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- Thu, 06 Mar 2014 20:54:00 +0000: Floor Plan Porn: Edgar Bronfman, Sr. - The Real Estalker
PLACE: New York City, NY
SIZE: 5 bedrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Just as just about every property gossip with even a pinky toe in the New York City real estate waters had heard word, the sprawling simplex penthouse at 960 Fifth Avenue, owned for nearly 40 years by billionaire booze baron, international businessman and noted philanthropist Edgar M. Bronfman, has popped on the open market with a global publicity ensuring—and probably not entirely unrealistic—asking price of $65,000,000.*
That the much coveted, mini-mansion sized penthouse—Your Mama unscientifically calculated the interior square footage to be around 6,200—was not sold off market is what is most surprises to Your Mama. Iffin we were the betting type—and we're not—we'd have wagered both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, and our mean ol' pussy, Sugar, there would have been a long line of hedge fund fat cats and other sick-rich international captains of industry who would have quickly and quietly snatched this sucker up in an off market deal in—well—a New York minute. But, alas. and anyways...
As of this morning digital listings we have access to do not include interior photographs. They do, lucky us, include a mouth watering floor plan that indicates there are 4-5 family bedrooms and five full and two half bathrooms. A duplexed staff wing behind the kitchen provides four cell-sized bedrooms and two shared bathrooms on a lower level and an upper level staff lounge that, sadly for the live-in staff, does double duty as the penthouse's laundry room. We also counted two wrap around terraces—one that has panoramic views up and down Fifth Avenue and across Central Park, five fireplaces, nine walk-in closets—ten if you count the walk-in safe, and more than 45 windows and French doors that all by themselves probably require a year-round part-time minimum wage worker to keep streak and grime free.
A private elevator landing opens to a slightly off-center foyer. The children will note the spacious, perfectly positioned powder room suite provides supreme pooper privacy, generous ventilation, and plenty of toiletry and linen storage in a pair of closets. Double doors open from the foyer into a capacious, 650-ish square foot living room with direct park views and terrace access through three sets of French doors. The adjacent, 500-ish square foot formal dining room also has terrace access and a direct view of Central Park as does the cozier-scaled library, located right off the foyer next door to the living room. An efficiently arranged kitchen and service wing includes a breakfast room, butler's pantry, roomy center island kitchen (with service entrance), and the aforementioned duplexed staff quarters.
A long, zig-zagged corridor extends east from the foyer—Your Mama estimates based on measurements shown on the floor plan it's nearly 80 feet long all together—and links the penthouse's public spaces to the south-facing bedroom wing where there are four roomy but hardly huge guest/family bedrooms, each with walk-in closet and private windowed bathroom.
The master suite, at the far, eastern end of the J-shaped apartment has an elegant entry vestibule, a corner bedroom with fireplace, two walk-in closets—one cedar lined, and a windowed bathroom with separate cubicle for the crapper and bidet. Although it does not appear to be directly accessible from the master bedroom, the floor plan shows a long and slender fitted dressing room with attached half bathroom that opens off the corridor.
960 Fifth Avenue, a 15-floor limestone-faced grande dame on the super-plum, northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and East 77th Street directly across from Central Park—was completed in the late 1920s and designed by vaunted architect Rosario Candela in association with Warren and Wetmore, the firm responsible for New York's spectacular Grand Central Terminal and the also stunning, Art Deco Helmsley Building that, literally, straddles Park Avenue between East 45th and East 46th Streets. There are certainly more expensive buildings in New York—take for example the ungodly expensive condo-complex 15 Central Park West—and (arguably) even more rarefied and restricted cooperative apartment houses—say, 820 Fifth Avenue or, maybe, 4 East 66th Street—but 960 Fifth Avenue is unquestionably one of Manhattan's finer addresses and quietly if confidently oozes limitless wealth and high-nosed status.
