Looking beyond the tired design elements, great place. Wow.

One thought on current listings in white glove buildings. Brooke Astor's penthouse is temporarily off the market for minor improvements. Might some prospective summer shoppers with a +/- $40-mil budget be holding tight for her unit's fall debut?

Anonymous said...

I to have visited this building on several occassions and they are staggering in size. Sweeping staircases. Lengthy hallways and massive living rooms most with two fireplaces (cause they can) and 3-4 bedrooms just for the help! Yet there is a quiet ambience when you walk in the lobby, a hush if you will once the door closes off the street and it is at that point you feel your shoulders go stiff and your legs go rigid. Truly no comfort in these Apartments, palatial yes but realize this is not a home of comfort but of status and ALWAYS being under the watchful eye.

Todd said...

Can somebody please explain to me why some of these apartments selling for tens of millions do not have central air? I understand most of these buildings are old, but I don't get why they haven't figured out a way to install air conditioning that doesn't include a big metal box hanging out of the window. It is possible, so why isn't it done in New York?

sandpiper said...

Todd, boiler heat (no forced air ductwork for HVAC) is often an issue. Like you, I appreciate the logistics of retrofitting AC, as prohibitive as it might be in mid-America. But, not so much of an obstacle in the demographic which reside, with their discretionary income, in white-glove buildings.

Living without AC in buildings like these? That's odd, I agree.

Establishing post-construction ductwork to facilitate air conditioning, esp. in historically significant structures, requires not only a HVAC contractor, but also an architect and possibly approval boards to ensure the space's integrity is not compromised. With the spending power these folks enjoy, would seem like a non-issue, wouldn't it?

Then again, many of these apartment owners head to other homes in lovely locals to escape the city heat.

I should have such problems. :)

StPaulSnowman said...

........that would be to The Elms in Newport in my personal fantasy.

pezgary@aol.com said...

i have looked at the floor plan and compass and don't see how the living room looks over park avenue. the way i read it the veiws are west to central park, but you won't see much from the 4/5 floors.

Anonymous said...

Ceilings are just shy of 13 feet in this building, greater than the 10' you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

The living room on this apt doesn't look over park ave, but over East 71st. This is the C-line, the least desirable in the building because of lack of views/light. A-line over looks Park Ave only, B-line apts are at the corner of the building (Park and E. 71st). C-line is middle block on E. 71st and D-line are on E. 71st with views West to Central Park.

Anonymous said...

This place is stunning, especially the grand staircase. But the color schemes and hideously busy library and living room detracts from the underlying magnificence.

Mostly I dislike the floor plan. Unless there are archway openings misleadingly listed as doorways, I find the layout rudely challenging.

But then I am thinking with a common man's rationale. Snapping my finger to have a maid bring me a beer in the library is not such a problem, I guess. Provided she can hear it all the way in the kitchen. Wouldn't want to yell, ol Chap!

Anonymous said...

I'm Russian and I lived in a 14,000 sqft appartment in trump tower for 10 years. So there, to you, who are putting down people.

Anonymous said...

740 has the widest hallways on Park and Fifth. However apartments on Park overlook other buildings. The apartments with the best views are on Fifth Avenue. The "best" buildings are 820, 834 and 960. Other elegant buildings are 927, 998 and 1040. 1 Suton Place South is considered one of the most elegant buildings in NYC. If you like river views check out 1 Beekman Place, 10 Gracie Square and River House.

Lusien said...

this is the best building on park ave,along 720 730 770 & 778 .but th eview doesnt compare to the one from the fifth avenue apartment houses.The grand buildings on fifth 820 834 960 998 % 1040 are better than this one .Maybe theyre like 10% less grand in terms of square footage,but the view doesnt compare.Park ave is a gorgeous avenue,but there are quite a few avenues in Manhattan that look terrific.This building is ,anyway one of the grandest 5 buidlings on the UES.I think the ceiling are higher than 10 ft ,i read they 're something like 12-13 feet,depends if the rooms are for entertainment or private.