Thursday, February 14, 2013

U2 Bassist Sells Big Apple Spread to Bruce Willis

BUYER: Bruce Willis
SELLER: Adam Clayton
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $8,695,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama must be feeling in a New York state of mind because lately we've been drawn to any sort of Big Apple celebrity real estate news like a duck to water so when we read this morning in the New York Post's always fun and informative Gimme Shelter column that middle aged action flick actor Bruce Willis and his second and—natch—much younger wife, model Emma Heming, were in contract to buy a swank spread listed at $8,695,000 at the storied and gloried Eldorado building on Central Park West in New York City we just couldn't resist.

What the well informed lady property gossip at the New York Post surely knew but didn't reveal—but the kids at Curbed did last fall—is that the seller of the completely renovated, art-filled and decoratively serene and sophisticated fourth floor apartment is none other than U2 bassist Adam Clayton who quietly pushed the apartment on the market last October with an $8,695,000 price tag.

Listing details don't reveal the actual square footage of the nine into 7.5 room residence but a few quick tabulations on Your Mama's hard-working abacus puts it at around 3,000 square feet, give or take. In its current configuration there are 19 windows—seven with direct Central Park views, four exposures, nine or ten closets depending on how one counts, four full bathrooms and three proper bedrooms and a shy handful of elegantly proportioned living and entertaining spaces.

Although the building's architect—the great Hungarian-born Emory Roth*—originally designed the corner unit as one apartment—see original floor play layout above, right—previous reports reveal that the apartment was once split into two separate rental units. Mister Clayton picked up the first piece of his two piece apartment puzzle in 1993 for $620,000 and the second the following year for $430,000. Mister Clayton proceeded to (re-)combine the apartments back into one but altered the original floor plan in some important ways that made it more conducive to celebrity-style modern living.

Although Mister Willis is a well-preserved 57 years old and has three grown daughters he made with hardly working anymore actress Demi Moore, he and new Missus Willis also have a toddler age daughter who will no doubt have a damn ball riding an expensive tricycle up and down the highly polished and deliciously over-scaled herringbone pattern wood floors in the 38-plus foot long entrance gallery.

Wood, steel and glass doors slide back into the walls and connect the gallery to both the formal living and dining rooms. With more of the soon-worthy herringbone patterned wood floors under foot, the 500-plus square foot living room has a decorative fireplace, custom-designed open shelving for media equipment and three nearly floor-to-ceiling multi-paned casement windows filled with the leafy tree tops that line the perimeter of Central Park. At almost 28 feet long and with two multi-paned park-facing casement windows of its own, the adjacent formal dining room—accessible from the living room through another wood, glass and steel door that disappears into the wall when slid open—can easily and comfortably accommodate twelve or more for a sit down dinner.

What was originally a narrow, galley style kitchen, two prison cell sized staff rooms and a compact bathroom was opened up into a spacious  eat-in kitchen with north and west exposures, terrazzo flooring and a semi-separate butler's pantry/laundry room with service entrance. While we're not so into the stainless steel inset into the cabinet doors, it is otherwise beautifully done with custom terrazzo flooring, subway tiled walls, slate counter tops and top-grade commercial-style stainless steel appliances. The once puny staff bathroom was reconfigured and slightly expanded and now serves as a convenient powder room/guest bath.

Two roomy guest/family bedrooms—one is a generous 23 feet long—occupy the south facing west wing of the U-shaped apartment. Each has two over-sized windows, a walk-in closet and a restored vintage bathroom.

The corner master bedroom—which Mister Clayton appears to have used as some sort of sitting room—connected to the living room through another of those sliding steel, glass and wood doors—has a decent sized but hardly huge private bathroom slathered in marble and outfitted with with a soaking tub and separate stall shower. Beyond the bathroom, in the space that was once a fourth bedroom, there's a sizable windowed dressing room finished with custom shelving and closets.

With monthly maintenance charges that tally up to $6,426, according to listing details, residents can and should expect white glove services and amenities such as 24-7 hour doormen, concierge services, a state-of-the-art fitness room, a play room for the kiddies, a mini-basketball court and a bike storage room.

