Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Billionaire Eli Broad Lists Fifth Avenue Aerie

SELLER: Eli Broad
LOCATION: Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $15,000,000 (maint/cc = $17,306 per month)
SIZE: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: A triple mint full floor tower residence with sweeping 360 degree views of Central Park and the City. The apartment has 2 bedrooms, a dining room, living room and library. Distinguished interior design, high ceilings, beautifully proportioned rooms make this apartment one of the most desirable residences to be offered at The Sherry.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This morning we're going to piggy back on the New York Observer's celebrity real estate gossip wunderkin Max Abelson and discuss septugenarian billionaire Eli Broad's New York City pied a terre which has been quietly on the market since August of 2008 with an asking price of $15,000,000.

Mister Broad–rhymes with road, thank you very much–made his billions as a founding partner of Kaufmann & Broad (now called KB Home), one of the companies responsible for building thousands upon thousands of architecturally uninspired tract houses all across America. He also founded SunAmerica, a financial services giant that was absorbed by the even bigger and now beleaguered insurance juggernaut AIG in the late 1990s. Mister Broad, considered by some to be a civic buttinsky, has a long history of hard core commitment to improving the cultural and architectural face of Los Angeles, and he and his wifey Edythe are very deep pocketed philanthropists who proudly posses one of the largest, most enviable and most valuable modern and contemporary art collections in the world.

According to Mister Abelson, the Los Angeles based billionaire has been trying to unload his 33rd floor cooperative apartment at New York's super swank Sherry-Netherland Hotel, where industrialists, billionaires, foreign potentates and big name celeb go to marinate in the sort of dignified splendor and white glove service that can only be bought by people with behemoth bank accounts. Case in point is the mammoth maintenance and common charges of Mister Broad's 2 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom tower aerie which listing information indicates is a whopping $17,306. Per month. Of course all that monthly money means Mister Broad gets daily maid service and access to room service by Cipriani, but if anyone were to ask Your Mama, and of course no one did, that's a lot of money for an underpaid maid to run a vacuum and scrub the damn terlit every day.

Anyhoo, listing information for the 33rd floor tower unit reveals that Mister Broad's Big Apple pied a terre includes a private landing leading to a dee-voonly paneled library over looking Central Park, a 28 foot long living room with Central Park views and a fireplace, and a decent sized dining room large enough to host a few friends or family for room service from Cipriani, which is located in the high class hotel. A small kitchen is tucked back behind the dining room with an adjacent laundry room. Each of the two bedrooms has two exposures, glittering views and a private pooper, a set up that all the children know by now floats Your Mama's real estate boat.

We find the monochromatic palette in the living and dining rooms to be soothing but somewhat lackluster and while we're sure each of the artworks cost more than our house, we would have preferred to see more vibrant artwork to act as a counter balance to all that taupe day-core and give the rooms a little pizazz. That one red vase in the living room and a few pieces of perfectly polished silver in the dining room just doesn't do it for us. None the less we appreciate that the dining room table shines a mirror, the meticulously engineered paneling in the library makes us pee a little with envy and we're faint over the mathematically precise hang of the curtains in the living room.

Mister Abelson dove deep into property records where he discovered that Mister Broad has been shacking up at The Sherry since at least 1985 and the unit being offered for sale is not his first or only high-priced hideaway at the hoity toity hotel and apartment tower. Records do indeed reveal that in April of 2006 Mister Broad forked over $9,450,000 for a 2 bedroom and 3.5 bathroom unit on the 25th floor. Must be nice.

Mister Broad certainly owns more real estate that Your Mama could ever be bothered to catalog. However, in addition to his pricey pied a terre at The Sherry, he also owns a couple of other notable properties in Los Angeles. As far as we know, his primary residence is a 10,090 square foot Frank Gehry designed mansion on Oakmont Drive–arguably Brentwood's most exclusive residential street–where the children may or may not be surprised to know that Mister and Missus Broad have a stunning Richard Serra steel sculpture sitting in their garden. Like many of the L.A. based billionaires, when the Platinum Triangle heats up like a damn oven Mister Broad escapes to more temperate Malee-boo where he owns a Richard Meier designed compound just a few doors down from fellow billionaire art collector David Geffen's colossal compound on hideously expensive Carbon Beach.


Anonymous said...

Must say I do love the Sherry-Netherland as a building and as part of the cityscape, I like its Gothic nobility. There's a fabulous, dramatic photo from the 1940's I believe, a night scene where it was on fire..

Eli Broad's art collection.. I must say, it's mostly impressive for the dollar signs. Massive gobbling up of the most expensive artists, the splashiest Koons pieces, say.. There's not a lot of love or inspiration , no real connection to the art he collects , it's all money and I think a big ego trip for him.

Not impressd by the interiors. And the 17k monthly maintenance is pretty staggering. Also, Cipriani's food isn't that good, and vastly overpriced.

Anonymous said...

Mama, I am seriously starting to wonder if you have a scat fetish! ;)

Please say you don't! Although I am not into it and have never participated, I would be OK with you being into water sports, but I have to draw the line at scat!

Although, as someone with Crohn's Disease, I am a fan of private poopers. In fact, I refuse to live in a home where there are not enough toilets for the people. With the pooper being my second home, I insist that one be mine exclusively.

I do not, however, require a window in my pooper. In fact, here in the Washington DC suburbs, windowless poopers are pretty common (except for master baths -- in those god-forsaken KB Homes, LOL). We do, however, have super-dooper pooper fans to get the stank out.

Since I insist on a private pooper, I always lose out to my partner who gets the master bathroom. I end up with the hall bath because I have to be so damn picky.

Anonymous said...

It was 1927 and the fire was, indeed, spectacular.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, thought it automatically made links.

Anonymous said...

I really do hope this "downturn" becomes a tsunami of a recession/depression that sweeps away lots of the ill-gotten gains of these greedy rich. A 90% tax rate on any income over a million would warm my heart too. I do hope Obama brings quite a bit of "socialism" and spreading the wealth around with him. The US has waited too long for something like that.

Anonymous said...

I keep coming back to this post.

Is such a small space really worth so much? I know NYC has huge prices, but you traditionally get a decent amount of space, right? Some of the rooms are scaled correctly, but there appears to be no real master bedroom. In fact, the bedrooms are closet sized. I know it is a million dollar view -- and I know nothing about the building, which may contribute substantially to the price -- but even if the flooring was 24k gold, I just don't understand why such a cramped apartment is so much.

There is not even a room (aka walk-in-closet) for the housekeeper!

Mike Cook said...

The Sherry, as it's a hotel, has maid service. Live-in aren't necessary.

Descada, I have to disagree about Cipriani. Perhaps I was there on 'on' nights. The food was superb.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, Eli and his wife of 55 years, Edythe, have donated close to a billion dollars to many worthwhile charities, and are anything but "greedy rich" - you should be ashamed of calling them as such!

Anonymous said...

Mama, dearest, the beige-on-beige interiors are by Rose Tarlow. Yes, that Rose Tarlow. The one you cannot get on the phone, never mind afford.

Anonymous said...

I love how these guys that run these home builder companies can't live in their own products. If they built a great product they'd live in it wouldn't they?

Anonymous said...

Looks like they moved into another apartment right downstairs (Diana Ross's?):