About Michael Gross

Michael Gross, one of America's most provocative non-fiction writers, is the author of three New York Times bestsellers House of Outrageous Fortune, 740 Park and Model, and the wildly controversial Rogues' Gallery. His last bestseller, Unreal Estate, is being developed as a TV series by Oscar-winner Joel Silver. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times, New York, Vanity Fair and many other publications.

March 27 2015

740 Park loses record, gains footnote

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Curbed reports that Len Blavatnik, who left the Soviet Union in 1978 but still profited from its collapse via a partnership with Russian oligarch Vikor Vekselberg, has set a new New York co-op sales record with his $77.5 million purchase of New York Jets Woody Johnson‘s 14 room duplex at 834 Fifth Avenue. The previous record holder was 740 Park, where hedgie Israel “Izzy” Englander bought a second apartment in September for $71.3 million. 740, of course, had held that record previously, thanks to private equity poobah Steve Schwarzman‘s 1999 $29.9 million purchase of what had been Saul Steinberg’s duplex there. Indeed, Schwarzman held that record when Blavatnick tried to buy an apartment at 740, and its board recruited… Continue reading

March 24 2015

Russian TV rushes 15CPW


I’m on RT’s Boom Bu$t with Erin Ade today discussing Fifteen Central Park West, House of Outrageous Fortune, and who owns the outrageous eight- and nine-figuring condominiums popping up along the Billionaire’s Belt of… Continue reading

March 20 2015

740 Park Party Pad For Sale

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Peter Huang, an investor whose ex-wife tossed wild Studio 54-era parties in his duplex apartment at 740 Park Avenue, has re-listed the place after it failed to sell 2011, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Candace Taylor. Then, it was listed for $29.5 million. Now, it can be had for $2 million less through broker Kyle Blackmon, the 15 Central Park West resident who sold Sandy Weill‘s penthouse at 15CPW to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev for $88 million. The buyer will have among his or her neighbors Will Zeckendorf, one of 15CPW’s developers. Continue reading

March 19 2015

Damning Daniel Loeb, Supporting Free Speech

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Hedge Clippers, a progressive activist group, is taking aim at 15CPW penthouse owner and Third Point hedge fund honcho Daniel Loeb, reports the New York Observer. “Besides glitzy apartments and mega-yachts, Dan Loeb has developed a penchant for supporting right-wing politicians and other officials who put Wall Street’s interests ahead of Main Street’s interests,” the report reads. “This kind of political investment pays off for Loeb–-the Republican-led Senate blocks all efforts to close the carried interest loophole, levy a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on financial speculators’ stock transactions, or assess other taxes and fees on hedge fund managers and billionaires that would shrink the inequality gap in New York… Continue reading

March 11 2015

Penthouse Pugilism

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Only one New York condo has brought plutocrats to financial fisticuffs. Last night, Business Insider posted an excerpt from the new House of Outrageous Fortune paperback about the day the potty-mouthed hedgie Dan Loeb outbid the equally unchecked financier Carl Icahn for a pair of penthouses atop Fifteen Central Park West. Continue reading

March 9 2015

“Ridiculously rich people are taking over New York,” says Business Insider

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With the paperback of House of Outrageous Fortune coming out tomorrow, Business Insider wanted to know about the kind of people who inhabit 15 Central Park West and 740 Park. “There are trophy cities, trophy neighborhoods within trophy cities, and trophy buildings within those trophy neighborhoods,” I told Hayley Hudson, and “a certain kind of person is attracted to that kind of real estate.” I also offered a word to the wise: “If you want to stay out of the spotlight, don’t move to the… Continue reading

March 4 2015

Temple of Transparency?

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Yesterday, Liz Smith noted that House of Outrageous Fortune peeled back the limestone curtain and revealed the names of many of the residents of Fifteen Central Park West. Today, Business Insider unveiled a snazzy graphic that displays some of those secretive folks and the worlds that most of them hail from. Feast your eyes! Continue reading

Real Estate Hell, Right Here in Manhattan

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A year ago, my wife and I started looking for a new apartment. My latest Unreal Estate column in the March issue of Avenue chronicles what happened next. It’s about an apartment I think of as “The One That Got Away.” That’s it, in the photo. Continue reading

March 3 2015

Kicking a** and naming names

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On today’s New York Social Diary (and in the Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune and other papers), Liz Smith notes the similarity between a recent study of the residents of Time Warner Center and House of Outrageous Fortune’s piercing of the veil over Fifteen Central Park West. “Society gadfly Michael Gross did the same thing first and all by himself, naming the names of dozens of the rich, often foreign — and yes — sometimes sketchy residents of 15 Central Park West,” she writes. HOOF is out in paperback a week from today. Continue reading

March 2 2015

Fraud, My Rybolovlevly?

