Tuesday, July 16, 2013

John and Laurie Rudey's Former Fifth Ave Spread

SELLERS: John M. and Laurie Rudey
BUYERS: Alfonso de Angoitia Noriega and Maria de la Concepcion Legorreta de Angoitia
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $16,500,000
SIZE: 10 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A couple months ago, to global gasps and a plethora of international publicity, septuagenarian timber magnate John Rudey hoisted Copper Beech Farm, his first-rate, 50-acre water front estate in Greenwich, CT, on the market with a sensational $190,000,000 asking price. As many of the children surely saw, last week the ever-industrious kids at Curbed posted a smattering of interior photographs of the 15,000 square foot main mansion that had not previously been included with publicly available listing details and today the property gossips at The New York Times revealed that Mister and Missus Rudey have saddled Copper Beech Farm with more than a hundred million dollars in mortgages. ¡Escándalo! Or is it? You decide.

In 2010, according to The New York Times, the Rudeys had secured (at least) $203 million in loans against Copper Beech Farm. Presumably there were some payment issues because in 2011 one of their several lenders, Bank of America, initiated foreclosure proceedings. Uh-oh. The Rudeys—natch—responded by filing suit against the bank for "predatory lending practices." We don't know the exact results but the lawsuits were dropped last summer (2012), as per The New York Times, and the Rudeys appear to have restructured their debt and/or paid some of the loan(s) because they currently carry, according to The New York Times, a much less but still gargantuan sounding $120+ million in debt secured against the Connecticut estate. That's unquestionably a lot of dinero but, to be fair, at 63% of the current list price of $190 million, it's actually much less than the 80% loan to value that most people—particularly financial mortals—typically use to finance their home purchases.

A source who claims inside knowledge of the Rudeys financial/real estate arrangements snitched to the New York Times that the super-sized mortgages might have something to do with the Rudey's desire to unload Copper Beech Farm at an elephantine price. However, before you jump on that bandwagon, know the couple's seriously successful real estate agent, David Ogilvy, poo-pooed that ugly notion and told The New York Times that the Rudeys desire to sell Copper Beech Farm was—and we paraphrase—simply the sensible estate planning of a very wealthy family.

Whatever the reason—and we can all be sure their are a myriad of them—the article casually mentioned that last December Mister and Missus Rudey divested themselves of their long time residence at the venerable 1030 Fifth Avenue in New York City that carried, according to online resources, monthly maintenance fees of $10731. Your Mama thought that since we've all (probably) seen the waterside decadence of Copper Beech Farm it might be fun to have a look around the couple's elegant, art-filled and much more contemporary digs in The Big Apple that they sold, according to property records and previous reports on the sale, for $16,500,000 to Mexican-born media mogul Alfonso de Angoitia Noriega and his epically named wife, Maria de la Concepcion Legorreta de Angoitia.

We're not sure exactly when Mister and Missus Rudey acquired their now former apartment at 1030 Fifth Avenue but it had to have been before 1980 when, with the permission of the building's board and much to the chagrin of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, they replaced the apartment's original multi-pane sash windows with much more contemporary, aluminum framed single pane windows. It took years but the controversial window replacement ended up—as they always do with the very rich, kittens—in a legal kerfuffle in the late 1980s. We didn't turn up any reports of the results of the heated skirmish in our brief and incomplete research but it would seem the Rudeys prevailed because the single pane aluminum framed windows remain in place as evidenced by listing photos from the time they sold the apartment last year.

The floor plan included with listing materials from the time of the sale shows the full floor apartment—Your Mama guesstimates it might be around 5,000 square feet—has a private elevator landing that opens to a entrance gallery that is decked out in some deliciously graphic and no doubt shocking costly striated marble—or whatever material that is—but is also a smaller than we might expect in an uptown pre-war pad of this stature. The foyer connects through to a spacious but hardly humongous living room with wood burning fireplace, elegant herringbone wood floors, head on views over the tree tops of Central Park, and a serene decorative palette of gray and gray. It sounds boring—and it sort of is—but the monotone color scheme sets a unobtrusive and barely there stage for the vibrant, seasonally cyclical scenery of Central Park. Two other rooms that flank the living room also have direct park view, a formal dining room and a cozily sized corner library with a face-slapping view of the hulking northeast corner of The Met and down Fifth Avenue.

The dining room is open to the kitchen over a built-in buffet set between two tall and thin doors. The center island kitchen has a built in breakfast table, eggshell colored Shaker-style cabinetry with stone (maybe marble) counter tops, two sinks, two dishwashers, two refrigerators, and a walk-in pantry. The service areas behind the kitchen include a windowed half bath, a den/office and an unusually generous laundry room with slop sink and window.

The bedroom wing runs down the southern flank and includes a total of four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The rear most bedroom has a private bathroom plus two walk in closets and the middle two bedrooms each have a walk in closet and share a compact Jack 'n' Jill style bathroom. The perplexingly puny master bedroom also has a walk-in closet but, much to our meaningless annoyance, shares another way-too-tiny but blessedly windowed Jack 'n' Jill style bathroom with the library.

Although it may not be amongst the uppermost echelon of Fifth Avenue buildings 1030 Fifth Ave. is, none the less, a much coveted and brutally expensive address that has long attracted rich and powerful Wall Street titans, spendthrift hedge fund fat casts, and Showbiz bigwigs. In 2009, Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon reportedly had a look-see at a monstrous 9,000-ish square foot duplex with 8 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms. Owned by hedge fund queen Karen Fleiss, the suburban mansion-sized apartment originally had a sky-high $47.5 million price tag that was later hacked and slashed to $19.9 million. The duplex was eventually offered as two separate apartments and the lower half was sold in early 2010 for $8,898,000 to financier Richard Duke Buchan III. As far as Your Mama knows—and we really know so very little—Miz Fleiss and her orthopedic surgeon husband still own the upper portion of their former duplex.

Other current owners of swanky spreads at 1030 Fifth Ave. include private equity pasha Prakash Melwani who paid $27.5 million in late 2008 for his 11th floor spread, hedge fund fat cat John Griffon who paid $32.25 million for his place one floor below, also in late 2008, and money man Zachary Jared Schreiber who paid cellular communications tycoon George Blumenthal $31.5 for a sprawling 9th floor apartment in April 2012.  In September 2007 Academy Award winning super-producer Wendy Finerman paid just over $10 million for a 12 room duplex and film director Mike Nichols and well-compensated broadcast journalist Diane Sawyer reportedly paid around $10 million in 2001 for the penthouse apartment that was formerly owned by Tinseltown poo-bah Robert Redford.

exterior photo: Scott Bintner for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby's International Realty


Anonymous said...

Is that a dropped ceiling in the kitchen?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Wow. And Wow. Now that was heavenly Mama.
Seems like all iconic estates are hitting the market like wild fire, and judging by the enormous loans taken against these estates, it's no wonder.
Green Acres in Beverly Hills is probably next. Ron Burkle is known for taking HUGE loans against it.

Anywoo....i quite like the 1030 Fifth Ave apartment. Not epic, but it is gorgeous!

What i want to see though is the penthouse at 1030 Fifth Ave hit the market. Would love to have a look-see at that. Diane Sawyer currently owns it.

Thanx Mama, nice informative and juicy post, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Ron Burkle is about to embark on a major expansion at Green Acres. That's why so many houses around it are for sale.