According the the always on top of things real estate writer Josh Barbanel at The New York Times (via the lovlies over at Curbed NY), actor/global do gooder Richard Gere (Nights of Rodanthe, Bee Season, Chicago, The Cotton Club and the bare booty extravaganza Breathless) is in contract to sell his never occupied apartment at Palazzo Chupi. Well Hah-lay-damn-loo-ya. It's about time. That man has been trying to unload that white elephant almost since the day he and the Missus Carrie Lowell purchased the place in August or September of 2007 for $12,000,000.
The Chupi, for those in the real estate dark, is the former stable in New York City's far West Village on top of which über-artist Julian Schnabel built fourquirky, quasi-Venetian style condos–plus studio space and a fifth unit for him–that he planned to market and sell, by private invite only, to well to do friends and associates who thought it sounded like a good idea to spend many millions to share an address, elevator and private, indoor pool with the portly and often pajama clad Mister Schnabel.
But alas, Mister Schnabels romantic dreams of a dee-luxe dormitory brimming with high profile people has not materialized. Until very recently, besides Mister Gere and Ms. Lowell, the only other unit to sell was one of the simplex units that was bought in the fall of 2008 by Credit Suisse banker William J.B. Brady for $15,500,000.
That left two more units, a doo-plex and a wedding caked triplex, both with multiple terraces and balconies. Despite heaps of publicity–good, bad, ugly and even worse–the doo-plex and triplex units, both originally listed at well over $30,000,000, didn't attract any willing buyers until October of 2009 when the aforementioned Mister Brady snagged the triplex at the fire sale price of $10,691,625, which happens to be exactly one-third of its highest asking price. The remaining doo-plex with its 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 3 balconies, and 3,960 square feet, last listed at $12,950,000, is rumored and reported to be in contract although all parties involved are mum on the details. Of course, we don't know nuthin' from a cookie jar but Your Mama would bet our long bodied bitches and our mean ol' pussy Sugar that the buyer, whomever it is, is getting a damn good deal. Or at least a bargain in comparison to the original asking price of $30,000,000.
Now then, let's get on back to Mister Gere, who quickly had a real estate change of heart after buying his 4 bedroom and 4 pooper spread in 2007 and flipped the beehawtcha back on the market in the spring of 2008 with an asking price of $17,995,000. A price chop or two later, the asking price stood at $15,000,000 before it was ripped off the open market. The 4,000ish square foot unit, which includes several outdoor spaces, is now reported to be in contract for $11,000,000. Your Mama don't even need to bother flicking the beads on our bejeweled abacus to figure out that's a whopping million bucks less than Mister Gere and Ms. Lowell paid for the place.
While Your Mama imagines it must be powefully painful for Mister Gere and Ms. Lowell to watch their million clams (plus taxes, fees, maintenance and carrying costs) swirl down the terlit of an unforgiving real estate market, the real loser here is, obviously Mister Schnabel who not only lives and works in the building but now has to contend with whatever wealthy riff-raff is willing for fork over the ducats to live in the architecturally controversial pinky-red palazzo on West 11th Street.
And so it goes at the Chupi.
In other Gere/Lowell real estate news, the couple recently sold their house on Halsey Lane in the hoity-toity Hamptons. Originally listed in February 2009 at $8,800,000, the 7 bedroom and 10.5 pooper Water Mill property sold for the super-substantially lesser amount of $5,900,000.