Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sonja Morgan's Townhouse: On Then Off the Market
SELLER: Sonja Morgan
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 4,500 square feet (approx.), 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: All the children–at least those that have been coming around for awhile–know that Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter both have an unhealthy and probably damaging affection for all the ladees of The Real Housewives... series on the Bravo. (Are you listening Andy Cohen? Your Mama is about to give y'all some more free press even though you don't give us the time of day. What can Your Mama say, we're nice like that.)
Anyhoo, Your Mama may have left our cold, dark heart in San Francisco but we left the memories of most of our adult life in the En-Why-See so out of all those crazy broads we have a real soft spot for the high drama behawtchas in New York City. We even like that Bethenny one who can turn a phrase like nobody's bidness but will lacerate you with her razor sharp tongue and not invite you to her wedding if you get on her bad side by doing something so foolish as, say, spending more time with your huzband who's undergoing cancer treatments than with her and her unrelenting quest to teach woman how to embrace "Thin Thoughts" and stay "Naturally Thin" by eating next to nothing.
For reasons not yet explained publicly, Miss Cohen and his people thought it was a swell idea–or at least a ratings boosting idea–to toss another claws out kitty into the cat box. Enter sexed up dee-vorcee Sonja Morgan, one of LuAnn's charity circuit gal pals who seems to have a spider web of connections to the other women. Ramona–whose behavior gets more bizarre by the minute–knows sexed up Sonja for 20 years and, in a funny and embarrassing coincidence, sexed up Sonja is shtupping Argentinian "actor" Max Palacio who was previously seen on the program as a man-beau of Kelly Bensimon.
Miz Morgan, a forty six year old bottle blondie with a pre-teen piglet, is an interesting ladee if you think ladees who married well and dee-vorced better are interesting. From the wee bit o' research we did on the interweb we've pieced together a Reader's Digest version of Miz Morgan's life that we think and hope is accurate. The socially ambitious Miz Morgan (nee Tremont) hails from Albany, the state capital of New York. According to Miz Morgan herself, she put herself through college, modeled in Europe, and brokered deals–whatever that means–before landing in New York City where she was a hostess/public relations gal at San Pietro, a Midtown Manhattan Italian eatery on East 54th Street. It was there she became acquainted with an older, well bred gentleman named John Adams Morgan, a direct descendant of American steel tycoon and voracious art collector John Pierrepont Morgan.
Mister Morgan would have been quite a catch and offered instant social credibility for any single gal with social ambitions on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Not only is Mister Morgan wealthy, more importantly he's old(ish) and distinguished New York money. Certainly not van Rensellear old money, but a definite cut or three above all the newly rich Wall Street financier types. Anyhoo, eventually Mister Morgan and Miss Tremont were married and moved into a townhouse east of Lexington Avenue–the wrong side of Lexington according to real estate snobs. They made a baby and made the international social scene in glitzy locales such as Connecticut–where they had a country house, Switzerland, Aspen, Malibu and the Bahamas–where their yacht was often parked. She also made besties with other high-toned and well connected ladees like Ann Dexter-Jones–that's Samantha Ronson's mommy–Ivana Trump and (Baby) Jane Holzer, the former muse of Andy Warhol. But alas, as love often does, Mister and Missus Morgan's affection for each other swirled down the terlit of time. In 2006 the Morgans split and in 2008 they were divorced.
Before going splitsville, Miz Morgan agreed to finance a film through her company Sonja Productions. According to Hannibal Pictures Miz Morgan did not cough up the promised cash. She was sued for breach of contract–or something like that–and a California federal court awarded Hannibal Pictures $7,060,000. Miz Morgan, according to reports, has not yet paid her court ordered judgment and as a result Hannibal Pictures is now going after her assets in a Manhattan Supreme Court. Oh dear.
This new court case may–or may not–explain why Miz Morgan's townhouse on East 63rd Street–which had been for sale for a very long time–was taken off the market in mid-March of 2010. It might also explain why she might want whatever income, publicity and proceeds might result from her stint on The Real Housewives of New York City.
