Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Little New York City Floor Plan Porn


SELLER: Richard O. Ullman
LOCATION: 15 Central Park West, New York City, NY
PRICE: rumored to be $55,000,000
SIZE: 5,610 square feet, 4 bedrooms 5.5 bathrooms (plus 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom staff room)
DESCRIPTION: This spectacular terraced penthouse comprising 5,600 square feet of living space including 4 exquisitely appointed bedrooms and 6.5 marble bathrooms is located in the most prestigious building on Central Park West. The apartment features panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline and includes high ceilings, an extraordinary layout, grand proportions, magnificent entertainment spaces, the finest of finishes and exquisite architectural details throughout.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Over the last several months there has been much ballyhoo, brouhaha and spilled ink over a somewhat mysterious doo-plex condo at the ritzy Robert A.M. Stern designed building at 15 Central Park West in New York City rumored to be quietly listed at an astronomical asking price above $75,000,000. Perhaps some of the children have been reading the scuttlebutt about the apartment in the New York newspapers along with Your Mama.

Here's what's been happening...Back in March of 2008 a wildly wealthy pharmaceutical benefits bigwig named Richard O. Ullman forked over $23,500,000 for a 5,610 square foot unit on the 18th and 19th floors of the pre-war wannabe building that in 2007 and early 2008 was the epicenter of high-priced real estate in New York City. Financial titans like Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill bought big apartments along with famous folks like Oscar winning actor Denzel Washington, NASCAR fat cat Jeff Gordon and tantric sex practitioners Sting and Trudie Styler.

Mister Ullman, who sold his company National Prescriptions Administrators in 2002 for more than half a billion bucks, never moved into the 4 bedroom and 5.5 pooper property which also includes a staff bedroom and pooper located, natch, off the service hall. It's not, chickens, that Mister Ullman didn't move in because he caught a case of real estate cold feet after closing on the apartment but rather that he possesses a pair of ridiculously large real estate cajones. Just months after signing on the dotted line rumors started to swirl and slip down the gossip grapevine that Mister Ullman was flipping the apartment back on to the market with an unabashed and undeniably greedy asking price more than triple what he paid for the place. The two-floor terraced unit over looking Central Park didn't pop up on the open market but it was widely thought to be quietly available for a not so quiet price of $75,000,000.

If Your Mama is being honest, and we always are, it puzzles and perplexes Your Mama how Mister Ullman's real estate agent managed to muster the jaw dropping audacity to utter such an insanely large number with a straight face to other real estate agents or prospective buyers because, you know, it makes us giggle and guffaw with aghast to even think of the steel nerve it takes to buy and flip an apartment back on the market just a few months after closing at three or four times the price paid without so much as having replaced a fixture or painted a wall. Not surprisingly, the apartment languished unloved and unwanted, a lonely suite of rooms doomed to be the ass-end of many jokes and the poster child for the sort of uncurbed, unrestrained and ravenous real estate avarice that ran rampant in Manhattan the previous few years.

After months of speculation and whispering about whether the apartment really is or is not for sale and at what bank account draining price, the dee-luxe doo-plex has finally hit the open market. While listing agent Dolly Lenz, real estate über-agent and She-Ra of the 12 Blackberries, endeavors to keep the asking price an ancient Chinese secret by marking the number as "Price Upon Request," the tireless real estate writers at The New York Times recently revealed the asking price is believed by real estate insiders to be around $55,000,000 with, according to listing information, monthly fees of $8,600. It does not take any flicking of the well worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus to see that although the (alleged) asking price is far lower than it (allegedly) used to be, it is still a ballsy, brave and hair raising number considerably more than twice what Mister Ullman paid just over one year ago.

Let's take a spin through the place to see what sort of condo Mister Ullman and Miz Lenz think is worth fifty-five million clams in a not particularly brisk market in which many of the potential buyers of trophy properties are sitting on the sidelines and keeping their purse strings tightly pulled.

