Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The 15 Central Park West Rundown

While glass tower developments rise all over Manhattan, noted starchitect Robert A.M. Stern did a complete 180 to Manhattan's prevailing architectural trend when he designed the limestone clad towers at 15 Central Park West for the Zeckendorf brothers (the developers). The uber dee-luxe condo project has more in common with it's pre-war ancestors and neighbors that circle Central Park than with much ballyhooed projects as Dutch-born starchitect Winka Dubbeldam's pleated glass curtain on Greenwich Street or any of the many Richard Meier green glass towers that line the Westside Highway.

Few buildings in New York City have received more press than 15 CPW and there's really little we can add that hasn't already been said about the lavish and obscenely expensive building. However, since Your Mama has been receiving phone calls, emails and telegrams up the wazoo wanting to know what's what and who's who at the new at 15 Central Park West, we thought we'd weigh in with a short list of some the deep pocketed big names who have scooped up high priced condominiums in the soon to be completed two-tower building.

The complex is comprised to two buildings joined by a lavish lobby. The "House" side fronts Central Park and the "Tower" side rises behind to more than 40 stories. Resident amenities include pre-war sized rooms and unusually large windowed kitchens, a large motor court so that the ridiculously rich residents need not been seen by the common folks when entering or exiting the building, full time doormen and concierge staff (natch), a private 20 seat theater, 20 wine cellars (sold separately), 29 staff suites (sold separately), room service, a private in-house chef, a fully stocked library, landscaped out door space, and a massive health club with a 75 foot long lap pool.

While there are several Hollywood celebrity types that have purchased condos, many of the hideously high-priced penthouse units were scooped up by Wall Street types, who despite a downturn in the economy feel no pinch in their own pocketbooks. Certainly our short list below does not represent all the big names with fat bank accounts who are set to shack up in 15 CPW, so if any of you kids would like to provide us with more high profile names, be sure to give Your Mama a jingle.

1. Legendary television writer and producer Norman Lear and his wifey Lyn reportedly purchased a 2,800 square foot (approx.), 2 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom unit for nearly $10,000,000. We think they may have in fact purchased a high floor B line unit in the "Tower." According to the NY Post, the octogenarians are downsizing from their 15 room sprawler at 828 5th Avenue.

2. Just about every real estate gossip has reported that television sportscaster Bob Costas recently forked over $11,017,000 for an 8th floor "House" unit. Property records indicate the Costas residence measures 3,333 square foot with 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, however, listing information for that unit shows the residence measuring 3,454 square feet with 3 bedrooms (plus library) and 4 bathrooms. Not sure why the discrepancy.

3. Oscar winning actor and Beverly Park denizen Denzel Washington is reported to have shelled out around $12,000,000 for an approx. 3,000 square foot unit facing Central Park with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and a park view terrace. Your Mama speculates that Mister Washington's unit may be located at the southern end of the 38th floor of the "Tower," but we're not certain. Nothing like an 8-figure New York City pied a terre.

5. Filthy rich NASCAR star Jeff Gordon purchased a 3,800 square foot unit.

6. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who brought home a reported $68,500,000 in 2007, is rumored to have used $27,000,000 of his bacon to purchase one of the larger condos at 15 CPW. Your Mama speculates (speculates, children, speculates) it might be the 6,473 square foot penthouse on the 42nd floor of the "Tower."

7. Although nobody seems to know which one, one of the gazillionaire Google guys, is rumored to have purchased a high floor spread in the "Tower" to the tune of around $30,000,000. No one connected to that sale is yakking or leaking and none of the real estate gossips, including Your Mama, have been able to confirm.

8. Fifty something and still touring rock star Sting and his long time wifey Trudi Styler reportedly dropped around $30,000,000 for a 5,500 square foot "Tower" side duplex with 5 bedrooms and a terrace. However, the Tantric sexing couple recently took their current home, another massive Central Park West duplex, off the market. Could it be they've changed their minds about moving down the street?
9. Former Citigroup CEO and current billionaire banker Sandy Weill is said to have spent $42,405,000 for a 6,744 square foot penthouse unit on the 20th floor of the "House" side of the building. That's a coma inducing $6,200 per square foot, children. Think about that for minute. The full floor residence includes 4 bedrooms (plus 1 maids room), 6.5 bathrooms, nearly 1,979 square feet of terraces, and a surprisingly unimaginative floor plan (see above, thanks to the good folks at Curbed). You'll note the small secondary bedrooms with their small bathrooms and paltry closet space. No offense to Mister Stern, the Zeckendorfs or Mister Weill, but for forty some million smackers Your Mama wants properly sized guest rooms that do not feel cramped and claustrophobic like those itty bitty caves at the Paramount Hotel.

