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 4 2015

Temple of Transparency?


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


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


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


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


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


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!


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


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


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


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


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


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

December 11 2014

Last minute gifts? No treble!


Here’s an idea for a last minute gift: a condominium at Fifteen Central Park West. Six are currently on the market and several have been languishing for some time–so make an offer. The lowest-priced unit, #12H, was listed in September by owner Hugh Verrier, chairman of White & Case, who is asking $5.295 million. That same month, Joel Frank of Och-Ziff, the hedge fund, listed #8K for $5.395 million. Portuguese banker Pedro Ferreira‘s apartment, #15J, has been for sale for $6.7 million for eleven months, and Café Lalo owner Haim Lalo put his unit, #2E, on the market for $8.99 million back in April. All four are brokered by Mercedes Berk partners Noel Berk and Liz Omedes, who have the advantage of living in the… Continue reading

December 8 2014

All I want for Christmas/Chanuka is an $88 million penthouse


But seriously, with the start of Chanuka just nine days away, why not buy your beloved a book? For art lovers just back from Art Basel, there’s Rogues’ Gallery, which the New York Times Book Review called “A blockbuster exhibition of human achievement and flaws.” Prefer real estate? But is your recipient a condo or a cooperative person? For the former, there’s House of Outrageous Fortune, the story of Manhattan’s sui generis record-setting condo, Fifteen Central Park West. “The intersecting strands of money, politics, greed, taste, ambition shine brightly,” Manuela Holterhoff of Bloomberg News wrote of the book. And cooperators can similarly reach for the heights of Manhattan real estate with 740 Park. It’s… Continue reading

December 4 2014

A Pinch of (Art) Basel


Avenue’s special Miami issue, out this week just in time for Art Basel Miami, is the last one I assigned during my summer job as the magazine’s acting editor-in-chief. Related’s Jorge Perez is on the cover. Tom Austin profiles the extraordinary Micky Wolfson within. And my Unreal Estate column looks at two historic properties, The Surf Club and the Hotel Shelborne, both re-envisioned for the new Miami and a new generation of snowbirds. Continue reading

November 23 2014

Record-setting broker ankles Zeckendorf-ville


Fifteen Central Park resident Kyle Blackmon, whose sale of Sanford Weill‘s penthouse there to fertilizer oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev for $88 million still holds the record for the most expensive apartment sale in New York, has left the Brown Harris Stevens brokerage for upstart Urban Compass. BHS is partly owned by Will and Arthur Zeckendorf, the lead developers of Fifteen, and Arthur is one of Blackmon’s neighbors in the building where he’s been one of most productive broker-specialists. You’ve gotta wonder how welcome he’ll be at the sales office for the Zeckendorfs’ latest condo tower, 520 Park (shown), which the Real Deal pointed out last week, is actually rising at 45 East 60th Street, “and is not on Park at all.” If… Continue reading

November 8 2014

Christy Turlington needs no translation


I’m quoted in the new issue of Spain’s El Pais Semanal, in a profile penned by Ana Fernandez Parilla of “eternal model” Christy Turlington , highlighting her transition from supermodel to model businesswoman and philanthropist for maternal health. It was obvious, I say, even back in the day (when the photo at right was taken of Christy, Linda Evangelista and me), that she was something special even among the genetically-blessed, and time has confirmed that judgment. Continue reading

November 2 2014

Bullets over Miami Beach


The epic battle in Miami pitting the most successful shopping mall in America against a designer upstart backed by LVMH boss Bernard Arnault has tongues wagging from Palm Beach to South Beach–and is the subject of my latest story “Bal Harbour Shops vs. the Design District” (just unlocked) for Departures magazine. That’s Bal Harbour’s third-generation boss Matthew Whitman Lazenby at left and the Design District’s mastermind Craig Robins (right). I’m told both are peeved about the story. I must have done something right. Continue reading