Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Couple of Art World Bigwigs List Art-Filled Time Warner Aerie

SELLERS: Tobias Meyer and Mark Fletcher
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $16,950,000
SIZE: 2,632 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was valued New York City real estate tattletale Steven Harris Brown who snitched to Your Mama that art world muckety-mucks Tobias Meyer and Mark Fletcher hoisted their not surprisingly art-filled aerie at the twin-towered Time Warner Center in New York City on the open market with an asking price of $16,950,000.

Mister Fletcher, according to his own website, is a curator, collector, advisor and private contemporary dealer with nearly three decades of experience. Until late last year, when he left "amid criticism," German-born Mister Meyer was an accomplished auctioneer and the worldwide head honcho of contemporary art at the venerable—if sagging and under attack—Sotheby's auction house. Interestingly—and quite possibly pointedly—Misters Meyer and Fletcher chose not to make use of a Sotheby's real estate brokerage when they listed their cosmopolitan crib and instead hired a couple of high-powered lady agents at Corcoran. ¡Es un escándalo inmobilaria! Anyways...

Property records Your Mama peeped show Misters Meyer and Fletcher purchased the 66th floor city-, river- and park -view spread in March of 2004 for $5,482,215. A few quick flick of the well-worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that should the high-power lady real estate agents manage to haul in a sale anywhere close to it's current asking price the high-cultured fellas could realize a mouth watering 300+ percent return on their decade-long ownership—not counting improvements, carrying costs and real estate fees, of course. Not a bad way to turn several million bucks into a small fortune in a relatively short amount of time but—and here's the rub, butter beans with big financial dreams—you gotta have the first several million in order to parlay it into many more.
It is Your Mama's admittedly uneducated decorative opinion that the overall vision of a well-dressed home should be summed up —or at least hinted at in a tantalizing manner—right away in the foyer (or entrance hall or what have you). Misters Meyer and Fletcher's Time Warner Center foyer, hunties and other children, does not disappoint for, indeed, it proudly and vigorously announces its thoroughly ebullient decorative cacophony right away in the foyer with super-graphic black and white stripe floor covering—it could be carpet or maybe marble—juxtaposed against low-grade plywood paneling on the ceiling and walls. A Matthew Barney diptych from his five-part and fab-freaky Cremaster series surmounts an 18th century giltwood console topped by a probably pricey and possibly pedigreed pair of rococo candelabra while an over-sized, gold-toned light up dollar sign by YBA art duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster leans ever so not casually against the wall.*

The boldly striped floor pattern and the art-centric decorative merry-making continues into the irregularly shaped combination living and dining room where floor to ceiling windows on two, obtusely angled walls provide soaring views of Central Park as well as the upper floors of the black-glassed (and slightly sinister looking) Trump International Hotel and Towers. On the back wall a decadently framed portrait by John Currin hangs above an gilt-trimmed 18th century commode in front of a frenetic, pop art-y wall mural that—word to the wise—doesn't shy way from nipples and pubic hair. The mural not only covers just about every available inch of wall space and at least one exposed structural column it also creeps creepily up on to the ceiling. The site specific mural was done, our research shows, by the Brazilian artist Eli Sudbrack, a principle member of the arts collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus.

The adjacent kitchen isn't particularly roomy but it does offer a dining area with built-in banquette seating in front of an entire wall of north-facing windows and is expensively equipped with vertical grained walnut (or maybe teak or cherry) cabinetry, marble counter tops and floors, and a stainless steel volume that holds Euro-style double ovens and two integrated refrigerator-freezers.

Listing photos show one of the two guest bedrooms decked out as an office/library with book-lined book shelves and a marble-topped desk in front of another full wall of north-facing windows. The second guest bedroom has another wall of book-stuffed book shelves and another wall of windows but this time in a western direction that allows for an almost unobstructed view across the Hudson River to the densely developed eastern shore of New Jersey.

The striped floors continue, finally, into the prow-shaped master bedroom where two walls of glass with panoramic (if not entirely unobstructed) north and west views. There are also a dressing area/entry vestibule, two walk-in closets—both, no doubt, lined with expensive suits, and a six-piece marble bathroom with frameless glass shower enclosure.

According to listing details the monthly taxes and common charges total $10,771 and cover, according to Your Mama's research, the full range of Time Warner's super-luxe amenities such as round the clock doorman, concierge and maid services. There's a giant Whole Foods market in the basement of the building—if that's your food shopping thing—as well as an on-site garage with valet services and a chauffeurs lounge. Also on the grounds are a full-service five-star spa and fitness center, a multi-story shopping galleria, and a couple of New York's best regarded and most expensive eateries, Masa and Per Se.

