Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shoe Mogul Steve Madden Lists Townhouse

SELLER: Steve Madden
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $8,995,000
SIZE: 6,040 square feet

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once again our New York-centric aide de camp Hot Chocolate tipped us off that mid-priced shoe tycoon Steve Madden has put an $8,995,000 price tag on his 6,040 square foot Upper East Side Italianate townhouse located on a tree-lined block between Lexington and Third Avenues, hardly Timbuktu but perhaps a bit far east to be fashionable.

The 20-foot townhouse, one of only two left of the original row of six, was built in 1860 and converted in the late 19th century to a blacksmith's shop and residence. The mid-block building, set well back from the sidewalk stands five floors above ground plus a full basement. The townhouse was purchased, according a 2011 report in the New York Observer, in 1978 and converted a couple years later to a four unit coopertive apartment house.

As best as Your Mama can tell the shoe peddler and his missus acquired the four units in four separate transactions for a total of $8,850,000. The first purchase, a three bedroom quadruplex with two outdoor spaces, came in September 2006. This was about a year after Mister Madden was released from 2.5 year long stint in the pokey for securities fraud. Three years later the Maddens scooped up an adjoining, street-facing duplex on the third and fourth floors and just over a year after that they picked up the fourth and fifth floor duplex at the rear of the building. Finally, in late 2012, they bought the fourth unit in the building, a multi-level set up with one bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, a large living room with fireplace, a brutally compact kitchen and a nearly 200 square foot south facing roof terrace.

Listing details describe the townhouse as currently being used as a single family home with a "unique layout." As far as Your Mama can tell from a thorough study of the floor plan included with current online marketing materials, what's "unique" about the layout of this house is that the four separate units have only been combined in the most cursory and awkward of manners and the six floors connected via a dizzying array of internal staircases.

The elevated front stoop—oh, how Your Mama keens and keels for an urban stoop—makes an elegant entry to the residence. But it all quickly fizzles like air from a pin pricked balloon just as soon as the parlor floor entry vestibule gives way to an impossibly narrow corridor and equally slender switchback main staircase that ascends to the top three floors but does not descend to the lower two floors, at least not on the floor plan.

The "unique layout" includes numerous, relatively ambiguous purpose rooms that include multiple living/dining rooms on at least three different floors including a parlor floor dining room with terrace access. The floor plan show four small kitchens, all of which may (or may not) be expensively outfitted but none of which are larger than what might reasonably expect in just about any small Manhattan apartment.


Other "unique" features include: a windowless, basement level office with private attached bathroom; six variously sized guest/family bedrooms—some of them garden shed sized—that share four hall bathrooms; a garden level master suite (with closets, a dressing hallway and a large private bathroom) through which is the only direct access to the backyard, a garden level living room space and—have mercy—the basement.

Just for shits and giggle, children, check out the necessary route to get from the basement to one of the ambiguously utilized living rooms on the fourth floor. We can't speak for anyone else but Your Mama would have to make a pit stop in one of the parlor floor sitting rooms for a breather and a gin & tonic. Anyhoo...

Although currently weighed down by a crazy-ass and all but unsolvable floor plan, the townhouse itself is not without desirability. There's that stunning stoop, of course, and the deep set back entry that might hinder light exposure a bit too much but just about makes up for it with an enhanced sense of privacy. There's also the sensible 20 foot width—many Big Apple townhouses are less than 16 feet wide—the aforementioned 350-plus square foot back yard, the almost 10 feet deep full-width terrace off the rear of the parlor floor and two of nearly 200 square foot roof terraces.


Just as Your Mama and the children all should expect of wealthy and (presumably) stylish and urbane New Yorkers with an bizarrely configured townhouse, Mister and Missus Madden hired a name brand architect, a residential specialist, to re-imagine and reconfigure the interior spaces into a much more cohesive, proper and modern single family residence of just over 6,000 square feet. And their architect(s) of choice, Gordon Kahn And Associates, did an honest to goodness bang up job with the space planning. We suspect much of any remaining original architectural details would have to be removed to accommodate the vast transformation achieved by Mister Kahn (and co.) but it would seem to Your Mama he succeeded in, if nothing else, setting up the layout for

Plans call for the convoluted system of switchback staircases and zig-zagging corridors to be replaced with an elegantly proportioned central traffic hub with elevator, powder rooms, coat closets and a semi-circular main staircase that connects all floors of the townhouse, from the basement clear on up through to the fifth floor.

