Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up (03.15.13): Penthouse at the Pierre


The real estate gossip grapevine is all atwitter and agog over unconfirmed scuttlebutt that the titanic, 12,000 square foot triplex penthouse of recently deceased financier—and 1987 stock market crash predictor—Martin Zweig is about to hit the (open) market and may well fetch—some chatty Manhattan broker says—between $100 million and $120,000,000.

The positively palatial penthouse pad, perched proudly atop the super-posh Pierre on Fifth Avenue and purchased by Mister Zweig in 1999 for a then record breaking $21,500,000, was previously and long listed from in 2003 until the fall of 2008 with a then unfathomable $70,000,000 price tag. At that time listing information showed maintenance charges rang up $38,720 per month. That's a pearl clutching $464,640 every year for the privilege of living atop one of the most exclusive—if Old School—hotel and residential towers in all of New York City.

The ever industrious and well-connected kids at Curbed managed to turn up some photos and a floor plan from 1996 that—along with previous reports an old online listings—shows the 16-room suburban MacMansion-sized but oddly configured triplex has—or had—five proper bedrooms, seven full bathrooms plus a tight suite of three half crappers for large parties and events and an additional staff bedroom and bathroom. There are—or were—five functional fireplaces, four terraces, two reception rooms that flank an opera house worthy main staircase, a paneled library and a 42nd floor Grand Salon of—let's bet honest, children—epic proportions: 2,800 square feet with soaring 23-foot high coved ceiling, three towering arched windows and two sets of 20-foot tall French doors that connect to a pair of corner terraces with panoramic city and Central Park Views.

Cozier living quarters are located on the lowest level, the 41st floor, and include a surprisingly small kitchen and a corner living room with adjoining dining area/study. Other notable amenities include an oddly located sauna—on the 43rd floor opposite two guest bedrooms—and a private elevator that services all three floors of the penthouse.

The impossibly swish Pierre is the same building where a bevy of millionaire, billionaires, potentates and international power players own primary residences and pieds-a-terre. Just to list a couple there's Harrod's owner and British royal family hater Mohamed Al Fayed, media tycoon Sumner Redstone and fashion mogul/socialite Tory Burch who lives in a massive 9,000 square foot multi-unit combination spread on the 9th floor that she was granted in her divorce from obscenely rich venture capitalist Chris Burch.

Some of the children who follow these things closely will recall that fashion world icon Valentino's business partner and man-friend Giancarlo Giammetti sold his art-filled pad at The Pierre last year for $8,000,000. He bought the apartment, as it turns out, from Pierre Berge, an antique dealer better known in some circles as the former consort of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

listing photos: Brown Harris Stevens via Curbed
floor plan: Curbed

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Psh, whatever. I'd still wrap myself in a blanket and pretend to be Lady of this Manor regardless of the wonky floorplan.

Jess said...

That is one amazing penthouse.
Dunno if it's worth a $100,000,000 tho.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this place is amazing.

WrteStufLA said...

I suppose this qualifies as a "trophy" apartment, but too-literally so. The awkward and ungracious floorplan aside -- I assume there's actually some direct connection between the kitchen and the dining room? -- there are only limited ways to experience the Park views. This place likely makes a jaw-dropping first impression for large-scale entertaining, but is then only nominally livable after the last guest departs.

Anonymous said...

Candy should sell at her new LA penthouse and buy this..The New Manor NY. Not sure why but I could see her here. Guessing the owner was a big ole queen?

lil' gay boy said...

Stunning space with an unworkable floorplan, but I'm guessing anyone with that kind of dosh would negotiate a sky-high 8-figure price and do a nice, gay $25M gut renovation...

The location and views are pretty much unreproducible.

Anonymous said...

so glamorous. i love it!!!!!

Jayne said...

Someone needs to replace a light bulb in the Grand Salon.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha! Love the light bulb comment. :o)

Sandpiper said...

I agree, floor plan is sooo wonky.

Mr. Zwieg’s once said he objected to the tiny windows, except for ballroom obviously. I tend to agree.

Anonymous said...

Could be fabulous but badly needs a multi-million dollar overhaul. The day-core is not acceptable!

Anonymous said...

Im no sothebys broker but I have enough insight to confidently say that this is hands down one of the most highly desired and amazing living spaces in New York. Owning your private residential ballroom is unheard of. The owner and his wife, a former public school teacher, were extremely charitable and humble. They did not spend much time in the apartment. The awkward floorplan is on account of the original owner (pre-Zweig, 1988) basically converted the lobby space and service areas on the lower floor to living space. The structure, however, would allow for an amazing floorplan, especially if one were to relocate the West stairs. Will easily go for 90+ but If it does hit the market there will be a bidding war.

Anonymous said...

This penthouse can suck my dick and Sotheby's can too, they suck SO MUCH. Worst real estate company in existence = Sotheby's International Realty.

Will sleuth for burbon said...

Yet another owner unearthed. Verified solid fact.

http://tinyurl.com/cgsqq7k

Anonymous said...

I doubt any of Mr. Zweig's clients for his stock recommends would ever make enough to own this place. Giving stock advice is far more enriching than receiving it. PS Now that the EU has decided to make all Cypriots, rich or poor, take a forced "haircut" why not do the same with lavish property owners?

Sichermove KL said...
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Julien Romney said...
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FalseProfit said...

