Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oprah-owned Penthouse at Place 57 Up for Grabs

SELLER: Oprah Winfrey
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $7,900,000
SIZE: 2,530 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In January 2008 the juicy dish making its way down the New York City celebrity real estate gossip grapevine was that Oprah Winfrey's b.f.f. Gayle King—currently the co-anchor of CBS This Morning—coughed up a very considerable 7.1 million clams to acquire a glassy penthouse pad atop a sleek, newly built Midtown Manhattan tower called Place 57.

When all the deeds and documents were finally filed and recorded a few months later it was revealed by the New York Observer that the penthouse was more likely bought by Miz Winfrey and not Miz King. The evidence cited included that the names two of Miz Winfrey's known associates—accountant Lisa Gardina and Aspen-based attorney Gideon Kaufman—are listed in the purchase documents. However, in truth, Mister Kaufman's name also appears on the deeds and docs for Miz King's 10,000-plus square foot mansion in bucolic and baronial Greenwich, CT. More telling perhaps, as noted in the New York Observer and elsewhere, the Place 57 penthouse was purchased through a trust that seems to have been named after Miz Winfrey's beloved (but now deceased) cocker spaniel Sophie.

It was all very confusing, as these things sometimes are, but in spring 2011 Miz King invited the
cameras of decorator turned talk show hostess Nate Berkus for a somewhat limited tour of her New York City residence and the apartment shown is most certainly not the nearly all-glass penthouse pad on East 57th Street.

Anyhoodles poodles, late last night while grappling with a little insomnia Your Mama stumbled across the Oprah-owned penthouse at Place 57, now back on the market with an asking price of $7,900,000.

Current listing information shows the 36th floor spread has 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, 2,530 square feet of glass-wrapped interior space, and an additional 750-ish square foot wrap-around terrace with pulse racing and knee-bucking city views. Listing information shows the monthly common charges and taxes come up to a hefty but hardly unheard of $4,958 per month, more money than most people earn in a month but a relative pittance for a woman of Miz Winfrey's extraordinary riches.

The apartment, blessed with lofty 12-foot high ceiling, opens into an unforgivably slender, chute-like entrance hall that explodes in to a scalene triangle shaped dining and living space where two long walls of floor-to-ceiling glass converge in a (melo)dramatic (and perhaps a wee bit ham-handed) manner to provide a gigantic, birds-eye view that stretches from the George Washington Bridge, over Central Park, west towards New Jersey and south to the glittering towers of Midtown.

A swinging door in the dining area swings open to a light, bright, modern and expensively equipped but somewhat petite kitchen finished with flat-fronted cabinetry (that may or may not be white oak), charcoal-colored counter tops of unknown material, and chunky center island that does not, we note with chagrin and surprise, have a built-in breakfast bar component.

Two guest/family bedrooms, one with private bathroom the other with access to a hall bath as per the floor plan included with current listing information, occupy the northeast wing of the aerie. A short corridor behind the kitchen and off the entrance hall has a stacked washer/dryer closet and connects to the relatively petite master suite occupies that the southeast wing and includes three walk-in closets (two with windows), a spa-style pooper with jetted tub, separate shower and cubby for the terlit and bee-day.

The unfurnished penthouse gleams with newness and looks to Your Mama's admittedly tired and boozy eyes like it's never been lived in. Of course, we don't know a pea hen from a microwave oven so we really haven't an iota if Miz Winfrey—or Miz King or anyone else for that matter—ever spent a single night up in the Place 57 penthouse. For all we know the all but undecorated penthouse was used for little more than cocktail parties. Listing information does reveal, however, the walnut floors are "brand new" and the "state-of-the-art" kitchen is "barely used," language that indicates Miz Winfrey (or somebody) did at least a little cooking up in that kitchen.

Two guest/family bedrooms, one with private bathroom the other with access to a hall bath as per the floor plan included with current listing information, occupy the northeast wing of the aerie and the relatively petite master suite occupies the southeast wing and includes three walk-in closets (two with windows), a spa-style pooper with jetted tub, separate shower and cubby for the terlit and bee-day.

The Place 57 tower, located between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in the no-man's land between Fifth Avenue and Sutton Place, has a Vincente Wolf-designed Baccarat Crystal Lobby, whatever that is, and offers residents white glove services that include 24-7 doorman and concierge services, a fully equipped fitness center, thematically designed children's playrooms, residents-only conference rooms, and a Baccarat Crystal Garden, whatever the decorative devil that is.

