Archive for September, 2013

Another seller at 740 Park: Got $29.5 million?

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Plagued by bad press this summer due to a series of petty thefts (petty for them, at least), 740 Park is back in the news today thanks to the listing of its fourth floor D-line apartment by investment banking’s Peter Huang. The apartment was infamous when Huang was still married to his first wife, Nancy Stoddart, whose friends from the Studio 54 set often came to keep partying there after-hours. Priced at $29.5 million, the unit, which overlooks 71st Street, is likely a fixer-upper. So if you’re handy as well as wealthy, pounce! The listing belongs to Kyle Blackmon, famous … Continue reading

Another Outrageous Book Blurb

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The author of Sin in the Second City and American Rose, Karen Abbott, has offered up another early endorsement of House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address. “Both an incisive social commentary on our modern Gilded Age and an irresistible peek behind the walls of 15 Central Park West, otherwise known as Limestone Jesus,” she says. “With characteristic audacity and wit, Michael Gross has deftly chronicled the immense egos (and bank accounts) of the nouveau riche who reside at Manhattan’s most coveted address.”

One57: “Tall and clunky, preening and graceless”

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Misery loves company so I was happy to learn I’m not only one hating on Extell’s One57, aka the Sandy Crane Tower, aka the Towering Infernal. New York Magazine’s architecture critic Justin Davidson brought the starchitect designed monstrosity down several notches this week in what I think is the first serious review of it (as well as 432 Park, a few blocks east). Each will briefly own the record for tallest residential tower in Manhattan, which leads Davidson to ask, “Shouldn’t architects who reach for physical heights be extending themselves creatively, too?” Good question.

Another Outrageous Endorsement

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Another advance reader of House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address, author-journalist Dana Thomas, author of Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, says, “Want to understand what Occupy Wall Street was about? In House of Outrageous Fortune, Michael Gross explains it–and then some. With a rollicking, informative history of New York City, tales of mega real estate fortunes made and lost, and dizzying examples of the super-wealthy’s greed and ostentation, Gross deftly traces the arc of America both socially and financially and proves that the top two percent most certainly do not live like … Continue reading

Inside the Schulhofhaus at 770 Park

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The September issue of Avenue is out with a new Unreal Estate column on the sale of Mickey and Paola Schulhof‘s Parisian-style duplex at 770 Park Avenue. Read it here.

Flashback: Classic Madonna

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Back in 1986, I wrote Vanity Fair’s first cover story on Madonna, who’d just released her record (for they were still records then) True Blue. VF has resurrected the piece for its online 100th anniversary celebration. Read it here. I imagine that her look back then (pictured) is not one she fondly remembers. Not so sure about my look, either.

Meet Real Estate Barbie

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“The Rockstars of Real Estate” appeared on a panel co-moderated by Dan Peres, editor of Details, and this writer, in the penthouse of the new condominium The Whitman, overlooking Madison Square, last night. Click through for a report on the proceedings by The Real Deal’s Katherine Clark, as well as the latest romantic gossip about panel member Melanie Lazenby, the Douglas Elliman broker aka Real Estate Barbie. (She told me that herself, so don’t blame me!)

Empty Mansions: Recluse and finally free

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The late heiress and recluse Huguette Clark’s strange, sad story has inspired the new book Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. I review it today on The Daily Beast, where I call it “an evocative and rollicking read, part social history, part hothouse mystery, part grand guignol.”