After an elevator ride that does not conclude with a private landing, one passes through the front door and into a small vestibule with a coat closet on the left and a lounge and windowless powder pooper on the right. Your Mama can't imagine what use this "lounge" might have in a private apartment but in the event there is ever a line to use the terlit there is, thankfully, plenty of space to accommodate. The vestibule leads to a large foyer with a herringbone patterned wood floors and a ceiling fixture that looks suspiciously similar to the one the super installed in the rent controlled 2-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan Your Mama occupied before marrying up and moving into a downtown doo-plex with the Dr. Cooter. On the left is a sweeping staircase that rises to the private quarters and to the right a library that opens through two sets of pane-less French doors to the 1,000+ square foot terrace that runs the width of the lower floor of the apartment.

Straight through the foyer is the sizable 600 square foot living room which features a featureless fireplace and two more pane-less French doors that provide access to the terrace which rather dramatically hangs over Central Park and provides stellar views of the posh apartment towers that line Fifth Avenue and Central Park South. A second small vestibule separates the living room from the dining room and contains an actual closet as well as a booze closet for whetting one's whistle. Adjacent to the dining room and also connected to the foyer by a short hall is the kitchen/breakfast/family room which, quite frankly, isn't any bigger or more finely finished than the set up Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter have in our far less expensive crib on the West Coast. In fact, we'd bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly and our sour-faced pussy Sugar that our kitchen is not only nicer than this one, but was also more expensive. We're not bragging children, we're saying that for $55,000,000 the kitchen ought to be knock down spectacular and this one just ain't. Beyond the kitchen is the service hall and civilized sized staff suite which, to Mister A.M. Stern's credit is actually large enough that the owner's live-in house gurl won't feel like she's stuck up in a cell at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women.

The second floor is accessible by a Norma Desmond style staircase in the foyer and, for the lazy folks, by a private elevator that lifts a person from the hallway between the foyer and the kitchen up into the upper foyer. Two family bedrooms, each with a marble encrusted private pooper, face the building's courtyard and can be seen into by anyone with eyes who happens to be living on the other side of the courtyard on an higher floor. A third bedroom, shown as a guest room on the floor plan, also offers an all marble private pooper and small closet and dressing area. A second entrance and small laundry room are tucked away near the guest room.

The master suite is comprised of an entrance hall, large bedroom with a trio of windows looking over the park, four walk-in closets, three additional closets, two marble bathrooms including one with a park view soaking tub and separate shower, and a private study/exercise room that is, the children will note, larger than the house gurl's bedroom downstairs.

The rooms are simple white boxes with wood floors that wait patiently for the owner to hire up a smart architect and a small army of nice gay decorators to work their magic. This is all well and good because, let's be honest, most ridiculously rich people often do a re-do on the fancy apartments they buy, but for fifty-five million smackers the lack of detail in this apartment is, well, inexcusable. For $55,000,000 Your Mama wants a meticulously and perfectly completed mansion in the sky that is not only move in ready with a paneled library but comes complete with on-call terlit attendants and a 24/7 ger-may chef to whip up box cakes and baby back ribs at a moment's notice. But alas...

In an effort to lighten his real estate portfolio, Mister Ullman also has a 4 bedroom, 4,415 square foot, 44th floor apartment at the Trump International on Central Park West on the market with an asking price of $18,450,000. Your Mama wishes the healthcare honcho all the luck in the world selling his high-priced pads because iffin anyone were to ask us, and of course no one did, we think he's gonna need it at these prices.

52 comments:

Gilsner said...

I'm with you, mamma,it's blasé at best. Boring at most. The view is stunning but at that price tag?!? Yowsa! Perhaps Mister Ullman hasn't been watching Flip This House and doesn't understand the concept? Nice staging, though... NOT!

As always, wonderfully written. Nice work!

Jimmy said...

Hubris --> Nemesis, Mr. Ullman.

Anonymous said...

Luxist beat you to it this morning, Mama.

Anonymous said...

First of all, what in the world would anyone do with that large void / dead-end area under the stairway. To be totally honest, when I first saw the pic of the kitchen, I ignorantly thought it was a little kitchenette in a game room or something--before I looked at the floorplan and realized there was no game room and this was "the" kitchen--OMG, you have got to be kidding me! I HATE the floors--maybe that's a NY thing, but they are horrid beyond belief to me. On the other hand, the views over Central Park are to die for--and paying $55-million for this place would probably kill me!