Although it does not appear to Your Mama that Misters Meyer and/or Fletcher now or ever owned them, Mister Fletcher's website indicates he recently but previously maintained a couple of quasi-public art spaces in New York City including one in a vaunted, 1977 Paul Rudolph designed penthouse in Midtown Manhattan and another a 19th century townhouse across from Washington Square Park.** He also has (or had) more private, by appointment only art viewing spaces in a severely-angled Daniel Libeskind designed residence in Connecticut and at the so-called Domus Solaris, an all but perfect, 1975-built Buff and Hensmen designed pavilion with one bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms on L.A.'s famed Mulholland Drive. (As it turns out the downright dee-voon Domus Solaris, owned by sports agent Michael Reilly, is currently on the open market and, as of this morning, in escrow with an asking price of $2.4 million.)

*Listing photographs Your Mama combed over with a fine toothed comb do not show the foyer but it does appear in March 2005 article about the obviously rich art-minded couple in W Magazine with the aforementioned finishes and artworks.

**The four-unit (rental) building on top of which the Paul Rudolph penthouse sits was listed for sale in late 2012 for $27.5 million. The price was lowered to $22.5 million before it was de-listed in May 2013. The building does not appear to have been sold. In May 2013 the high-glam penthouse once leased by Mister Fletcher popped up for lease at $14,000 per month and, after it was reduced to $13,700, rented to an unknown party in late March. The parlor floor space on Washington Square North that Mister Fletcher used as an art exhibition and project space was listed for lease in mid-January 2014 at $8,500 per month. It was taken off the market 11 days later but it's not clear to this property snoop if the 1 bedroom and 1.5 space was rented.

exterior photo of Time Warner towers: Christopher Bride for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran


lil' gay boy said...

Oh my.

All art (especially contemporary) is subjective, but such permanent installations can be troublesome at best. If you are not in absolute love with it, it can become a liability that makes marketing such a property a real challenge (particularly if it is considered "integral" to the design).

Love the apartment but hate the art? Then you are faced with either painting over or otherwise removing it (which could not only affect the value, but subject the new owner to the eternal wrath of some aficionados). That or find yourself trying to devise a possibly expensive way to camouflage/conceal it.

As for the floors, no Such a geometric pattern in a high rise with floor-to-ceiling windows is a grave error; whether it is rectilinear that leads the eye outward (like here) or some other wall-to-wall pattern, it's difficult to live with as it can create an unwelcome sense of vertigo for many people, the "drama" is unsustainable, if not downright unlivable.

Much as I love the deep jewel-tones of the murals, I do not believe I could live with it full-time (notably the ceiling treatment; it would make me feel like being trapped in an outtake of Game of Thrones.)

Personally, I'd keep the kitchen door & the books and take a paint sprayer to the rest.

lil' gay boy said...

Oh, and Domus Solaris and 66 Burnett Road are exquisite.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the floor design is not only fugly, it's frustratingly repetitive and there's too much of it. Potential buyers make their minds up about a place literally within seconds after first walking through the front door. They better do something about those floors pronto because it's hard to look past them.

Rosco Mare said...

No matter how visually stunning the place is, 66 stories is to high to have a secluded terrace where one could enjoy a late night doobie.

Anonymous said...

The murals are art installations and will go with the current owners.

Sandpiper said...

These guys an interior design riot. I hope their puppies have no further need for those cumbersome collars.

I also wonder if the "site specific" art counts as intrinsic value to the sale price. The decor almost upstages the geometrically cool layout. It's hard to distinguish which of the two hold more power. Maybe a client will pick it up.

Mama, you must be diggin' this one, especially with the uneventful pricey jazz you're so often stuck with narrating. I am. Good piece!

P.S. As for this Sotheby's major stock holding Loeb character, I may need to let him treat himself to something in my pink pillbox. Unfortunately I have nothing to offer for high blood pressure -- as he sounds ready to self-implode.

Anonymous said...

The Paul Rudolph house at 23 Beekman Place was sold in 2001 for 5.5M, and again in 2005 for 6.35M. These purchases included the entire house, with access to the PH by private elevator. Imagine ! Jan Hashey of Douglas Elliman represented the seller in both transactions.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love TWC. David Martinez has a duplex penthouse with a waterfall, I'd be particularly interested in seeing one day.