Not surprisingly, residents of 960 Fifth Avenue pay astronomical monthly cooperative fees. The common charges on Mister Bronfman Sr.'s penthouse are shown on current listings $19,093 per month. In addition to all the standard white glove services common to Fifth Avenue apartment houses—doormen, porters, elevator operators, etc—960 offers residence catered lunch and dining services through the Georgian Suite, a lavish private dining and entertainment space on the building's ground floor.
We don't profess to know the full provenance of the penthouse but we do know that before Mister Bronfman acquired it some forty years ago it was owned by a proudly portly woman named Particia Harmsworth, a.k.a. Viscountesse Rothermere, a British B-movie actress turned effervescently flamboyant and internationally beloved bon vivant who was more commonly known amongst the globe's jet setting elite as Bubbles. Bubbles, the widow of billionaire newspaperman Vere Rothermere, died of an accidental drug overdose during the summer of 1992 in a villa on the French Riviera that had once belonged to Greta Garbo.
Previous residents of the limestone edifice at 960 Fifth Avenue—also addressed 3 East 77th Street—include well-bred Brit Claus von Bülow, who owned a 16-room simplex on the 8th floor and sold it in the mid 1980s after he was acquitted of the murder of his wife, Sunny. Philanthropist Patricia Altschul unloaded her Maria Buatta-decorated one bedroom maisonette apartment—once the home of universally venerated upper class interior decorator Sister Parish—in Mach 2013 for $2,932,500 to a couple from Houston, TX.
In early February (2014) Cuban-born sugar baron José "Pepe" Fanjul paid $1.9 million in an off-market deal for a small apartment on a low floor and in July 2013 low-profile Peruvian billionaire financier Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor shelled out $21 million for a high floor duplex. The seller was Toy "R" Us founder Charles Lazarus.Our research and resources indicate additional current owners include Latin American media baron Gustavo Cisneros, powerful socialite Anne Bass, former Goldman Sachs honcho Roy Zuckerberg, Brazilian steel magnate Benjamin Steinbruch—he paid $18.875 million for his mid-floor duplex in late 2010, and well-married socialite Emily "Pemmy" du Pont Frick who moved to 960 Fifth Avenue not long after she and her late second husband, American aristocrat Dr. Henry Clay Frick II, sold their 63-acre Alpine, NJ estate for an astronomical $58,000,000.
Textile tycoon Loic De Kertanguy and his gal about town wife, Rebecca, coughed up $6,825,000 in August 2011 for their six-room residence, which they bought from the estate of thoroughbred breeder Edward P. Evans. Interestingly enough, Mister and Missus De Kertanguy already owned at south facing apartment on the 12th floor with two terraces at 960 Fifth Avenue that they sold concurrently in August 2011 for $4.6 million to none other than Charles Lazarus.
*Although news of the $65 million penthouse listing has made its way through a number of property gossip columns today, Your Mama actually first heard it first thing this morning via a couple of separate but equal digital missives thoughtfully sent by The Rabbi and Hot Chocolate. Presumably Mister Bronfman shared the penthouse with his fourth wife, artist Jan Aronson.
floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens
- Thu, 06 Mar 2014 19:29:00 +0000: Word on the Celebrity Real Estate Street... - The Real Estalker
reported by gossip juggernaut TMZ to be soon-to-be-divorced reality television staple Khloe Kardashian, who, in case anyone cares, popped up as a celebrity judge on RuPaul's Drag Race this week.
Good grief, children, do any of these Kardashian women ever to anything that isn't an obvious and calculated attempt to curry attention from all the gossip glossies, celebrity-centric blogs and property gossips? No. They really don't go in much for that sort of thing, do they? Listen, Khloe Kardashian, you go on with your rich, badass self and snatch up all the multi-million dollar houses you want. Indeed, spend six or so million of your clams for The Beebs crib, one of the most infamous and over-publicized houses in all of Calabasas. But, gurl, if you don't think this cynical property gossip isn't on to your blatant, multi-million dollar real estate attempt to remain tits up, ass out and face forward in the tabloid media, well, you must think you're dealing with a moe-ron.