Property records reflect that Mister and Missus Weill also purchased a 1,079 square foot, 1 bedroom and 1.5 bathroom residence, presumably for guests, staff or a nearby place to go when they need a little time away from each other. Although the schedule A for the building indicates the unit had a price of $2,100,000, records show the couple paid only $950,000 for the sixth floor unit.

10. Hedge fund honcho Daniel Loeb is reported to have purchased both units on the 39th floor of the "Tower" for a staggering $45,000,000 (approx.). Combined the units have 10 bedrooms and 10,700 square feet.

As more of the units close and are recorded, Your Mama expects that a few more big name residents will be revealed. Stay tuned. The real question is whether living in the building will live up the the hype and sky high prices.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mama. Nice work. If Mr. Blankfein was responsible for keeping his firm out of the subprime debacle, he earned his bonus. All the other big investment houses are taking huge write offs or smack downs, or whatever they call them. I saw him speak on one of those business shows and he has a marvelous chin and nice cheek bones.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Sting & the wife are doing? Why would you need two enormous pads on CPW? Seriously, they have more real estate than anyone else - 9 homes that I know of, no wonder Trudie has had to start making jam & selling it in Selfridges dept store!

luke220 said...

Eighth floor of the tower (Bob Costas' unit) means a view of the courtyard and no park views- I think that $3000 per foot with no view is a lot.

Not sure how you can say that the Weill unit plan is unimaginative (is a Candela unimaginative?). It has a great flow and beautiful public spaces, in the style of the great prewars. The additional bedrooms are more likely home offices, home gym or "meditation" rooms, people like this don't have weekend guests dropping in for a free night- that's what hotels are for. I would also guess that bedrooms #3 and #4 will be combined.

Anonymous said...

Yo Mama! I'm with luke220. Having lived in some pre-war apartments in Manhattan, I think the layout is beautiful. The gallery does everything it should with views to the public spaces and the park beyond, and the private spaces are about as secluded as they get from the great martini swilling unwashed who invade your home at parties.

Who would want to live in the cave between the tower side and the house side? Just looking at the shadowy picture makes me feel blue.

Come on, Mama, dish some dirt on the Zweig PH at The Pierre. Any movement? Is it over-priced...termites...just a little bit seedy...Maaaaaaaama?

Anonymous said...

For the most part I agree with luke220 & bentley; but the lack of a passageway between the library and the master sitting room is just too strange for Mr. Stern's normally impeccable sense of flow. Also, the entry gallery appears to be just a tad too over-the-top, and the path between the kitchen and dining room appears to be unnecessarily circuitous.

Considering what others have paid in the past for his residential designs, particularly out Hamptons-way, I'm not surprised the building sold out so fast.

How these folks came by their fortunes is between them and their gods, and I believe in the end that karma will out.

And Mama, as for the itty bitty caves at The Paramount, given the gorgeous black t-shirted flesh on the staff who's going to be spending all that much time in those rooms anyway?

Anonymous said...

LGB, I agree a passage way between the library and sitting room is needed. Maybe there is one of those invisible doors or swinging bookcases. I'd put one there. There's a nice size butler's pantry off the dining room to serve from to settle that question. Help me with the elevators and vestibules. Are there two sets of elevators? One opening in the private side and the other the public side? My computer blurs the type when I enlarge so I can't read the labels and dimensions. It's definitely designed for maximum public use.

Anonymous said...

Another thing. That's a long winding trip to the powder room for guests. And only one? They would need a map or at least arrows on the floor. Where are the closets in the bedrooms? No storage space to speak of.

Anonymous said...

aunt mary, I've blown up the floor plan on my Mac and can see that there is a small vestibule off the main entry gallery that leads to what appears to be the nearest powder room to the public spaces.

But one still has to pass through the larger of the two family rooms (I do like the idea of a smaller, more intimate one off the family bedrooms) to get to the butler's pantry/wet bar and then on to the formal dining room - I like my food hot, thank you.

