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.