I understand the reason for the relatively modest price is due to the fact that the good folks of the Pierre hotel will not allow any major renovations of the penthouse out of concern for the hotel guests. Also, humor has it the co-op board is keen on excluding anyone who might pose a problem down the road (oligarch, etc.) So, it's pretty unlikely some Russian is going to buy the place and do a clean-slate renovation here. This will have to go to someone who respects the history of the building and has the imagination to make this into a dream home without hiring Peter Marino and a team of construction workers.

FalseProfit said...

Here are some additional photos:

http://richardcummings.com/p723870679/h28410c15#h3a908b65

Anonymous said...

Perfect for Al Pachino's character in the Devil's Advocate.

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Mr DHH said...

The current layout is quite hideous
(one staff room,tiny kitchen,no formal and or family dining).Yes trophy location and views priceless.

75 million and plan on 15 to 20 for redo (take out part of the grand salon and space above).Major reconfiguration is a must unless of course full price offer includes unlimited use of Pierre's industrial
kitchen and staff(at no additional
costs besides carrying charges)

Anonymous said...

A few notes from an actual Upper East Side co-op board member....

First off, this is a dog of an apartment as is. We know when we see a place that has major issues, and this is one of them. The good news is the owner (or owner's estate, in this case) is responsible for paying the maintenance, so it doesn't matter to us whether it sells quickly or not. What does matter is how it is done, and who we have to live with.

Luckily, we can deal with both issues. Despite what people like to think, we do not discriminate based on religion, etc. We don't like foreign buyers because they can decide to leave the country and never come back, leaving us having to pick up the hefty maintenance charges. Same goes for fly by night or shady types. We also don't want or need paparazzi or fans downstairs. Our main concern is someone who can afford apartments (depending on the building that means two times the purchase price and up in liquid assets)

As for renovations, we actually prefer shareholders hire Peter Marino or some other major professional. Why? Because they are pros and get the job done efficiently and quickly (if ridiculously expensively). They don't cut corners the way people trying to do it on the cheap do. All older buildings need the mechanicals and wiring replaced, and better to do it all at once than once pipes start bursting or late 80s transformers start overheating. It also helps the building image and values to have apartments published that actually are nice, as opposed to a travesty like this trainwreck which visually would only attract an oligarch, pimp or Trump - none of which are co-op material.

In terms of disturbance during renovations we know how to minimize that as well. The length of renovation is strictly limited, with huge daily fines for running over. We also reserve the right to shut down the job if they go too far past the time limit and make them wait another year. Mr. Marino & Co. know how to plan, build entire rooms in warehouses, etc. in order to get the real heavy work done in a timely manner.

This apartment is a nightmare, but mainly for the seller's estate, who will have to find a suitable purchaser to step up and go through the considerable hoops that exist. It could be a truly spectacular place given a major renovation and some taste. It is just a matter of finding someone presentable and respectable who is very rich and very patient. Not the easiest task on many levels....

Sandpiper said...

UES board member, thanks for chiming in with some logic. Would still like to be a fly on the wall for the good stuff.

Profit, nice catch on the photos.

Here is a funny little article on the zany plans previous owner Lady Fairfax attempted to hatch while an owner -- like a 41st floor conversion to five bedrooms and two kitchens. Did it happen?

http://observer.com/1998/07/lucky-pierre-lady-fairfaxs-penthouse-finds-a-buyer-for-almost-25-million/

Anonymous said...




Give it to the homeless.

Mr DHH said...

Again thank you UES Board Member for your very helpful information.If I may ask a question through the chair (momma) what would one consider reasonable timeline on renovations?Reason I am asking this is when David Geffen bought Denise Rich's triplex he stated it would be a 2 year renovation to remove a music studio.As well when going through a board approval should one bring in a Mr. Marino to explain how a prospective purchaser will be improving their unit and confirm a timeline and get everyone on the same page.I do believe for all parties involved surprises are never good (as are delays and distractions).

FalseProfit said...

Can anyone find photos of David Martinez's Time Warner Center Penthouse? Apparently, the man has a waterfall in his freaking living room.

Anonymous said...

UES Board Member here...

Four months is standard, six if it is truly a major gut job. That's from when the demo starts to when the daily fines start. Some buildings require that those be summer months. We don't, but clever people steer clear of any group of months involving thanksgiving through Christmas as invariably huge amounts of time are wasted

Some of the truly grand restricted buildings with summer only rules have people demo and begin one summer, then wait for the next to finish it. I find that just drags it out.

This is for heavy, noisy work. Doesn't include painters, etc. but does include anyone with a hammer or wrench, etc.

Expensive, thorough contractors know very well how to meet these schedules. It ain't cheap.

Good luck to Mr. Geffen with that two year plan. That wouldn't fly with most mid level coops, let alone grand ones. Personally I'd never approve him - not on a homophobic front, but because he is a pushy, entitled prick who thinks rules don't apply to him.

Mr DHH said...

Thank you again UES Board Member-

I was thinking two years seems like a long time,one could almost build a shell of a building in that frame.You people sound like the type of neighbors you need in a co op, I do not want to horrify you about having a neighbor upstairs in a vacant unit with duct tape plumbing repair (instead my insurance company did).You only have to be flooded twice to realize there is a problem here.

Julien Romney said...
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Anonymous said...

What a dog's breakfast of a floorplan. Having one half of a pair of public restrooms must come in handy. I suppose there'a a sign on the door for changing polarity. On top of that, the Grand Salon shares space with elevator equipment. I wonder what it sounds like. Hotel staff will be in and out for maintenance and repairs to that equipment, a security nightmare.

Pass!

Krishna Singh said...
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