Anyways, at this point this burgeoning celebrity real estate brouhaha is all just rumor and gossip so we really can't say if soon to be ex-Missus Odom bought the property or how much she paid for the 9,214 square foot Spanish hacienda style mansion that The Beebs bought, much to the later chagrin of some of his neighbors, in April 2012 for $6.5 million.
Of course, The Beebs may have made alterations to the interiors but old digital listing details Your Mama dug up on the internets show that at the time of his purchase the 1.28 acre spread had a two-story main house with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, half a dozen fireplaces, and two three car garages. A spacious, self-contained one bedroom and one bathroom casita near the swimming pool has—or had—a kitchen and a fireplace in the living room.
The Kardashian clan mostly kongregate in the hot as Hades far western suburbs of Los Angeles. Kimmie K. and her grimly pretentious baby daddy, Kanye West, are all set to move to a $9 million macmansion situated so far on the edge of Bel Air it might as well be in Encino. Momma Kardashian (and whichever of her Brady Bunch litter that still lives with her) resides in a decadently decorated house in the affluent equestrian-oriented Hidden Hills community and Khloe K.'s older sister, Kourtney, and her douchebaggy baby daddy, Scott Disick, are the peeps who paid upwards of $8.4 million for Keyshawn Johnson's 11,000+ square foot mansion in Calabasas that happens to be just around the corner from the house The Beebs allegedly sold to Khloe K for an as yet unknown amount of dinero.
It's been widely reported by celebrity and celebrity property gossips that young, tatted and erratic Mister Bieber—holed up on the spaceship-like Atlanta residence of music producer Dallas Austin— is looking for more isolated if no less luxurious digs around Thousand Oaks, CA, and Atlanta, GA.
aerial photo: Pacific Coast News
- Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:37:00 +0000: A Couple of Art World Bigwigs List Art-Filled Time Warner Aerie - The Real Estalker
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 2,632 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was valued New York City real estate tattletale Steven Harris Brown who snitched to Your Mama that art world muckety-mucks Tobias Meyer and Mark Fletcher hoisted their not surprisingly art-filled aerie at the twin-towered Time Warner Center in New York City on the open market with an asking price of $16,950,000.
Mister Fletcher, according to his own website, is a curator, collector, advisor and private contemporary dealer with nearly three decades of experience. Until late last year, when he left "amid criticism," German-born Mister Meyer was an accomplished auctioneer and the worldwide head honcho of contemporary art at the venerable—if sagging and under attack—Sotheby's auction house. Interestingly—and quite possibly pointedly—Misters Meyer and Fletcher chose not to make use of a Sotheby's real estate brokerage when they listed their cosmopolitan crib and instead hired a couple of high-powered lady agents at Corcoran. ¡Es un escándalo inmobilaria! Anyways...
Property records Your Mama peeped show Misters Meyer and Fletcher purchased the 66th floor city-, river- and park -view spread in March of 2004 for $5,482,215. A few quick flick of the well-worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that should the high-power lady real estate agents manage to haul in a sale anywhere close to it's current asking price the high-cultured fellas could realize a mouth watering 300+ percent return on their decade-long ownership—not counting improvements, carrying costs and real estate fees, of course. Not a bad way to turn several million bucks into a small fortune in a relatively short amount of time but—and here's the rub, butter beans with big financial dreams—you gotta have the first several million in order to parlay it into many more.