Now that we've digressed into the whos and whats of Miz Morgan let's get down to brass tacks, the real estate. As mentioned above, until mid-March of 2010 Miz Morgan had her Upper East Side townhouse on the market. In fact, according to the peeps at Street Easy, Miz Morgan has been trying to dump her 5-floor crib since April of 2008, right about the time her dee-vorce was finalized. The townhouse was first listed with an asking price of $12,000,000. Nine months later the townhouse was taken off the market and another nine months later–this brings us to November of 2009–it was put back on the market with a new listing broker and a new and reduced asking price of $9,250,000.
Two months later Miz Morgan hacked a million clams off the asking priced and six weeks (or so) later she cleaved another million off the price tag, bringing it down to $7,250,000. Are the children keeping up? Two weeks later–we're in the middle of March 2010 now–the listing was marked "no longer available."
Property records indicate the townhouse was purchased by Mister and Missus Morgan in 1998 for $9,100,000. Listing information shows the very narrow, limestone clad townhouse measures around 4,500 square feet and contains 5 bedrooms and 5 poopers. However, according to the floor plan included with marketing materials, there are 4 bedrooms–the fifth appears to have been converted to some sort of gym/over-sized pooper room–and a total of 5.5 terliting facilities including the powder pooper in the entrance gallery on the ground/garden floor.
Like in most townhouses, even the really skinny ones like Miz Morgan's, the main living spaces are contained on the lower floors, The ground floor has a living room with a sickening peach color on the walls and a wacky argyle patterned hardwood floor. The living room gives way through some support columns to an "office" area that opens to the rear garden. On one side of the stair hall on the second floor a small library overlooks 63rd Street and on the other a windowless dining room serves as a wide but tight hallway to the kitchen, a crowded, u-shaped affair with a wide and tall row of windows overlooking the back yard. The mahogany cabinetry is topped with green granite counter tops, the sort of granite Your Mama expects to find in a bank and not a kitchen.
The master suite encompasses the entire third floor and includes a private sitting room/study that opens to a narrow balcony. The children will note, however, that in order for Miz Morgan–or her "friend" Max–to get from her bedroom to the trio of walk-in closets and/or the generously sized pooper she–or he–must cross the public stair hall. Now children, we appreciate that the master suite includes a large pooper with a bee-day, soaking tub and separate shower, but let's be honest, who wants to pay upwards of seven million clams to have to dart across the stair hall butt nekkid in order to get to the bathroom?
The fourth floor has that aforementioned combination gym/over-sized pooper room as well as a bedroom with a small, windowless private pooper and two sets of French doors that open to a terrace. The fifth floor holds two more bedrooms that share a pooper with bee-day. The rear bedroom has a small kitchenette, which is nice for midnight snacking.
Some of the additional luxuries of Miz Morgan's townhouse include the five fireplaces, mahogany lined elevator that accesses all five living levels (but not the basement), central heat and air conditioning (a less common luxury than non-New Yorkers might think), and a fourth floor terrace overlooking the backyards of the surrounding townhouses and buildings.
Other than to make note of the cockamamie rooster figurine on the mantel in the dining room Your Mama really doesn't have much to say about Miz Morgan's uninspired and tired looking day-core except that it emits that certain sort of high-nosed thrift store je ne sais quoi that says "we have so much old money that we do not need to buy new things or hire a nice, gay decorator to do the place up in order to impress the arrivistes."
Your Mama expects that the children who give a rat's ass will have to wait and see what transpires with Miz Morgan's current legal ugliness with Hannibal Pictures before we'll know what's what with the townhouse. Will she lose it to Hannibal? Sell it for a song? Or will her paycheck courtesy of Andy Cohen allow her to pay her debt to Hannibal and remain in residence at the townhouse she's called home for the last 12 years? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Posted by Your Mama at 7:51 AM