Thursday, May 8, 2014

UPDATE: Christopher H. Browne and Andrew Gordon

SELLER: Estate of Christopher H. Browne and Andrew Gordon
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: last listed at $29,500,000
SIZE: 6,286 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 full and 4 half bathrooms (as shown in floor plan)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This week property watchers around the world learned that hedge fund honcho Barry Rosenstein will spend a knee-buckling (and record breaking) $147,000,000 to acquire a roomy ocean front estate on fancy-pants Further Lane in East Hampton, NY. The three-parcel, street-to-beach spread had previously been owned by late financier Christopher H. Browne who went to meet his big bookmaker in the sky in 2009. After a lengthy and contentious legal battle with Mister Browne's family and a couple of his dedicated staff the bulk of his quarter billion dollar-plus estate passed to his much younger man-partner of a decade, architect Andrew Gordon, who himself perished last fall (2013).

As best as this intrepid property gossip can tell from a careful (if unscientific) perusal of property records, Mister Browne acquired the first of the existing estate's three parcels—3.7 acres—in late 1996 for $2,125,000. He quickly snatched up an adjacent parcel—also 3.7 acres—in early 1997 for $2.1 million from (now deceased) East End doyenne member Elizabeth Fondaras, a long-time member of the (allegedly) restrictive Maidstone Club and a dedicated Francophile who was named by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy as commandeur of the Legion d'Honneur. Several years later, in October 2001, Mister Brown picked up a third parcel front parcel—8.6 ocean front acres—$9,150,000. (The seller of the third and largest parcel was also, as per property records, Miz Fondaras.)

A couple of quick tabulations on Your Mama's battered but bejeweled abacus shows that Mister Browne shelled out a total of $13,375,000 for the three parcels that combined encompass 16 super-prime acres on one of East Hamptons' most coveted and expensive ocean side streets. (The estate's carefully planned and painstakingly maintained gardens, including a multi-acre lily pond, were photographed by The New York Times in 2007 and they're worth a look see.)

But, children, believe it or not, we're not here today to rehash the Hamptons estate of the Misters Brown and Gordon but rather to have a look-see at their sizable, sophisticated and monochromatically dressed Park Avenue duplex that was, until a few days ago, listed on the open market with an asking price of $29,500,000. (Property records show Mister Browne acquired the duplex in July 2000 for an undisclosed amount of dough.)

Listing details show the sparely furnished yet seriously plush 12-room duplex condominium has 6,286 square feet that sprawls across the entire 30th and 31st floors of a 43-story limestone-clad apartment house. The floor plan actually shows  the duplex configured with just two bedrooms and two full and four half bathrooms and listing details show there's a separate one-bedroom apartment that overlooks East 60th Street that can be converted to two staff bedrooms each with private bathroom and kitchenette.

A private elevator landing opens to a 23+ foot long entrance gallery. A trio of public entertaining spaces (living room, library, dining room) are divided by French doors and stretch a generous 72 feet. A bookshelf-lined library/study in the northeastern corner provides a more cozily scaled space for low-key lounging.

A butler's pantry adjacent walk-in pantry connects the entrance gallery and the dining room to a sleek, state-of-the-art all stainless steel center island kitchen that surely requires a part-time minimum wage gal to keep streak and finger print free. The adjoining, closet-lined breakfast room faces—as it should—east where it takes advantage of morning sun.

A sensual and sculptural, glass-railed staircase at the far northern end of the duplex sweeps with a graceful finesse up to a second floor landing off of which opens a modestly sized guest bedroom with private bathroom on one side and on the other an approximately 500 square foot media room with all wrap around views to the north and west.

The remainder of the upper floor is consumed by a master suite that includes a private entrance hall that leads to a colossal, combined sitting room and bedroom that extends more than 42 feet. There are a pair of bedroom-sized dressing rooms, one for each of the gentlemen of the house, we presume, and, in addition to a roomy, hard-edged and sybaritic main master bathroom with glass-enclosed party-sized shower stall there's a secondary half bathroom (with laundry closet).

The ceilings soar to 10 feet throughout, there are more than a dozen closets, and a total of 52 windows allow for 360 degree city views that include a through-the-building-tops view over Central Park. Inveterate booze hound that we are, Your Mama quickly spotted two wet bars, one off the library and entrance gallery and another off the upper level media room. We also noted two sets of (stacked) washers and dryers, both inconveniently located in half bathrooms, one off the kitchen and the other of one of the two dressing rooms in the master suite.

Common charges and taxes ring up to a brain-freezing $24,794 per month and online marketing materials show the 43-story full-service apartment house was built in 2000 and has deluxe amenities that include an elegant attended lobby, 24-hour concierge and valet services, a dining salon, a catering kitchen, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a residents only temperature controlled wine cellar,

Earlier this year Broadway super-producer Hal Prince shelled out $16.5 million to buy the 5,000-ish square foot full-floor apartment of music industry big wig L.A. Reid and former residents of the luxe Park Avenue tower are said to include contemporary art collecting French multi-billionaire François Pinault and high-stakes Iranian-born Israeli businessman Ari Ben-Menashe.

*Other residents/property owners on Further Lane include hedge funder Jim Chanos; comedian Jerry Seinfeld—his estate has a private baseball diamond; Ron Baron who, in 2007, paid the de Menil family a staggering $103 million for 40 ocean front acres; Johnson & Johnson heir James "Jimmie" Johnson; legally beleaguered but still vastly rich hedge funder Steve Cohen who just this March (2014) laid out $62.5 million for a 6.5 acre ocean front estate. 

Fashion and interior design luminaries Reed and Delphine Krakoff own Lasata, Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis's former childhood summer home on Further Lane. (The couple have been much in the property gossip columns the last few months, first for the $51 million sale of their 18,000-ish square foot New York City townhouse, then for the $14.3 million acquisition of reclusive copper heiress Huguette Clark's New Canaan, CT, estate and just this week for their $28 million purchase of a 12,500+ square foot Federal-style townhouse on Manhattan's swanky Upper East Side.)

exterior image: Kate Leonova for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens and Sotheby's International Realty (via StreetEasy)


The Swan said...

Please look at Mr. Gordon's website, a true Visionaire and though now gone...he had the most beautiful skills of landscaping and interiors I've seen in a long time! On par with Russell Page and Jean Michel Frank.

The NYC apartment is sublime and Hamptons estate unreal...Art You Live In!

Anonymous said...

Sad that Mr. Gordon passed. He does not look happy or healthy in that photo.

Anonymous said...

Not the zeckendorfs best (they developed it)
Mr Gordon sure knew how to lay out a duplex. Werk!