Cremaster series surmounts an 18th century giltwood console topped by a probably pricey and possibly pedigreed pair of rococo candelabra while an over-sized, gold-toned light up dollar sign by YBA art duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster leans ever so not casually against the wall.*
The boldly striped floor pattern and the art-centric decorative merry-making continues into the irregularly shaped combination living and dining room where floor to ceiling windows on two, obtusely angled walls provide soaring views of Central Park as well as the upper floors of the black-glassed (and slightly sinister looking) Trump International Hotel and Towers. On the back wall a decadently framed portrait by John Currin hangs above an gilt-trimmed 18th century commode in front of a frenetic, pop art-y wall mural that—word to the wise—doesn't shy way from nipples and pubic hair. The mural not only covers just about every available inch of wall space and at least one exposed structural column it also creeps creepily up on to the ceiling. The site specific mural was done, our research shows, by the Brazilian artist Eli Sudbrack, a principle member of the arts collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus.
The adjacent kitchen isn't particularly roomy but it does offer a dining area with built-in banquette seating in front of an entire wall of north-facing windows and is expensively equipped with vertical grained walnut (or maybe teak or cherry) cabinetry, marble counter tops and floors, and a stainless steel volume that holds Euro-style double ovens and two integrated refrigerator-freezers.
Listing photos show one of the two guest bedrooms decked out as an office/library with book-lined book shelves and a marble-topped desk in front of another full wall of north-facing windows. The second guest bedroom has another wall of book-stuffed book shelves and another wall of windows but this time in a western direction that allows for an almost unobstructed view across the Hudson River to the densely developed eastern shore of New Jersey.
The striped floors continue, finally, into the prow-shaped master bedroom where two walls of glass with panoramic (if not entirely unobstructed) north and west views. There are also a dressing area/entry vestibule, two walk-in closets—both, no doubt, lined with expensive suits, and a six-piece marble bathroom with frameless glass shower enclosure.
According to listing details the monthly taxes and common charges total $10,771 and cover, according to Your Mama's research, the full range of Time Warner's super-luxe amenities such as round the clock doorman, concierge and maid services. There's a giant Whole Foods market in the basement of the building—if that's your food shopping thing—as well as an on-site garage with valet services and a chauffeurs lounge. Also on the grounds are a full-service five-star spa and fitness center, a multi-story shopping galleria, and a couple of New York's best regarded and most expensive eateries, Masa and Per Se.
Although it does not appear to Your Mama that Misters Meyer and/or Fletcher now or ever owned them, Mister Fletcher's website indicates he recently but previously maintained a couple of quasi-public art spaces in New York City including one in a vaunted, 1977 Paul Rudolph designed penthouse in Midtown Manhattan and another a 19th century townhouse across from Washington Square Park.** He also has (or had) more private, by appointment only art viewing spaces in a severely-angled Daniel Libeskind designed residence in Connecticut and at the so-called Domus Solaris, an all but perfect, 1975-built Buff and Hensmen designed pavilion with one bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms on L.A.'s famed Mulholland Drive. (As it turns out the downright dee-voon Domus Solaris, owned by sports agent Michael Reilly, is currently on the open market and, as of this morning, in escrow with an asking price of $2.4 million.)
*Listing photographs Your Mama combed over with a fine toothed comb do not show the foyer but it does appear in March 2005 article about the obviously rich art-minded couple in W Magazine with the aforementioned finishes and artworks.
**The four-unit (rental) building on top of which the Paul Rudolph penthouse sits was listed for sale in late 2012 for $27.5 million. The price was lowered to $22.5 million before it was de-listed in May 2013. The building does not appear to have been sold. In May 2013 the high-glam penthouse once leased by Mister Fletcher popped up for lease at $14,000 per month and, after it was reduced to $13,700, rented to an unknown party in late March. The parlor floor space on Washington Square North that Mister Fletcher used as an art exhibition and project space was listed for lease in mid-January 2014 at $8,500 per month. It was taken off the market 11 days later but it's not clear to this property snoop if the 1 bedroom and 1.5 space was rented.
- Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:12:00 +0000: Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar Flipping out in Brentwood - The Real Estalker
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 7,318 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was only six short months ago, eagle-eyed celebrity real estate watchers will recall, that Hollywood veterans Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar paid $6.1 million for an East Coast-y mini-manse in the rustically swank (upper) Mandeville Canyon area of Los Angeles which they've flipped back on the market this week with a significantly (and curiously) higher price tag of $7.9 million.
Current listing details show the three-story, clapboard clad Colonial, partially hidden from the street behind a short stacked stone wall and a high hedge, has a total of six bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in 7,318 square feet. A careful if quick comparison of current listing photos to those from the time of the couples' August 2013 acquisition suggest few (if any) alterations were made to the residence besides a trendy darkening the hardwood floors throughout the main floor, a little paint here and/or there, and the installation of their own comfortable if vanilla-flavored furnishings.
A double-height entrance hall with the same drippy crystal chandelier duo as when they bought the house links through to formal living and dining rooms, the former with with fireplace, wet bar, and wine storage room. A series of French doors framed by the same crimson curtains that hung there when the Prinze-Gellers bought that house last year open to a shallow veranda with verdant backyard views. There's a second fireplace in a cozy study and a third, cattywompus one in the spacious open-plan kitchen/eating/family room space that, like the formal living room, opens through a series of French doors to a trellis-shaded terrace.
There are a total of six bedrooms including a staff suite on the main floor and four guest/family bedrooms on the second floor. The roomy, second floor master suite has a soaring, sky-lit vaulted ceiling, a (fourth) fireplace, two sets of French doors that open to a small private terrace, and two fitted walk-in closets. The marble-tiled master bathroom also appears unaltered from the the Prinze-Gellers' 2013 purchase and (still) includes a pair of sinks, a windowed crapper cubicle, a soaking tub set in front of an over-sized window, and a separate marble-sheathed steam shower with convenient built-in bench.
Tucked up under the eaves on the third floor, as per listing details, there's a "bonus room" and a home fitness room where we imagine Mister Prinze, Jr. and Miz Gellar spend a lot of time keeping their bodies in HD camera ready condition.
The backyard isn't particularly large for a nearly eight million dollar home in an area of Los Angeles known for its horse-friendly estates but it is private and lush with several shaded terraces, a long and slender strip of well-watered lawn for the pooches and kiddies, a built-in barbecue station, and a free-from swimming pool and spa set into a flagstone terrace wedged between an ugly (if practical) child safety fence and a steep up slope.
Of course, Your Mama has no idea what Mister Prinze, Jr. and Miz Gellar's future real estate plans hold but it could be they'll decamp to whence they came, a 7,335 square foot residence in the same guard-gated Bel Air community where Kimmie Kardashian and her baby-daddy Kanye West own a lavishly renovated macmansion. Property records and other digitally accessed resources show the three-enshrouded residence has seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms and that they picked it up for $2.45 million way back in October 2001.
listing photos: Teles Properties
- Tue, 04 Mar 2014 18:57:00 +0000: Ryan Lewis Snags Pricey Puget Sound Pad - The Real Estalker
LOCATION: Seattle, WA
SIZE: 7,610 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although it's starting to get out all over the Pacific Northwest media Your Mama first heard word from one of the busy celebrity real estate rubberneckers at Redfin that Grammy winning musician Ryan Lewis is all set to trade up from the Thrift Shop to a water front spread in Seattle, WA, that he picked up in late January (2014) for a Rodeo Drive designer boutique price of $3.3 million.
Mister Lewis, an only marginally successful solo musician, was launched to pop music super stardom in 2013 as Macklemore's scruffy-chinned sidekick, dj, mix master and video directer. In case any of the children somehow failed to notice, Mister Macklemore (née Ben Haggerty) and Mister Lewis were nominated for seven Grammys this year (2014) and the pair took home four statuettes (Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance). If you don't know who these two are are don't blame Your Mama because it's not because they ain't famous it's because you're either uninterested in what's happening in popular music—and fair enough—or simply feel too over the hill to participate in new music memes. Anyways...