Anonymous said...

Not quite comparable, but I find this floorplan disappointing for the price (compared to Dan Loeb's penthouse-although he paid $45m for that..) If anything Dan Loeb's place could ask the rumored $75m++ Ullman was looking for and it wouldn't be as batshit crazy.

Anonymous said...

I like it. I understand putting the guest room where it has a park view but I wouldn't want to share a wall between master & guest rooms.

Lilithcat said...

It's a decent enough layout, but it's not worth any $55,000,000, not even in Manhattan.

angeleyes said...

Wow, stories like this one and the year 2007 seem like real estate ancient history now, a short two years later. It's become almost unbelievable to even those who were paying attention at the time, that buying a property at a particular price point today, and flipping it back onto the market for a ridiculous triple the price tomorrow, was common practice.

You'd think that with the still enormous potential profit Mister Ullman imagines making, he'd at least have started out listing the place for a few million lower - just to get it out of the 50's - say at $49 million, but nooo. Over half way to $100 million and no private landing? I don't think so. I'm sure the listing agent just did as she was told, and probably smiled too while she mentally made a note not to hold her breath or expend much energy actually trying to sell this place.

The best features are the unit's penthouse position, terrace, and stunning views, but as pointed out, the unit itself dosen't even try to measure up to it's price tag. I'm not a big fan of busy herringbone pattern wood floors, but I do like the gracefully unpretentious curved staircase. Mama, I just KNOW your kitchen is sparkly-new drool worthy, and that I'd like it more than this one, or mine for that matter :)

White Chocolate Mess said...

Hell to the NO! For less money than this one could live in The Century or The Majestic or The Beresord (and the list goes on) all of which have more class and style and detail and most likely lower carrying charges. Plus, everybody knows how pissed off I am that they tore down the damn Mayflower, where I had some of the best sexof my life back in my New York days. I never understood the fascination with 15 CPW.

Madam Pince said...

The only decent thing about this pad is the view. Otherwise, pffft.

Anonymous said...

The floorplan isn't bad. I like the marble in the bathroom. But the price is outta whack. This place doesn't emanate "specialness" in anyway, aside from the size. I agree about the kitchen. I'll take mine in the burbs anyday.

The End of History said...

"The most prestigious building on Central Park West" Now that's a joke isn't it children? The quote should read "The most hyped building on Central Park West."
What about the Dakota, the San Remo or the Beresford? That's just three that are WAY more prestigious that this upstart can ever hope to be and there are at least two more.
This is a sad building, a monument to the end of the second gilded age. It's like Ruth Maddoff walking down Madison avenue all dressed up in Hermes and Gucci with a metro card in her Birkin, there's nothing there! Try walking past this monolith at night and look up you might see one or two lights on because nobody actually lives there it's just a shell game, everything for sale and nobody home.

Anonymous said...

Listen, this guy will be extremely lucky if he gets $30 Million for this place. Gerard Andlinger (I think that's how you spell his name) just sold his 78th floor penthouse at the Time Warner Center for $37.5 Million, discounted from $49 Million (originally asking $65 Million). Also, that apartment was FAR superior to this one in my opinion. For one, it's larger at 8,300 square feet. It's a full floor apartment with a private elevator vestibule, the master bedroom is much larger, the building is better (in my opinion) and it's on a MUCH higher floor. Oh, and the place comes fully designer furnished, I forgot who the interior designer was but it's a very well-known, I wish I could remember the name! The only difference is that the 15 CPW apartment has a terrace. But at this price, I would take Time Warner Center any day over this.

Discount this hole to $25 Million and we'll talk...

Anonymous said...

For $8,500 per month HOA fees, what kind of security do you get?

bentley said...

55 million for soaring drywall and not an ounce of charm.

For shekels like that I expect two words: Rosario Candela.

Asinine.

Anonymous said...

I agree with $25M. The fllorplan is decent. The view is very nice. However, niether justify $55M price tag.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'm much more interested in Celebrity real estate. I just don't care about some random executive's plain but overpriced penthouse. But that's just me. Let's get back to La La Land, Mama!

Anonymous said...

