Monday, November 14, 2011

Sanford Weill Citigroup 15 Central Park West Penthouse New York City

Former Citigroup head Sanford Weill paid $43.7 million for a penthouse at 15 Central Park West in 2007. The more than $6,400/square foot price set a record, since shattered by another apartment within theLimestone Jesus. The Robert A.M. Stern-designed building is known for its gutsy flips, so what do the Weills hope to get this time around for their $43.7 million purchase? $88 million. We don't see a listing online yet, but the Journal has the floorplan, and it is impressive: among other features, the Weills asked Stern to redesign the bedroom as an oval for an unobstructed view of the sun rising over Central Park. And there are 19 glass doors opening onto the terrace.

Why leave an apartment like that? Weill tells the Journal it's because, "at a difficult period in the country's history, it is 'a pretty good time' for wealthy Americans 'to be quiet.'" And nothing is quieter than an $88 million listing.
Weill also says he'll donate the proceeds from the sale to charity—the Journal speculates the cash might go to a Weill favorite like Carnegie Hall, the Weill Cornell Medical College, or the National Academy Foundation. The Weills don't need the money to put toward their new place: they'll be moving downstairs to their other apartment on 15 CPW's sixth floor.
While we await the listing, a Curbed operative informs us that the apartment was once featured in Architectural Digest. Click through for the full slideshow. Below is a photo of one of the views, courtesy of the 15 Central Park website.

It’s the top. The top apartment in the top condominium building in Manhattan. A penthouse that refreshes and extends the meaning of the term: a house set on a rooftop terrace (this one with a view of the midtown skyline and, at its feet, the whole geometry of Central Park). Brought to a state approaching perfection by a top-flight architect and a high-end designer working in tandem, it amounts to about as glamorous a pad as can be imagined.
The apartment is a full city block long, occupying the entire top floor of the 20-story park-facing section of Robert A. M. Stern’s two-year-old real estate mega-success, 15 Central Park West. Luxuriously clad in a warm gray limestone that “performs beautifully in the New York light,” Stern says, the building has attracted a rich cross section and boasts such denizens as Denzel Washington and Sting.

He was equally hands-on with the fireplaces—how deep he wanted them to be, how wide.
The clients, major philanthropists, bought the space as a raw shell and asked Stern to customize it for them. Then they hired Mica Ertegün of MAC II, whom the architect is quick to describe as “an inspired professional and a wonderful collaborator.” Stern and his partner Roger H. Seifter, who was in charge of the project, and Ertegün and her senior project director, John C. Schaberg, proceeded to lay out the plan of the apartment, making the ceilings as high (13 and a half feet), and the windows as high and wide, as they could. The sweep of space they configured made possible a Versailles-like enfilade of grand rooms with views. From his headquarters directly across the park the client was able to monitor the progress on his apartment with binoculars.

Ertegün selected all the materials and put them to ravishing use: for the entrance gallery, marble floors and parchment panels framed in mahogany; for the library, Brazilian rosewood; for the dining room, Venetian stucco; for the master bedroom, reeded plaster; for the kitchen, Jaguar-green lacquer, bamboo and textured glass; and for the interiors of the fireplaces, long, narrow, 19th-century bricks imported from France.

When it came to the baths, the husband took ownership of the onyx, making multiple trips to the stoneyard. “Onyx slabs look ugly mismatched—they make you dizzy,” he maintains, adding with a laugh, “It took two years to do the apartment and three years to get the onyx to match.” He was equally hands-on with the fireplaces—how deep he wanted them to be, how wide. And there was a specific size wood he wished to use. Stern had to enlarge the fireplaces from the building standard to accommodate his client’s oversize logs. “They’re from fallen trees on our property in the country, so it’s God’s pruning that goes into those fireplaces,” the husband stresses.

The couple had had “English traditional forever,” according to the wife, who realized early on that “the scale of this apartment would eat up English furniture.” Ertegün nudged them in the direction of Art Déco. They didn’t have to look any further, really, than the building itself, whose façade and lobby so suavely embody Déco’s simple classicism. “Mica drew us a floor plan, with the sizes of the pieces we would need, and we rushed around Paris to the shops she recommended while she and John were shopping New York,” the husband recounts. The result of that transatlantic frenzy was major pieces by such masters as Ruhlmann, Adnet and Quinet.

The pale-butter living room was created around four richly colored oils by the great Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton that depict American historical scenes, beginning with pioneer days, and that the clients wanted hung in chronological order. To enliven the subdued palette, Ertegün borrowed a few hues from those Bentons—royal blue for some of the pillows and armchairs and yellow and blue in the hand-painted floral fabric on the sofas and some of the chairs. She tilted the French 1920s round silver mirror above the mantel so that it would catch not merely an immensity of sky but an amplitude of park. “I don’t usually tilt,” she explains. “I would only tilt for a view to die for.”

