Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Another Quickie Update: Huguette Clark

Real estate gossip queen Jennifer Gould Keil at the New York Post—who is, we know, more than just a real estate gossip—weighed in this morning with additional details about why Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the redonkulously rich Prime Minister of Qatar, was resoundingly rebuffed and rejected by the co-op board at 907 Fifth Avenue where he'd made a $31,500,000 bid to buy both of late heiress Huguette Clark's 8th floor apartments at 907 Fifth Avenue in New York City. The sheikh also let it be known, so the story goes, that he was also interested in acquiring additional apartments in the building to house security and staff.

Miz Gould Keil's unidentified source snitched to her that the board took umbrage with the number of the sheikh's wives (2), the number of children (15) and the "boatload of staffers" that typically accompany  the Qatari diplomat wherever he goes. "'It's just too complicated,'" explained Miz Gould Keil's source.

Miz Gould Keil also reported the board had additional concerns about where the sheikh's money came from—!!—as well as his diplomatic immunity, which means he can't be held legally accountable for anything that might happen on the premises.

The plot thickens...

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am thinking that while all the reasons cited are all very legitimate, this whole situation is also something of a power trip for the board. They have to fancy themselves as very powerful people to be able to say no to what is essentially the reigning monarch of a very rich country.

WrteStufLA said...

The guy should just take his cues from one of the other neighborhood royals -- from Dubai or Abu Dhabi -- who ran into similar probs a few years back, and wound up buying 2-3 contiguous mega-mansions off 5th Ave, and combining them within.

Anonymous said...

Great job on the co-op boards part.

Desert Donna said...

Great idea Wrtestufla!!! His agent should be hauling him to the Woolworth Mansion or the Stanford White place across from the Met!! Both still show available on Brown Harris Stevens Web site. Catch them on the rebound!

Don Juan's Wreckless Daughter said...

Heavens to Betsy...

Good for you, Board.

Who in their right mind would want to go from having essentially no one in those 3 apartments to having 30+ people traipsing around 24/7? NO ONE. Sanity does not have a price tag. 15 Children?!?!? That's a good enough reason for me.... I can't help but imagine some sort of Gremlins situation... oh yeah... diplomatic immunity?!? Talk about dodging a bullet.

Old Money said...

Who would want this lot camped out next door? All those loud brats stomping around and parking their bright blue supercars out front! I'd rather have a cockroach infestation than live next to these people.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the PM deserves an interview and the opportunity to address the 907 board and its concerns.

Oh, and in response to one of the Children's request, many of the formerly private, windowed, and very generous galleries became public spaces; therefore, none of the residents of the four-and-one-half and five-and-one-half apartments have to ride in the service elevator, perish the very thought!

Rabbi Hedda LaTess

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if there aren't control issues as well. The coop had to put up with Hugette, as she'd been in the building long before it went coop and she hadn't actually used her apartments for decades. But a new owner taking over four apartments (two entire floors!) would have a great deal of control over any decisions the building made.

I know this has become an issue in NYC recently; Calvin Klein and another gentleman own so many apartments in the building Klein lives in that they control all decisions made there, and the Daokta recently put a limit on the number of units any one person could own in the building (I suspect in part because Yoko Ono dominates their board through her holdings).

Anonymous said...

Diplomatic immunity means he can literally get away with murder. You don't want to mess with that in a Condo or Co-Op.If he parks illegally, they won't tow the car.

FonHom said...

Anon 2:17 PM - good point.

Anon 10:17 AM - the board doesn't "fancy themselves" powerful, they are powerful...as members of the board of their co-op. They represent the interests of fellow residents.

Whoever buys the apartments will no doubt need to renovate them. I suspect the neighbors are resigned to that but hope to avoid the more extensive construction that would be required for a very large household. Suing over NYC coop renovation noise & damage is a legal specialty so the diplomatic immunity issue is significant.

BTW - in the US, being a "reigning monarch" and "very rich" should get you equal rights...like anyone else. No more, no less.

Anonymous said...

These are all very valid reasons. I was laughing in the last post when reading the comments. Its not racism at all, the building has its fair share of Asian and African American residents, albeit the majority of the building is owned by Caucasians.

StPaulSnowman said...

I can't get beyond the image of Yoko in her dominatrix outfit browbeating the board.....

Anonymous said...

"Diplomatic Immunity" ...do any of the other children think immediately of Lethal Weapon 2? Anyway, 2 wives, 15 children, a security detail, and a desire to pile on more - sounds like my college neighbors plus staff and a motorcade. Gin!