A prominent Swiss art dealer has been indicted for defrauding 15CPW penthouse owner Dmitry Rybolovlev. “Yves Bouvier is accused of having overcharged the Russian oligarch and owner of a Monaco football club, Dmitry Rybolovlev, when acting as middleman during the sales of high-value artworks,” says Artnet, which has the scoop. Continue reading

February 28 2015

“I’ve been in and I’ve been out. In is better.” RIP John Fairchild

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In 1987, I interviewed a fistful of fashion designers about their fraught relationships with John Fairchild, the WWD publisher who died yesterday. Here’s that story. Continue reading

February 25 2015

MSM finds Mammon-in-Midtown

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Eighteen days ago, the New York Times began a front page series on the real owners of condos in the Time Warner Tower on Columbus Circle–many of whom hide their real estate holdings behind trusts, offshore companies and limited liability corporations, and some of whom are fairly sketchy characters. Today’s Alexa Luxe Living supplement to the New York Post features a front page piece on Midtown, calling it the “white-hot core of New York’s luxury housing market” and discussing much the same phenomenon. You read it all here–and in House of Outrageous Fortune–first, of course. But Gripepad is grateful nonetheless for the opportunity to remind the still- or newly-intrigued that the whole–and dare I say it, epic–story of… Continue reading

February 10 2015

Link Alert: 15CPW is soon in paperback

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The “buy the book” links on the House of Outrageous Fortune page of this web site now point direct to pre-order pages for the paperback edition, which will be out in one month’s time. Pre-orders are gratefully appreciated, Continue reading

February 8 2015

Front Page News! Foreign Billionaires Buy Manhattan Luxury Condos!

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Today’s New York Times front page is dominated by the first of a series of investigative articles on foreign billionaires–some of them quite sketchy–buying condominiums around Columbus Circle. I, for one, am shocked, shocked, to find that’s going on here. It’s just….Outrageous. Continue reading

February 5 2015

Behind the Scenes in New York’s Costliest Private Townhouse

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Avenue’s February issue is online with my story about the residence I dub Hay House, the costliest private home ever listed in Manhattan. It’s the jewel that sits over the Crown restaurant. Read it here. Continue reading

February 3 2015

15CPW Takes Some Cake

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The New York Observer’s Kim Velsey reports that Deutsche Bank’s Michael Lewis has sold his three-bedroom apartment at the Limestone Jesus for $25.92 million, well under his $29.99 million asking price. The Observer tentatively identifies the buyer as Asian private equity mogul Michael Kim. With the sale complete, I think it can be revealed that Alex Gibney filmed his interview with me for his film Park Avenue, based on 740 Park, in Lewis’s dining room (shown), and the setting sun view over my shoulder throughout is the one Lewis family enjoyed on a nightly basis. Continue reading

January 16 2015

RIP Kim Fowley

I spent a few days with the rock legend Kim Fowley in the ’70s. This is, believe it or not, a great memory. Continue reading

January 1 2015

My, Mizner

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Out today, my latest Unreal Estate column in the January Avenue digs up the past history of two venerable estates by Addison Mizner on Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach. Wish you were there? Me, too! Continue reading

December 27 2014

Good riddance to the year of One57

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Just caught up with Justin Davidson‘s December 1 New York magazine column, “Who Wants A Super-Tall Skyline,” in which he again damns many of Manhattan’s new super-tall towers, most notably, Extell’s One57 on West 57th Street, a favorite whipping post of this blog. This time, Davidson calls the blue phallic-shaped tower “disastrous,” adding “that a fellow architect [of its creator, Pritzker Prize winner Christian de Portzamparc] surmised he must be a socialist pranking the plutocrats.” I’d like to know why Portzamparc didn’t take his name off developer Gary Barnett‘s erectus horribilis. A well-placed source tells me the architect had some issues with the way his original design was realized. That wouldn’t surprise me. I… Continue reading

December 13 2014

Anjelica Huston is an angel

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In an interview in tomorrow’s New York Times Book Review, Anjelica Huston, world-class beauty, actress and author of the absorbing memoirs A Story Lately Told and the new Watch Me (pictured), says the next book she plans to read is Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women. What an angel she is. Continue reading