The Eldorado has long attracted (and allowed) Showbiz types including U2's front man Bono, Faye Dunaway and Alec Baldwin who listed his pair of apartments in late 2011 and quickly sold the larger one for its $9.5 million asking price. Diminutive, meat-free musician Moby—now based in L.A. in the wacky and storied ridge top compound known as Wolf's Lair and the writer of one of L.A. more quirky and charming blogs about architecture—briefly owned one of the four-floor tower penthouses that he bought in 2005 for $4.5 million, renovated, flipped back on the market in the summer of 2007 for $7,500,000 and finally sold in August 2008 for $6,700,000 to financier TM Dempsey.

Mister Willis has a fairly substantial property portfolio that includes a handful of residential and commercial properties in Hailey, ID; a Beverly Hills mansion bought in June 2004 for $9,000,000 and just a hop, skip and a jump from the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel; and a 2,900 square foot ranch-style residence on L.A.'s famed Mulholland Drive that's all but next door to the mansion Annette Bening and Warren Beatty recently completed re-building after it was destroyed in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

*Mister Roth designed a long list of definitive New York City buildings, many of them with his signature twin-towers. Roth's often Art Deco or Beaux Arts style confections include 930 Fifth Avenue, the venerable Beresford at 211 Central Park West, the celeb-friendly San Remo at the corner of Central Park West and West 75th Street, the super-fab, Mayan temple like Ardsley; and The Normandy on Riverside Drive at West 86th Street where Mister Roth lived in his retirement.

exterior photo: Christopher Bride for Property Shark

listing photos and floor plan(s): Halstead Property


Shopgirl said...

I know some people will chime in about it being boring and bland, but I love it. Love the layout most of all. Well thought out and comfortable.

Anonymous said...

LOVE. Why does everyone remove the Maid's quarters these days? Don't rich people want live in help? Whose supposed to clean and raise the children while you're jetting around the world? I spent more time growing up with my nanny than with my mother. I guess good live in help is hard to find these days?

lil' gay boy said...

Trés chic...and just on a low enough floor to enjoy that treetop feeling right at the center of The Reservoir.

Although the color palette is a tad muted, it lends itself to a few splashes of color, both inside & out as the seasons change. All-in-all, a rather über-sophisticated flat.

As for the servants' quarters, I'd venture to say the 21st century is all about privacy -- who needs a live-in selling your story to the tabloids?

Not a bad price for the square footage either.

Anonymous said...


Rhe Rabbi adores the Eldorado. This south-east apartment line is the most spacious original plan in the building, even larger than the single-floor tower apartments above. Most of Emery Roth's extravagant buildings are on the Upper West Side. Across the park and in addition to 930 Fifth Avenue, Roth designed 993 Fifth Avenue. Kinderlach, with its prestigious address, relatively sedate exterior, and enormous five bedroom with five en-suite baths, and library, and powder room, and three maids rooms, and maids' bath single floor apartments, 993 Fifth Avenue is considered among the best of the best.

Rabbi Hedda LaCasa

Anonymous said...


Speaking of Demi Moore and Emery Roth's San Remo, Ms. Moore resides in the last of the original two-floor duplex apartments in the tippy-top of the south tower of the San Remo. The lower floor includes an emormous living room, dining room, library, and gracefully curved staircase, and the upper floor contains four huge corner bedrooms with en-suite baths. Ms. Moore later acquired the base of the cupola above to create a studio surrounded by a terrace. On a clear day, one can see for miles, across Central Park to Jerusalem in the east, and across the Hudson to the new holy city of Trenton NJ in the west.

Rabbi Hedda LaCasa

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope he bought the furnishings or has the sense to hire the good (undoubtedly gay)decorator that furnished it.

Desert Donna said...

I could see this property going above asking. That hallway is such wonderful wasted square footage. I can even forgive the AV equipment visable..

Rosco Mare said...

Gorgeous. Love it. Wish I could own it and live in it. Would add a dash of color here and there.

Petra's said...

Love, love, love it! Wouldn't change a thing. So happy to hear the building has been classified kosher, too.

Anonymous said...

i actually LOVE it!!!

JoeyJoeJoJr said...

Just when I thought U2 couldn't get more bland. Banal and mediocre would describe U2 and Adam Clayton's apartment.The people that love it, are those that prefer to live without risk and colour. I'd prefer something that feels it has some life. check out

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FrenchGirl said...

it's stylist, masculine,warm and in same time enough bland to look in the condo:i guess it's the work of a decorator because Clayton is eccentric in his tastes

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Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE this -- the flooorplan, the decor, everything. There's such an exquisite and subtle coolness all over. (I've never posted a comment on here until now.)