I don't blame the board at all. 907 Fifth Ave is an elegantly sleepy high-worth hideout, not an unofficial state residence - Arab or otherwise.

PS Mama, did you catch the Christie's jewel sale? Surely, I thought, Dr. Cooter would have bought you Anna's fancy vivid pink diamond.

Candy Spelling said...

Is that the sale of Lily Saffra's husband's family jewels? The money is going to charity, I understand. There is a great video on the Christie website. I couldn't see any fire damage. Aaron's ring was a bitch to get clean.

Anonymous said...

@5:38pm

No one said his ethnicity would prevent him from moving in, but a poster here was making bigoted comments about Russians and Arabs.

Got it now? It was the poster's tirade that was ridiculous.

WrteStufLA, excellent idea!

Anonymous said...

Awwww, I was looking forward the arab flash outside of this quiet old money building. Picturing hot orange Lamborghinis and smurf blue Bugattis and white Rolls-Royces idling outside awaiting orders from his two wives, and fifteen princes and princesses. Maybe flowers being thrown in front of them on 5th Avenue a la Coming to America.

Arabs and the like haven't infested NYC in the over-the-top way they have infested London because they feel America is way too hostile and racist towards them. Case in point, this story. I work with a wealth management firm and hear this all the time.

Anonymous said...

7:03, I was the one that made the comments about the Russians, Arabs and Chinese and I stand by it. You may call it bigoted, I call it the truth and clearly the board agrees with me. The Arabs especially have just ruined London and France. They need to throw the vast majority of them out of the country to save it and stop immigration altogether.

Thank God a beautiful and historic place remains out of their hands for once.

You want a small example of how they have ruined the U.K., go watch Undercover Boss Abroad and watch the Southern Fried Chicken episode and you will see all you need to see.

Anonymous said...

9:44 PM, you're racist. plain and simple. how have rich arabs "ruined" anything? they create jobs.

Anonymous said...

10:49, yeah $4 plus a gallon gas definitely creates lots of jobs...I guess if you are a super car maker that makes 50 cars a year or a luxury watch maker that makes 100 watches a year.

Take you garbage and shove it, a handful of jobs here and there catering to their luxury lifestyle is not creating jobs. Jobs are what factories that employ thousands of people create, you know the ones that we sent off to China and India so we could make them wealthy while our own economy implodes.

BTW I am so racist that my ex girlfriend of 7 years was Arab. Her family was decent and Christian but she would agree with me on my position on most Arabs. I have family that lives in the U.K. also and my father went to graduate school there and the changes from when he lived there to now are quite dramatic.

The prime minister can go to the UK. I am sure Candy and Candy will be more than happy to sell him some tacky overpriced apartment.

Trixie von Trott said...

Whoever advised the dear PM to put in an offer to purchase was clearly out of their depth. Co-op boards are some of the last vestiges of snobbery and one-upmanship remaining in the modern world.

As discriminatory as it may seem to be, there is some satisfaction and amusement to be gained from watching the insanely wealthy turn on each other like petulant children.

WinstonC said...

The Al Thani family are certainly making significant business and property investments; Harrods, houses and apartments in London, perhaps even Chelsea FC and now New York residences.

It makes sense.

Keeping all their eggs in their home basket would be unwise. Who knows what is going to happen in that region in five, two or even one year's time? They are buying where there is prestige and, for want of a better word, 'value.'

If they're forced to leave their own nation (which is still a distinct possibility) they have plenty of overseas assets which - provided the relevant nations protect them (and I see no reason why they wouldn't, they are not Hussein/Gaddafi) - will secure their future.

Does no one else think that $31.5m is cheap for that many rooms on one of the finest avenues on the planet?

Anonymous said...

Not one of the children has even begun to speak about the tradesmen that this guy would probably employ. Just the gold leafing and murals they would have wanted in renovation, would probably require 75 full time contractors raiding the building for months. Thinking Shahs of Sunset.. Kids..trash is trash is trash regardless of ethnicity

Anonymous said...

I had neighbors with diplomatic immunity. They built a fireplace / brazier in the middle of the living room and burned a hole in the ceiling. This was in a triplex penthouse of a top coop. Nothing could be done. Think Beverly Hillbillies with complete legal immunity and you'll begin to grasp the situation.

Anonymous said...

If he's so freakin' rich, why doesn't he buy the island of the united states off the coast of UAE or wherever the hell it is, and make a nyc in it and have a mansion across his own central park?

Alison said...
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Papkaflsp said...
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Alison said...
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