Property records show Mister Lewis purchased the bluff top property that overlooks the glistening waters of Puget Sound from Bonnie and Ron Elgin, the latter of whom is a renown and somewhat recently retired advertising honcho whose clientele included McDonalds, Nordstroms, and Holland America Line.
Information Your Mama dug up on the internets suggests Mister and Missus Elgin custom built the two-story—let's call it a vaguely Italian- post-modern villa, shall we—in the affluent Briarcliff 'hood. It has been on and off the market since the middle of 2005. In September 2012 Mister and Missus Elgin re-listed the nearly one acre spread with a rose-tinted asking price of $4,499,000 and by October 2013 the price had plummeted precipitously to $3,490,000 before Mister Lewis came along and snatched it up for $3.3 million.
Listing details show the existing residence was completed in 1995 and contains a total of four bedrooms and three full and two half bathrooms plus five fireplaces in 7,610 square feet of interior space oriented to take best advantage of the sweeping bluff-top western views of the pretty but not exactly pristine Puget Sound and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains. The three-story house is a much more traditional and luxuriously bland affair than we might have imagined would best suit Mister Lewis but the first rule in real estate is, of course, location, location, location and this is unquestionably a prime Puget Sound-side perch in a super-prime locale. Yes? No?
It's a long (if elegant) flight of concrete stairs from the gated, street-level parking pad and detached two-car garage to the double front doors to open into a marble-floored double-height atrium-foyer with a view clear through the house to the spectacularly silhouetted Olympic Mountain range. The marble floors turn to honey-toned wood in the adjoining ballroom-sized combination formal living/dining room where a trio of extra-wide French doors open to a stone (or, more likely, cast concrete) balustraded terrace with unobstructed views across shimming water to Bainbridge Island.
The eat-in kitchen is certainly well-equipped with amenities such as Shaker-style cabinetry, black granite counter tops, and a full suite of top-grade appliances including an industrial-grade range and multiple dishwashers. However, hunties, Your Mama can't help but notice that heavily laden pot rack that's hung ominously over the butcher block topped center work island where the inanimate yet still deeply sinister contraptions could easily drop a copper pot on the unsuspecting head of a toddler or snatch a bobble-headed queen's lace-front weave right off her head.
The upper level master suite is comprised of a bedroom with fireplace, a private den/sitting room, a water-side wrap around terrace, and a private bathroom with what appears to be—but we sincerely hope is not—blush-hued marble.
Other rooms include a small library lined with floor-to-ceiling book shelves, a den off the kitchen that opens to the same balustraded terrace as the living/dining room, and a roomy and fully-carpeted family room that opens to a vine-draped water-side loggia that extends the full width of the house. Somewhere there's a wine cellar with a simply godawful mural that Your Mama can only hope Mister Lewis has the good sense to paint over.
Set to the side and below the house, a series of terraces and lawns step down towards the 150-foot salt water beach at the water's edge. There does not appear to be a swimming pool on the property, which is kind of a bummer in a $3.3 million dollar house but let's face it, sugar beets, Seattle isn't exactly a sunbather's paradise and it surely costs a small fortune each year to heat an outdoor swimming pool in this notably damp (if uncommonly stunning) corner of these great United States.
In early November last year (2013) Mister Lewis's professional compatriot Macklemore gave the celebrity gossips at E! a (video taped) tour of his modest, rental-grade apartment in Seattle. This was, it should be noted, just a few short days after rumors began to swirl amongst Seattleites (and others) who care about such real estate trivialities that Mister Macklemore (and his fiancée) might be moving to million-dollar plus digs in Seattle's thriving Capital Hill district. Although there has been some speculation as to the property Mister Macklemore (allegedly) acquired this property gossip can not, at this time, confirm or deny a million dollar purchase in the Capital Hill are by Mister Macklemore.
listing photos: Windermere Real Estate