The proposed new layout shows a total of four bedrooms: a penthouse floor guest bedroom with private bathroom and roof terrace; two full-width family bedrooms on the fourth floor, each with three closets and en suite facility. Plans call for the entire third floor to be given over to the master suite with fireplace, fitted walk-in closet and dressing hall and over-sized bathroom with twin sink, crapper cubby, free-standing soaking tub and separate stall shower.

The architects retained an informal living area on the garden level but repurposed the master suite into a spacious, family-friendly center island kitchen complex complete with a built-in breakfast banquette, a walk-in pantry, direct access to the garden through the casual dining area and a very smart dumbwaiter that swiftly lifts food (and etc.) from the kitchen to a butler's pantry that adjoins the parlor level formal dining room.

The new and improved floor plan calls for a finished basement level with home gym set up, bathroom and walk-in wine cellar and a sky-lit top floor solarium that spills out to a south-facing street side roof terrace.

Your Mama has not specific intel on where Mister and Missus Madden plan to decamp but if we were the wagering type—and we're not—we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that the Madden family's next residence won't require such and extensive, expensive and time consuming overhaul.

listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman

22 comments:

joeinTO said...

My mind reels thinking about what the price tag would be to gut this townhouse to the exterior walls and rebuild it as an up-to-date 21st century Manhattan abode with all the buzzers and bells (and private elevator).

Anonymous said...

What would those "buzzers" and "bells" be?

Anonymous said...

This hits the market and the Woolworth mansion goes off the market.

Jesse said...

I'm seeing a trend here... Mama is in need of a trip back to the big city.

Anonymous said...

Well 2:36 if he did buy the Woolworth mansion I would guess Hot Chocolate would know? Mama?

lilkunta said...

i am confused. it this 1 townhouse or 4 townhouses madden bought and combined ?

Anonymous said...

@7:02. It is 1 townhouse that was at some point decades ago divided up into 4 condos or "co-ops" to the non-new Yorkers- it was chopped up into smaller apartments basically. The Maddens then bought up each of the 4 separate units with the intentions of combining them back into 1 single family home, and is trying to sell it as such. Although given the location of the townhouse (in the less ritzy part of the UES, it wouldn't surprise me if an investor purchases it and simply re-divides it and rents out the separate units.

Renting Avenue said...
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Anonymous said...

I didn't say he bought it. But someone did. Your Mama should enlighten us: she spent way too much time on people no one's heard of buying cottages in Malibu and failed to bring more to the table when it comes to hot purchases in Holmby Hills.

Anonymous said...

kanyes place just fell out of escrow...haha

lil' gay boy said...

Given the location, it seems a 50/50 proposition as to whether Gordon Khan's plans are realized or if an investor merely chooses to retain the separate units for income. Great potential in both.

Either way, the current day-core has got to go -- very Staging Lady; it's ghastly. Shades of Pepto-Bismol.

(BTW -- I'd heard Staging Lady in a Toyota had a little problem with unwanted acceleration in her pink Prius -- seems she vaulted through the front window of a Williams Sonoma & came to rest next to the Calphalon display; upon being rushed to a nearby hospital, doctors expressed grave concern -- that she would recover with her sense of line, color & proportion fully intact, and would be back to placing orchids in powder rooms & cashmere throws on family room loveseats in no time -- but then doctors can be catty bitches, too.)

Anonymous said...

looks just like a shoebox

Desert Donna said...

Since one of the Children brought up the Woolworth Mansion...what about 973 Fifth Avenue?? I just read it closed for $42M?? Was this covered or did I miss that posting Mama?

Anonymous said...

Pink Prius? I don't think so. I always pictured her in a 1990s pink Camry.

Rosco Mare said...

Boring day-core; however, I like the lush Easter egg blue color of the bedroom. Different and somewhat elegant.

Anonymous said...

I've known about every single person that Mama writes about. Perhaps some people just don't know Hollywood and the entertainment industry like Mama does.

bentley said...

Interior design care of Escher.

This place is the fucking pits.

Sandpiper said...

Would love to see this place after the reno. Right now it feels like Carly Simon's back-on-the-market Bohemian.

Staging lady update: Just witnessed the Williams Sonoma "incident". Had her inventory of white slip covers jammed mile high in the back seat. She also clipped a pyramid display of W-S cranberry chutney. Splattered into the moon roof. Leakage ensued. Red is now the new white. BTW - got a great deal on some just recently-reduced Calphalon. Lucky my artsy boyfriend dabbles in metal smithing.

Patty Lunz said...
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Crispin said...
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Sarah Cohen said...
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