Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Richard Gere Flips Out at the Chupi

SELLER: Richard Gere and Carey Lowell
LOCATION: West 11th Street, New York City, NY
PRICE: $17,995,000
SIZE: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: This truly one-of-a kind residence was conceived and crafted by artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel. Inspired by American architects Addison Mizner and Stanford White, Schnabel crated the apartment to feel like Venice in Manhattan. Room proportions are grand, ceilings are 12'6:+- high, light streams in from all directions and there are huge french doors in every room leading to terraces with Hudson River views. A large wood burning fireplace exists in the living room and there is a covered 66'+- colonnade running along the entire north side of the apartment. Drama abounds. Amenities include parking, elevator, air conditioning, pool and 24-hour doorman.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oh dear. Drama does indeed abound. The children will recall that in September of 2007 Mister Gere snatched up a four bedroom and 4 bathroom apartment in the fecund and florid real estate fantasy land that is artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel's Palazzo Chupi on West 11th Street in New York City's far West Village.

Turns out thoough that the Dalai Lama luvin' actor is flipping his Chupilicious crib even before moving into the full floor unit for which he forked over $12,000,000 in September of 2007. Your Mama imagines that bearded and oft be-robed bon vivant Julian Schnabel must be at least a little bit p.o'd.

That is unless the whole purchase thing was a publicity stunt from the get go. What? Say it isn't so! We know nothing about nuthin' kids, but we also never underestimate an artist with the vast (self) promotion talents that Mister Schnabel possesses. And, let's get real folks, who wouldn't jump the chance to turn twelve million bucks into 18 in 6 short months?

What's most interesting to Your Mama about Mister Gere's flip is that the asking price is only $17,795,000. Yes, of course, this number represents a gigantic increase over what Mister Gere paid just six months ago, but it's also substantially lower than the mind boggling number Mister Schnabel has attached to the other two available units (a duplex and a triplex penthouse), now priced at a rather optimistic $32,000,000 apiece.

As was noted by the fine folks at Curbed, Mister Gere may not have moved in, but he did make some aesthetic alterations to the unit including changing the color of the kitchen cabinets from cat vomit green to a much more tolerable black.

With Mister Gere and Miz Lowell opting out of the Chupi, that leaves only Mister Schnabel and some rich dude from Credit Suisse living in the pink and pretty building that listing information indicates includes such hyper luxe amenities as a private residents only pool, on-site private parking, and a 24-hour doorman, a particularly dee-luxe feature in a building with only five apartments.

Your Mama doesn't really care if Mister Gere or any other famous person wants to cough up the big bucks to live at the Chupi or not. We still think it's a fantastical folly that gleefully and rebelliously flips the architectural bird at all the super sleek glass curtain towers that have been and are still being erected on every postage stamp sized lot in the West Village. Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would happily park our fleet of BMWs in the garage and move our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly into the duplex, but Mister Schnabel willhave to come down off that blistering $32,000,000 asking price a wee bit 'cause while we lurv the kooky and quirky architectural cotton candy that is the Palazzo Chupi, we ain't crazy.


Jeff Duffey said...

Who is Carely Lowell? Is he/she and him/her?

Anonymous said...

Carey Lowell is Richard Gere's wife. I'd swap places with her in a flash.

Anonymous said...

Carey Lowell is a former Bond girl better known for her role as Jamie Ross, one of the myriad of long-necked and good looking ada's to Sam Waterston's Jack McCoy on Law & Order. She was also Tom Hanks deceased wife in Sleeping in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

jeff duffey...are you a mama's boi?

luke220 said...

I miss the green cabinets- the black looks ordinary to me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff~
I know you. You're the Dallas real estate blog guy. I was at your site this morning checking in (5th or 6th visit). Rock on, and stay out of trouble. LOL

What in the name of Venetian Chandeliers is going on over there on W. 11th? Such mystery and intreague.

Anonymous said...

Place is a little bit too Venetian palazzo-lite.

Cameron J. Awesome said...

Doesn't it look like a dusty, old spanish style house for sale where it belongs -- in Los Angeles?

Anonymous said...

It has a tiny galley kitchen! Please don't mention that ghastly pool in the basement as a benefit.
If I had $18m to squander and a hankering for Venetian style, I would rather buy a Venetian Palazzo in Venice. I'd still have enough money left over for a private jet to fly me there whenever I wanted. It would get me a decent sized kitchen, and at least a sliver of garden too.
I am an old-fashioned thinking person, it is true. I don't want fake Venice in NY, or fake Cotswold in LA, I want something that honestly reflects the place in which it is situated.
The very fact that no-one seems to be interested in buying into, or living in this building speaks volumes.


Anonymous said...

Flora ...