This is La La Land 3:32. While financial big wigs may not be movie star or recording artist celebs, they are mover and shaker celebs who live in the same neighborhoods and buildings they do, mingle socially with, and at times even date and marry. I'm interested in both celebs AND the 'celeb lifestyle' as Mama mentions in the 1st line under theReal Estalker banner up at the top. This definately qualifies. Keep 'em comin' Mama, luv ya!!!

Anonymous said...

That is quite simply the best apartment floor plan I've ever seen.

Wow. I'm in awe.

Viva! said...

The view is so fabulous and I really like the floorplan...aside from the master bedroom being situated right beside the guest bedroom (no need for anyone to hear the other having sex)...

But the kitchen...pathetic. Really, really, pathetic. Basically, the crappy kitchen kills it for me.

Anonymous said...

With the caveat that certain apartments in 15 CPW are, as unbelievable as it may seem, actually selling for more than they were originally purchased (one reported up sale this week, in fact). this apartment was in a very rare price category to begin with. If you have a great apartment that now appears to be a bargain at, say, 8m, then you have a pretty good chance of signing a contract. The contract will get signed at about, oh, 6.6m. That would be something like a high floor 3 bedroom in the Trump International on CPW. Maybe Time Warner, although things there still seem to be wildly over-optimistic. But almost nobody at this point will be interested in paying even the 20 odd million this guy paid in the first place (which btw just two years ago was considered a very ambitious price). If Mr. Ulmann sells this apartment it will be at or below the price he paid for it.

Anonymous said...

To the commenter who said that it's all for sale: not true. Very little for sale. My sister is looking for three bedrooms with a park view, and there is (or was, a couple of weeks ago) exactly one that she was able to look at.
Contracts were signed at the top of the market and at the very top dollar per square feet by the very richest who, though a little less so, are still the very richest, and they mostly have no need to sell into this market. So the apartments will sit, some with lights on and some dark, their fates in limbo.

gregory said...

I like the kitchen, but, not in that apartment. for 55 million, I'll need much bigger.

Anonymous said...

These are the kind of people I would love to see taxed out of existence. Have 95% of the wealth taken from them and given to the needy and hungry. Used to keep decent ordinary Americans in their homes safe from foreclosure.

Anonymous said...

3:32 most celebrities are poor and tasteless.

I don't read this post for "celebrities", just for fabulous real estate.

People really care about who occupies these homes? LOL. Why? I don't care if it's a celeb or a streetwalker who stumbled across billions...I just care abut the (fab) home! Maybe I'm just not celeb obsessed.

Anonymous said...

9800 dollars a square foot.....
I really wonder if Ullman and the rest of the real estate whores of America ponder upon how they got financial AIDS from toxic mortgage derivatives? What pure delightful scum, thanks Mom.

luke220 said...

The price is too high but it is a great floor plan with a few minor adjustments.

A woman would need more closet space. I'd suggest making the rear exercise room a walk in closet/ dressing room and make the front guest room the owner's study. Regarding the kitchen, there is plenty of room to add more cabinets and counter top if needed or desired.

Anonymous said...

Luke - Bingo! I completely agree. Great floor plan, seems flexible. The price is definitely out of whack, but whether it's 55 or 25, almost anyone is going to want to do it up in their own way, including the kitchen. So lop off a few mil and re-do the kitchen. Sure, there will be some people who want mint, turn key apts, but this ain't one of them.

They need to dry wall that area under the stairs though.

Addison said...

That is the most uninspiring $55 million dollar property I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Aren't penthouses at 820 5th going for around 40 million, with double the space, a more prestigious location and a much, much better interior?

luke220 said...

The good east side buildings are coops so buyer approval is required.

This building is a condo so fewer restrictions and lower monthly fees. The coops can also have building debts through underlying mortgages which the new buyer assumes upon purchase.

Rupert Murdoch paid $44 million for his penthouse at 834 5th. Scott Bomer's penthouse at 1060 Fifth was purchased for $46 million.

x o x o u i said...

Ya'll, seriously. Call me "blasé at best," like one of the other gawkers, but I am so drooling over this floorplan.

Anonymous said...

May he rest in piece. Mr. Ullman is deceased!

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