Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let's Have a Look-See at The Carhart Mansion: Part Deux

The Simplex
When compared to the other three multi-floor apartments that comprise The Carhart Mansion, the building's sole simplex unit that occupies the entire fifth floor seems...well...kind of ordinary, dull even. However, let's not let visions and fantasies of epic triplexes, heroic doo-plexes and heavenly penthouses blind us all to the fact that The Carhart Mansion's solitary simplex is unapologetically luxurious, anything but simple, and approximately three times the size of the average American home.

According to the peeps at Property Shark the full floor sprawler is currently owned by Merrill Lynch honcho Do Woo Kim and his wife Aeri who coughed up $12,500,000 for the 12-room residence in October of 2005. According to a previous report, Mister Kim earned a jaw dropping $28,000,000 in 2005 and moved to The Carhart Mansion from a Fifth Avenue apartment he sold in the fall of 2006 for $9,600,000.
According to marketing information, Mister and Missus Kim's simplex measures 6,770 square feet of dee-luxe interior space with another 260 square feet of outdoor space. At the time the Kims purchased the apartment, the simplex contained three bedrooms and 3 full and 2 half poopers. Since Your Mama doesn't really know a pair of glasses from a pork chop we don't have any idea if the Kims made any alterations to the floor plan which may have changed the bedroom and/or terlit counts.

Other than the service/fire stairs and the service elevator, The Kim's condo at the Carhart is only accessible via the building's main elevator which opens directly into the foyer. To the left of the foyer are the living room and library, each with a fireplace and separated by double pocket doors. The children will note that, combined, the living room and library occupy approximately the same amount of square footage as just the living rooms of the Chenault's triplex and the Mehiel's doo-plex, which sorta makes them seem a bit puny, but the children can be assured they are still generously sized spaces.

A straight shot from the elevator lands you in a room labeled "reception hall" on the floor plan and which would make a dee-voon dining room, partick since the original floor plan did not call out any other room for formal feasting. The reception/dining room includes the apartment's third fireplace and an inset terrace, barely large enough to stand around and smoke a pre-desert doobie with dinner guests, accessed through three sets of French doors. Another tiny terrace located directly off the kitchen is where Cook barbecues and the cleaning gurls probably sneak cigarettes in between scrubbing terlits and washing winders.

The apartment's less formal rooms occupy a chunk of space to the right of the foyer. In addition to the gore-may kitchen, breakfast room and laundry facilities, the right wing includes the guest closet and pooper, a passageway cum butler's pantry, and two flexible use rooms that flank a half pooper. The floor plan included with marketing materials labels the flexible use rooms as a "home office" and a "butler's pantry," which might also be used as a live-in staff room.

A long, dead straight hallway leads from the foyer to the apartment's most private quarters, which include two family bedrooms each with private pooper and the master suite. Accessible through two entrances–one door is off the bedroom hallway and the other down a short hallway that shoots off the living room–encompasses a private sitting room with a fourth fireplace, large bed chamber, two dressing rooms and a super-luxe pooper with double vanities, terlit and bee-day, a free-standing soaking tub in the middle of the room and a separate shower that for twelve and some million smackers had better be equipped with steam.

According to property records, Mister and Missus Kim also own a very dignified 5 bedroom and 6 pooper mansion on 4 manicured acres near The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, CT. Records also indicate that in September of 2007 Mister and Missus Kim forked over $6,200,000 for a 4,164 square foot Crosby Street condo in the very same SoHo building where musician turned actor Lenny Kravitz (Precious) has been trying to sell a white elephant doo-plex penthouse since about the dawn of time.

The Penthouse
In November of 2007, media mogul and heir to the Seagram family's booze bucks Edgar Bronfman Jr. snatched up the doo-plex penthouse at The Carhart Mansion for, according to prop records, $18,750,000. As he has done several times in the past few years, Mister Bronfman, Jr. flipped the posh penthouse back on the market six months later with a much higher price tag of $24,500,000. Your Mama is not sure what Mister Bronfman, Jr. and his real estate people were drinking or smoking that led them to think this penthouse had increased in value by 30-some percent in just six months, but think so they did.