A] The galley kitchen - In Manhattan people tend to eat out at every meal or at least get takeout - I don't think I know anyone in Manhattan who has ever used their oven. It's strange for people who don't live here to accept but thats the way it is on our little Island.

B] The pool is stunning. They've executed it perfectly & it represents the building in which it's in - Obviously an all white minimalist design works in the Meier tower but it's not going to work in this building.

C] Uh, for $18M you'll not get very much in Venice proper!

D] In that case what would honestly reflect New York City? We have enough high-rise concrete & glass condos.

E] I think you're completely wrong that nobody is interested. The majority of N.Y'rs would I'm sure love to live in this building in this location but only a select few can afford $18M or $32M to buy an apartment in this particular building. Besides, the triplex & duplex have only been on the open market with a realtor for a couple of months, this place a couple of days - It takes time to sell a $32M apartment! Even some of the coolest buildings with big name architects such as 40 Bond & 40 Mercer are finding it difficult to unload apartments in the $3M - $12M range.

Anonymous said...

Yes I admit I don't know the NY property market, so I don't understand what attraction this apartment has. However, I do know Italy quite well. I used to live there for 3 months a year for about 10 years. Venice is struggling not only with rising water but a sinking permanent population.

For 3.9m dollars you can get this in Venice http://www.venice-estates.com/prestige/va177/index.html
No pool in the basement its true, but I really would not care.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, but I don't know many people who would choose to live in Venice over NYC ... Growing up I lived on & off in a little Principality 10 mins from Italy ... & though I love Northern & Southern Italy & I doubt there is a more beautiful island than Sardinia or Capri ... I just know I couldn't actually live in Italy ... I'll take N.Y & good plumbing over Venice & it's rising water levels!

Anonymous said...

I tried really hard to like this place, but I just don't. The flipping the bird at towers of glass factor I like, yes, but all the interiors I've seen look like the rooms in old mansions that the family would never even enter - i.e. kitchens and servants quarters. Not only do I feel it lacks any design character of note, but it feels contrived and ridiculous - much like Schnabel himself.

Anon 5:13 -

I have to disagree with you on your first point. Most people I know in Manhattan (save for the guys/girls in the sky whose immaculate apartments are merely crash pads because they work 24/7), whether they choose to cook in their kitchen or have it merely as a showpiece, go all out when designing/renovating their kitchens. We just bought a townhouse a couple of months ago, and the kitchen was the first thing we designed.

I hang out with a pretty diverse crowd, and the kitchen is always on the house tour.

If I walked into that kitchen with that price tag, my first question would be, "Where's the other kitchen?"

I would, however, pay this price for the pool and the parking. And the angels sang. My God.

Anonymous said...

I still think it looks like a Turkish prison.

Anonymous said...


My kitchen was designed by the architect of the building & is stunning but I still haven't ever used the oven/stove & I've lived here for several years ... Most of my friends are exactly the same & I don't work 24/7 so I can't use that as an excuse for not cooking.

I think if you have kids it's different but for the many singles & young couples & even older empty nesters who populate this city, most aren't sweating over a stove each nite!

Anonymous said...

Most people in New York who don't use the kitchens don't know how to cook.It's so sad nobody knows how to do anything anymore we live in a lazy dumb world!

Anonymous said...

No, no, I agree with you there. New Yorkers are a rare breed of eaters, no doubt. I'm saying that whether you cook in it or not, a 17.5 million dollar apartment should have a pretty sick kitchen.

I am one of those weird freaks who finds cooking relaxing (but I learned to cook purely as a form of rebellion. It baffles my parents and I love watching them squirm. Juvenile and very geeky, I know, but fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, right?) I'll work until 3am if I can take 2 hours out in the evening to cook dinner.

I often cook for clients, too. It's hilarious to watch them come into my kitchen, gather nervously with a glass of wine, and realize that the cook is me. They're like putty in my hands once dinner's done, though. Any port in a storm!

Anonymous said...

I like to cook said...

most of the people in NYC who could afford $18M would hire someone to cook for them. The person they hired would demand a better work space.

Anonymous said...

Off topic:
Any news on big disclosure RE: broker announcement for Brooke Astor's Park Ave. penthouse?

Anonymous said...

Plenty of New Yorkers cook in their kitchens, including me, but we also eat out or order takeout a fair bit. I definitely could cook in this kitchen, but it certainly is not my dream kitchen. As someone said, though, the purchaser of this place will have a chef. Not all palazzo chefs/cooks got to work in our modern age's idea of a chef's kitchen.

thetruth said...

I agree with 'i like to cook.' People don't prepare wholesome meals in their kitchens these days, which is the reason why America is sick and fat. Dr. Campbell said it best: "the answer to the American health crisis is the food that each of us chooses to put in our mouths each day. It's as simple as that."