As mentioned earlier, Miz King owns a 10,000-plus square foot mansion in Greenwich, CT she unsuccessfully attempted to sell back in June 2008 when it was listed with a $7,450,000 price tag. Although we can't be certain, it does not appear that Miz King's krib in Connecticut is currently on the (open) market.

Miz Winfrey, as billionaires typically do, owns a number of other high priced and high maintenance properties that include (but are not necessarily limited to) a four-unit duplex at the Water Tower Place complex in downtown Chicago, a plantation-style mansion on the island of Maui in Hawaii, and a massive 23,000 square foot mansion on 42-manicured acres in supah-swank Montecito, CA she picked up in 2001 for a mind altering $50,000,000.

Miz Winfrey also owns a number of small (and not so small) homes and condos in places like Douglasville, GA, Franklin, TN, Merrillville, IN and Elmwood Park, IL all of which we presume were acquired for use by various family members and/or close personal friends.

In 2007 Miz Winfrey dropped $5,600,000 on a 4,607 square foot condominium with 2 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms, and 2 car parking in a particularly posh Beaux Arts-style building in Chicago's swanky Streeterville neighborhood. The former chat show superstar, media mogul and generous global do-gooder reportedly never moved into the apartment that she put up for sale for about 6 months in 2008 for $6,000,000 and put up for lease late last year (2011) at $15,000 per month. The 6th floor Lake Shore Drive apartment remains listed for lease at $15,000 per month.

listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran

14 comments:

Adele said...

Rumour has it... the carpets smell like Gayle's snatch

Doug said...

I try not to spend much time thinking about such things but it is still amazing, given the economy most people are living in, how much high-priced real estate is out that and it's selling. Things are somehow out of kilter in the world.

lil' gay boy said...

Ooops, clicked on that pesky "publish your comment" button again; damn, damn, damn...

Close to $8M is simply too much to be tunnel-dumped into the dining room; simply bad programming.

Given the odd geometry, I'd rip out the powder room & closet to create a more formal foyer, with a divider to change the dining room's orientation from east/west to north/south. I'd also eliminate the 3rd bedroom with no closets & convert the resulting open space, along with the adjoining full bath to a powder room and a wet bar within a cozy library corner.

Sunset views over Manhattan from a 36th floor terrace? To die for...

Anonymous said...

If your going to have a best friend, Oprah is probably the best choice in the universe. Warren Buffet or Bill Gates might buy you a cheeseburger..but you would probably have to spring for the fries.

Anonymous said...

What a bland looking place. It does not look like it has ever been lived in.

Ned said...

I love oprah!

nursedeb said...

now THAT is a terrace!!!
cold feeling place though....and the layout doesn't flow....nice view from the kitchen...

Anonymous said...

Gayle King's city apartment is in a relatively new condo that was constructed at 200 West End Ave. at 70th St. I live nearby and have seen her coming/going on multiple occasions, sometimes with her daughter.

I was confused about this because it was widely reported that she had bought the place on 57th St. -- or an alternate version was that Oprah had bought it for Gayle to live in. So now we have some clarity, although it's still not clear why Oprah bought this in the first place. It's not a building that someone at her level would live in so the purchase most likely wasn't for that reason.

One thing Gayle showed Nate in that truncated tour was Sheila Bridges' (the African-American decorator) "Harlem Toile" wallpaper that was used in the kitchen. And yeah, I know, it's really queer that I know that. . .

THE WORD VERIFICATION IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO READ. MULTIPLE ATTEMPTS. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO STOP POSTING IF THEY HAVE TO DO THAT. MAYBE THAT'S THE POINT?

Anonymous said...

Momma I agree about the word verification being tough to read. I gave up posting on one.

DQ said...

This penthouse apartment does deserve a in-person visit; looks inviting and easy to live in.

Adele, what a nice comment -- you are obviously trash. (where is the delete button for this one???)

lil' gay boy, I agree with your comments -- the library would be an excellent addition to this apartment.

I think it might be a nice rental as well...

realestater904 said...

I think its a freakin awesome pad!

Richard Dun said...

Maybe Oprah just got tired of looking at the Baccarat crystals. (http://www.cityrealty.com/nyc/midtown-east/place-57-207-east-57th-street/30481).

Chris Comager said...

Momma I agree about the word verification being tough to read. I gave up posting on one.

Rasel Ahmed said...

Momma, really it a nice pad simply awesome, fabulous