Five months later, in September of 2008, along comes dee-ziner shoe queen Tamara Mellon who, according to prop records, paid $20,000,000 for Mister Bronfman, Jr.'s never occupied penthouse flip job at The Carhart Mansion. Your Mama imagines that after taxes, carrying costs, maintenance, and the fat real estate fees Mister Bronfman, Jr. was probably damn lucky to break even on his real estate fickle. But then again, we're not privy to the details of his finances nor do we know a cook book from a picket fence so don't nobody go go around telling people Your Mama said Mister Bronfman, Jr. lost money on this transaction.

Anyhoo, all the ladeez, gayz and metrosexuals–do people still use that term?–surely know that Miz Mellon is the well-bred British co-founder and current President of the Jimmy Choo shoe empire. Social watchers and climbers also know that Miz Mellon married very well in the year 2000 when she hitched her wagon to that of American Matthew Mellon, IV, the playboy heir to a multi-billion dollar family fortune built largely on banking and oil. Five years and one child later, the globe-trotting couple went splitsville and it wasn't long before the soon to be ex-Missus Mellon spilled the dirty beans on their marriage telling the dee-vorce court that Mister Mellon was like a "child in need of a nanny," and that being married to him was, "like having another child." Oh, ouch. She then claimed, through her attorney, that the erstwhile couple remained good friends. Really? Could be but if the Dr. Cooter every let Your Mama's secret cats out of the bag we'd send Heinz over to bust up his knee caps tout de suite.

Miz Mellon went on to sell Jimmy Choo in 2007 for a reported $364,000,000 and moved on from Mister Mellon with a string of high profile men that have included Kid Rock, soft-porn purveyor Joe Francis and, most recently, Christian Slater.
According to listing information we dug up on Street Easy, at the time Miz Mellon purchased her 7,140 square foot penthouse at The Carhart Mansion, it contained 10 rooms including a ballroom sized 800+ square foot living room, 4 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers plus a staff room tucked up behind the kitchen. The entire second level of the penthouse was, according to the floor plan (above), taken up by a 600+ square foot solarium with two exposures, a pantry, and a powder pooper all ringed by a trio of expansive terraces. It's completely unknown to Your Mama if Miz Mellon made any changes to the floor plan after purchasing the penthouse however, according to listing information, the seller–that would be Mister Bronfman, Jr.–included architectural recommendations for an extensive and expensive reconfiguration of the 6th and 7th floor building topper.
According to the recommended floor plan included with the old listing information (above), the newly revamped residence would be transformed into a 5 bedroom and 4.5 pooper penthouse with what appears to be a more modern aspect and a much more sensible and clearly delineated program.

The main entry to the penthouse is via the building's main elevator which opens directly into the entrance hall, which in the new plan would be expanded and the adjacent staircase to the second floor given more visual fortitude. Behind the entry hall, down an unimpressive hall and, sadly, right past the powder pooper, the step down living room and enclosed solarium space would be combined into one vast, Noah's Ark sized entertainment area with a monumental fireplace and access to one of the penthouses many terraces through an elaborate portico held up by a couple delicious and dee-lovely Doric central columns.

In the back of the penthouse's first floor where there were three bedrooms, three poopers, a gore-may cooker, staff room and pooper, the new plan calls for a complete reorganization that would then include four family bedrooms that share two good-sized poopers, a sky-lit play room and, in a portion of the space previously occupied by kitchen, a large laundry facility, a small office–probably best for a house keeper or house manager–and a pooper for the Lucretia the laundress and the other day staff who would more than likely be forbidden from using any of the terlits in the resident's poopers.

The dining room would become the kitchen with a huge work island but, unfortunately, it appears that the fireplace that graced one end of the dining room of the original plan was sacrificed in the service of a more logical floor plan. At the front of the apartment, in what was the master suite, the new plan calls for a formal dining room which opens through French doors to an impossibly thin Juliet balcony and and a library which also opens to the Juliet balcony through French doors as well as to the large terrace located off the front side of the living room…the one with the fab Doric portico situation.

The recommended plan calls for the master suite to be moved upstairs into the solarium space, which would certainly provide much more privacy for the Lord and Lady of the house who must might need a some time away from the kiddies at the end of the day. The new master suite would include a somewhat modest bed chamber–which is just fine with Your Mama who does not like to sleep in a room the size of a damn airplane hanger, a linear bathroom with separate tub and shower, natch, a separate but unfortunately windowless cube for the terlit, and dual dressing rooms large enough to please a shoe queen like Miz Mellon and most clothes horses.

