Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who Said Recession?

Oooo-weee children, hold on to your britches because real estate gossip Max Abelson at the New York Observer is on a roll this week. First was was the much ballyhooed rumor about Aussie actor Hugh Jackman being in contract for a minimalist's wet dream of a triplex in one of the Richard Meier designed green glass towers, then it was news about L.A. based billionaire Eli Broad trying to sell off his pricey pied a terre at the seriously swank and super swish Sherry Netherland and now he's reporting that AOL/Time Warner widow Courtney Sale Ross has "very, very, very quietly" floated her vast doo-plex at 740 Park Avenue onto the market for an undisclosed number believed and reported to be well in excess of $60,000,000.

Back when Time Warner chieftain Steve Ross was still among the living, the couple reportedly combined two already elephantine units–one said to have been 14 rooms and the other 18 rooms–into one titanic two-floor mansion on the 12th and 13th floors at the stodgy, restrictive and obscenely expensive apartment tower. Michael Gross, a man who several years ago chronicled the comings and goings of the residents in a lush and fascinating book, was reportedly told about the Sale Ross residence that one of the dining rooms and a kitchen were combined to create a children's room, one of the living rooms was converted to a screening room and one of the bedrooms was "sueded," whatever that is.

Upon hearing the rumor, Mister Abelson flipped his well worn rolodex and managed to get on the horn with the listing agent, the venerable Edward Lee Cave, who told him, "It's going to be the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York." That means the duplex will need to sell for more than real estate mogul Harry Macklowe's multi-unit purchase at the much maligned (but almost entirely sold out) conversion of the The Plaza Hotel.

The very philanthropic Mrs. Ross, who founded the very expensive Ross School in hoity toity East Hampton, is perhaps selling because, as Mister Cave told Mister Abelson, "Her offices are downtown; her daughter is downtown." Not sure what that means, but okay.

Whatever the case, Mister Cave claims he's only going to show the gargantuan apartment to "10 people who are appropriate to see it," but conceded to Mister Abelson that, "If somebody very, very, very important calls me, I will run it by her."

With so many thirty and forty million dollar plus apartments on the market in New York City, it remains to be seen whether this one will garner much interest or if it too will linger and languish. However, never underestimate the pull, prestige and mystique 740 Park Avenue offers to all those bizness barons, telecom tycoons and cash rich executives who would give their first born–not to mention more than sixty million clams–to own and occupy a legendary and leviathan doo-plex in a legendary building on legendary Park Avenue.

22 comments:

stpaulsnowman said...

All of these posts make me wonder whether any of the really rich ever truly bond with their homes. Living in a place for years, leaving your, or your gay decorator's, mark on a property and developing the property over time is a great joy and probably the only way to make the best changes in decoration and landscaping. It seems these people are constantly flipping, hopping, moving and never stopping to enjoy the beautiful homes they can afford. I suspect that great wealth and restlessness go together. Of course, the great houses that stay in families don't turn over and wouldn't show up in Mama's post.

Anonymous said...

When you are materialistic a home is just a building, you want bigger better and it never becomes a "home" in the way sentimental people connect with their property.

Anonymous said...

When you are materialistic a home is just a building, you want bigger better and it never becomes a "home" in the way sentimental people connect with their property.

Anonymous said...

While watching DWTS last night, we got on the topic of when Lance Bass was in NYC for his play last year.... Does anyone know where in the city he was dwelling? I saw him out a bunch of times, my guess is Chelsea but not sure, I'm not the star-f*cker type so I never talked to him when I saw him, although I have to say, he's much, MUCH better looking in person than you'd think.

average joe :[) said...

As I am one of the "10 people appropriate ro see it", I will report back to the children unless I decide to make an offer in which case conversation with the unwashed masses will be beneath my social stature.

Anonymous said...

The only thing wealthy people relate to is booze and drugs. Majestic homes are only good for orgies, much like you saw in 'Eyes Wide Shut'.

Anonymous said...

That's rude and idiotic Anon 6:37.

Jesse B. said...

Mr. Gross' book has been a volume in my library for quite sometime. I strongly recommend to anyone who has an interest in NYC real estate (and it's movers and shakers) to purchase his book, appropriately titled "740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building."