It was the view that dictated the shape of the master bedroom, which had been on track to be a square. But when the husband pointed out to Stern that from the only place the bed could go you could look straight out but not get the full panorama, the architect sketched an ellipse that would allow the couple to lie in bed and look diagonally across the room to all of the view. The introduction of the ellipse served as well to enrich the enfilade and to conclude it in an interesting way. A ceiling cove was also introduced, and the soft glow emanating from it washes the pale blue-green room—including William Merritt Chase’s A Lady in Pink, which, the husband confides, “I picked out because I liked the nape of her neck.”
There’s an anemometer installed on the roof to measure wind speed so the canvas awnings can be retracted and don’t get ripped off.

The designer provided the couple with the ultimate in special effects: “things that even the other haves don’t have,” says Schaberg. There’s an anemometer installed on the roof to measure wind speed so the terraces’ canvas awnings can be retracted and don’t get ripped off Stern’s exalted facade. There are moisture sensors that, detecting a leak, activate the system to send an e-mail to the building managers; and temperature sensors, strapped to pipes, that cause an e-mail to be sent when the temperature deviates by as little as a single degree from what the client has set it at. All this technology is stealth—you don’t see a thing. And for another wonder, the client, who had never before been able to tame technology of any sort, has learned how to make it behave for him here.

Ertegün says, “They were engaged clients, and happily we didn’t have any collisions on taste.” Schaberg for his part sums up, “Like artists, Mica and I started from a blank canvas—we were given the opportunity to create a space exhilaratingly unlike any other.”

Read more:

Billionaire's Daughter Pays Record Sum for NYC Pad

Former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill listed his 6,744-sq-ft apartment at 15 Central Park West for an astonishing $88 million in November, promising to donate the proceeds of the sale to charity.

Now comes news that Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the 22-year-old daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitriy Rybolovlev, is buying the condominium. Rybolovleva is currently studying at an undisclosed U.S. university and plans to stay in the apartment when visiting New York. According to a source familiar with the sale, she paid the full asking price of $88 million, setting a record for highest individual transaction in New York City history.

Here is the official statement from her representatives:

A company associated with Ekaterina Rybolovleva, daughter of a well-known businessman Dmitriy Rybolovlev, has signed a contract to purchase an apartment at 15 Central Park West, New York. The apartment is a condominium currently owned by the Sanford Weill Family.

Ms. Rybolovleva is currently studying at a US university. She plans to stay in the apartment when visiting New York. Ms. Rybolovleva was born in Russia, is a resident of Monaco and has resided in Monaco and Switzerland for the past 15 years.”

The apartment, in one of the toniest post-war buildings in Manhattan, has 10 rooms including 4 bedrooms, a wraparound terrace of more than 2,000 sq. feet, 4 bedrooms and 2 wood burning fireplaces.

[See also: Homes With Kitchens Worthy of Professional Chefs]

“This sale is an outlier. It works out to be about $13,000 per sq. foot, the highest on record, for anything, that has ever occurred,” says Jonathan Miller, chief executive of real estate appraiser Miller Samuel, “What is ironic is that when Sandy Weill bought it for less than half this amount, he paid the highest price per sq foot to date in that building, around, $6,400 per sq. foot. He is again setting a record.”

The previous New York City record had been set back before the market crash when investor Christopher Flowers paid $53 million for a townhouse at 4 east 75th Street. He resold the property on August 15 for just over $36 million.

There were two other very notable sales in the city this year. Russian composer Igor Krutoy paid a record $48 million for a condo at the Plaza in March, and a townhouse at 16 East 69th Street sold for $48 million in July.

Rybolovleva is the second daughter of a billionaire to make huge real estate news this year. Back in July, heiress Petra Ecclestone, daughter of UK Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, apparently paid $85 million for Spelling Manor, the 56,500-square foot mansion that was previously owned by Candy Spelling, widow of famed TV producer Aaron Spelling, whose works include the “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Dynasty” series.

Rybolovleva’s father Dmitriy sold the majority of his stake in Uralkali, the fertilizer business that made him rich, for $6.5 billion in 2010. He is already known in U.S. real estate circles for his May 2008 purchase of Donald Trump’s Palm Beach mansion, Maison de L’Amitie. He paid $95 million in cash for that residence, $25 million less than what Trump had originally asked. It was apparently the largest single residence price concession of all time. He may not own that house much longer though. His wife Elena, who filed for divorce in Pam Beach court in 2009, is seeking transfer of ownership of the former Trump mansion. He himself spends much of his time at his home in Monaco and is likely to buy the struggling French football club, AS Monaco.

[See also: Famed Presidential Fishing Retreat for Sale]

The selling broker would not allow Forbes to reprint images of the apartment but readers can view a photo and floor plan on its site.

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