Whoever drew up the recommended plan wisely allowed for a large stair landing on the second floor that gives easy access to two of the three massive terraces that surround the new master suite. Tucked into niche just outside one of the doors from the landing to the terrace is an exterior staircase that climbs up to the penthouse's last and final terrace. Your Mama shudders and sweats at just the thought of the spine tingling cost to landscape and maintain all 5,290 square feet of these urban terraces, which would sure require at least two well formed and shirtless landscapers prune, water and look nine kinds of sexy at least 3 or maybe 4 days a week. At least.

An admittedly not particlularly thorough search of property records did not turn up any other stateside properties owned by Miz Mellon. However, it certainly would not be shocking if she owned additional properties around New York City, like in the Hamptons, and it would be even less surprising if she did not own a place in her native London.

As mentioned in Part Uno of our dissertation on The Carhart Mansion, the ginourmous doo-plex owned by corrugated cardboard king Dennis Mehiel and his wife Karen is currently on the market with a sky high asking price of $29,500,000. Only time will tell what amount a buyer will be willing to pay, but if Your Mama were the betting type, we'd ante up our mean ol' pussy Sugar that the new owner(s) will be equally as financially impressive but, and here's the hitch, foreign. It's the perfect pad for a Russian billionaire's New York City pied a terre. Are you listening Roman Abramovich? Have you looked at this? It might be a nice addition to your prodigious and growing portfolio of outrageously expensive properties.

photos and floor plans: Brown Harris Stevens, Street Easy, Corcoran


StPaulSnowman said...

Thank you Mama

Madam Pince said...

Lord have mercy. That's a big-ass singleplex. I think it's bigger than my little old rancher and the four acres it sits on.

Anonymous said...

Mama, you have done some absolutely first class sleuthing on the Carhart Mansion - made for some great reading... please keep up all of your great work, we all really appreciate it. Best of luck with the laptop and happy 2010!!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Sad fact: Mrs. Edith Vanderbilt Fabbri, who built the house next door (now The House of the Redeemer) originally had an agreement with the society architect, Goodhue Livingston, owner of what is now the Carhart lot next door to leave portions of their lots open for courtyards. The graceful Fabbri courtyard is now shut in by this carhart behemoth...sic transit.

Masonry Contractors in Washington DC said...

Wow! If only everybody's house was that big

commentator said...

Fabulous work Mama, this is the kind of A++++ content from you that I check daily to read.

And you have delivered what may be the line of the year - and I know it's early - but I read it three times in a row just to soak it all in: "which would sure require at least two well formed and shirtless landscapers prune, water and look nine kinds of sexy at least 3 or maybe 4 days a week. At least."

You are an absolute Goddess with the English language.

WinstonC said...

Abramovich? Only if he can buy the entire building. Which he can't. He's waiting till the Frick mansion is whacked onto the market - which, of course, is never going to happen...


luke220 said...

Bronfman had the right idea to rework the floorplan. These spaces are grand but the floorplans suck. 20' ceilings can be forgiving, but in general these floorplans lack any symmetry or logical flow. I'll put my money in a Candela on Park or Fifth!

? said...

I am not a fan of the floor plans. No doubt the apartments are as luxurious as luxurious can be, but no amount of talent can ever obscure the fact that the apartments were cobbled together from two adjoining formerly single-family townhouses. The apartments don't have the grace or charm of a proper townhouse, or the easily circulation flow of a grand Park/5th co-op.

? said...

I don't care for the apartments. No doubt they are as luxurious as luxurious can be, but no amount of talent can obscure the fact that these apartments were cobbled together from two adjoining formerly single-family townhouses. The floor plans are awkward and lack the grace and charm of a proper townhouse or the easy circulation flow of a 5th/Park Avenue coop.

Anonymous said...



Belvoir said...

Fab work as always Mama. Some thoughts:

-Tamara Mellon has terrible taste in men.

- The very rich must have a pooper within 15 feet at all times, no matter where they are as they wander their ginorm abodes.

emeraldcity said...

Great article mama!

Can anyone familiar with this area of NY tell me exactly where no5 E 95th is, it was part of the renovations for the Carhart and seems to have originally been an extension to it, no5 is apparently not visible from the street and is somehow also connected to no7 the House of the Redeemer (Fabrri Mansion).

I've look on google maps but cant see anything that resembles it either from above or on the street level view, all you see is no3(Carhart) and no7(Fabbri). Is it behind either of these buildings?