As for storage, there are shallow closets that the bedroom doors open against; certainly cheap and miserly in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I looked at a resale unit last week there. That building is incredible.

Anonymous said...

Mama, I love it when you say natch.

Everything I've cobbled indicates the Costas family will have fabulous views of the park. Then again, sounds like Luke's got some inside skinny, so I'll doubt my hunch. Looking forward to more updates from Mama. Quite'a place!

Anonymous said...

I adore this building. Not a fan of uptown having always lived downtown myself but if any building was to convice me of moving uptown it would be this one - highfloor in the tower with a view of the park would suit me perfectly, perhaps even a little outdoor space would be nice also?

I noticed over the past few weeks a few resales have come on the market. The only thing I'm surprised at is that they didn't include a building garage, though there are many garages in the area I thought they would have had an underground garage.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, sandpiper, but I've looked and looked - there is no mention of any outdoor space for the Costas apt., so unless 8C in the "Tower" is a corner unit, the most they can hope for (going from the various photos on the web) is an oblique sliver of a view Central Park.

luke220 said...

I think it could be 8B or 8C. Not sure, but it may face Broadway. 8B is a 4 bed, 8C the three bed, both the same price of $10,820,000.

Anonymous said...

Property records show it's 8C and that's also what's been reported in other blogs and columns.

luke220 said...

Maybe I'd prefer the Plaza- it doesn't have a Best Buy on the ground floor.

Anonymous said...

On CNBC today they noted that Manhattan apartment prices rocketed up 34% from a year ago but more than half of that gain is accounted for by the addition of The Plaza and 15 Central Park West. If you take those two buildings out of the mix the average is up around 14%. (Still not bad)

You can read the article on Diana Olick's CNBC Blog

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the Zeckendorf's are planning for their site across from the UN? An East River version of 15 CPW? Who's designing it?

Anonymous said...

This is so crazy, but lots of fun. Never doubted our Mama, and she certainly fed us well this morning!

As for our Costas 8-C (tower?) consternations. Still it seemed odd to me that he wouldn't snap up a full park view, especially when buying in so early. Maybe a fact got mixed up long before Mama's story. It happens. So I dabbled around and am feeling pretty sassy right now. Please allow me my little moment! 8-C isn't a tower unit. It's smack dab front and center of the smaller building facing the park.
Go to Floor Plans
Click 3 bedroom
Click 7-11C
PDF is on that page, too. Shows library not counted as 4th bedroom.

Oh, and I think it may be a duplex. Shall we?

luke220 said...

Thanks, Sandpiper. It makes more sense now, and the price was a great value for Costas.

Anonymous said...

Stern, Lear, Blankfein, Weill, Loeb

Your Mama said...

Thanks Sandpiper...we had a dyslexic moment there and typed "Tower" when we should have typed "House."

Anonymous said...

Oh Mama that's a hoot. You did get our little neurons firing, and I love you for that tune up.

I'm sticking with my duplex theory regardless of 15CPW's site plan. I'll eat crow after I dig a little more.

Anonymous said...

Little buddy...Happy Birthday! Crank it up!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good detective work, sandpiper (and the b'day wishes!) - $10+M seemed like an awful lot for a courtyard view.

And Mama, shame on you! You owe us all a nerve pill.

Isaac said...

I'm from Taipei and really impressed about the real estate $$$ in Manhattan!!, 15CPW worth roughly $2 billion, which can build world's tallest building-Taipei 101, including land price(so far, soon will be Dubai tower), but it's worth for the breathtaken park view --> best in the world~!

Anonymous said...

The Google buyer may not be a founder, although if it is, then it's definitely not Sergey Brin...he just bought in the Village.

Anonymous said...

The majority of buyers are flippers. I passed by the building last week on a weeknight and a handful of lights were on. The building looks empty.

Anonymous said...

I live across the street. The building is indeed empty. There are barely a few lights on, always in the same apts.

Anonymous said...

15 central Park West is Architectural statement. I detest
the Trump tower behind which. Sold
due, popularity of location,developers currently. Seeking a property lower Manhattan
yes taller. Refine Art Deco this time facade. Indian,Algerian,Swedish granite for
exterior and interior. Interior ceiling heights 14ft yes once again. Another condo community sold
developers. Have excellent imgination to entise homebuyers!