I am not surprised Mr. Cave (who is interviewed for and discussed extensively in Mr. Gross' book) will only be showing it to 10 interested and qualified buyers. With as exclusive as that building in, there are probably only a few dozen people who would pass muster with the board.

With the desire of so many to be in this building, I doubt finding a buyer willing to fork over $60MM will be the problem. I do, however, think it will sit on the market for a little longer just because of the infamous board.

Jesse B. said...

stpaulsnowman:

I think hoping around is more of a new money thing? They are always looking for the next biggest and best house. Real estate A.D.D. if you will. I think that besides keeping up with the Jones', which is so middle class, the newly wealthy try to be the Jones'. It's all about how much they can show off and how envious they can make their peers.

I tend to believe that old money is more loyal to their homes. For instance, at 740 Park, units rarely become available.

Warrenn Buffett said...

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Anonymous said...

Stpaul, I think you're talking in general about the rich flipping so frequently. As for this one, I know a lot about the history here, but I can just say that she's been in this place a very long time, and while I don't know the reason(s) she's selling, I'm surprised it took this long - why would one person need (or want to live in) an apartment this big? And, I believe, she's hardly ever there.

A year ago, it would have sold in a heartbeat. We'll see how long it takes now.

bentley said...

It's interesting to walk by 740 at night. It is incredibly dark. Very few apartments within seem to actually be lived in on a consistent basis.

Vast, gloomy, and deathly quiet.

Anonymous said...

I hope you'll be able to post the floor plan of that $60 m apartment!

Anonymous said...

billionaires are losing their shirts in the financial crisis.Most have lost 50% of their net worth over the last few months alone.The casino magnates are losing over 90% of their fortunes.MGM and the Sands are going chap11 very soon.Mr adelson who was the 3rd richest american last year at over 30billion has lost 29billion and he may not even be a billionaire anymore.Kirk Kirkorian,Carl Icahn, 2 big wall st movers,have lost 75% of their billions.this is but afew.I havent even mentioned the well known CEO billionaires who have lost equal amounts.The financial crisis has frozen lending folks and it is taking down titans.The russian stock market has lost 75% in a few months.Oil has fallen in half so russian buyers investors will be absent.
Any rich person is trying to unload as much RE as they can at these prices.It is the end of 10million dollar homes insanity and absurdly overpriced houses/brownstones/apartments.There will be a flood of this stuff coming on to market.The rich can smell the carnage and are trying to unload before the stuff hits the fan.

lil' gay boy said...

"Vast, gloomy, and deathly quiet."

Just like they way they live @ 740 Park; well below the shallow radar of the unwashed masses.

Mama, some floor plan porn, please? It'll go in a heartbeat.

Ray said...

The economy has definetly softened but I still see thousands of jobs posted on employment sites.

www.linkedin.com (networking)
www.indeed.com (aggregated listings)
www.realmatch.com (matches you to jobs)

good luck to those searching for jobs.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:39, you're an idiot if you believe these billionaires are poor and have lost anywhere near that much money. While alot have lost billions and billions I gaurantee you the casinos are not going under and Mr Abelson has more than less than a billion. Get a clue you retard

Trudy Styler said...

Okay, Let's say that last year you had 5 billion dollars.

And because of the financial collapses around the world you've lost half your money.

That still leaves you with $2.5 billion dollars which, last I checked, is still insanely rich.

Anonymous said...

you're an idiot if you believe these billionaires are poor and have lost anywhere near that much money. While alot have lost billions and billions I gaurantee you the casinos are not going under and Mr Abelson has more than less than a billion. Get a clue you retard"

LVS was 142$ last year it is currently 6$.Mr adelson was worth 30billion -he has lost 29billion in the last year.That is a FACT...I know a lot more about financial markets than you ever will or have.I can garanty it.You have a foot or two in your mouth.Check the facts before you open your formidable mouth.

Anonymous said...

^^^You may know a lot about financial markets but you don't know how to spell very well do you?

Anonymous said...

byte mee!

Anonymous said...

a mediocre c apartment married with a mediocre d apartment. am i the only one not getting this. what about the view? what about outdoor space? i think they'd have a better chance seperating the apt. but then there would be four apts on the market (2 c's and two d's).