Archive for February, 2014

Correction

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A sentence on page 321 of the first printing of House of Outrageous Fortune (to be published March 11) erroneously reports the performance of a Marathon Asset Management investment fund in 1998. The sentence says the fund was down 38 percent that year, its first in operation. It in fact ended that difficult year unchanged. It was a basket of emerging market funds that was down 38 percent in 1998. I regret the unintentional error which will be corrected in the e-book and subsequent printings.

I’m “the Jackie Collins of real estate,” says the New York Times

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“Michael Gross’s new book” on 15 Central Park West “packs [in] almost as many stories as there are apartments in the building (202),” Penelope Green writes in today’s New York Times Home section. “The Jackie Collins of real estate,” she continues, “likes to map expressions of power, money and ego.” House of Outrageous Fortune “is even more crammed with billionaires and their exploits than 740 Park.”

Details details 15CPW

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In its March issue, Details magazine presents a charticle on some of the “eye-popping” numbers, big and not-so, being thrown around at 15CPW. “Preeminent real estate muckraker Michael Gross chronicles the rise of Fifteen Central Park West, arguably Manhattam’s most exclusive address, home to billionaire bankers, Russian oligarchs, and A-list celebs,” writes Laura Bolt.

Owlwood set to fly-but to whooo?

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Owlwood, the Holmby Hills mega-estate made up of homes once owned by stars like Rudy Vallee, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jayne Mansfield, Tony Curtis and Cher, has reportedly been sold, says the indefatigable LA realty blogger, Your Mama of The Realestalker. Its current owner, Dawn Arnall, is the widow of Roland, a subprime mortgage banking billionaire. As featured in The Hollywood Reporter (at right) the whole story of the estate–allegedly listed for $150 million, but reportedly sold for something closer to half that–is told in my last book, Unreal Estate. Writes the red-hot Mama, “It could be that this is all just … Continue reading

William Zeckendorf Jr., R.I.P.

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It is utterly sad to report that William Zeckendorf Jr., son of Big Bill Zeckendorf, father of Arthur and Will Lie Zeckendorf, a significant force in New York real estate development and a significant character in House of Outrageous Fortune, has died at 84, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, in the town he retired to in the mid-nineties. Condolences to his wife, his sister, and his sons. His final words to me in an interview for the book stand as a simple, eloquent and fitting epitaph. “What I accomplished can be seen,” he said. “The buildings are there.”

Weill no long whiles at 15CPW

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In today’s Daily News, Matt Chaban reports (scroll down to the second item) that Citigroup Sandy Weill and wife Joan have giving up their toehold at 15 Central Park West, selling the servant’s apartment they bought for less than $1 million before the building opened for $5.65 million. Weill’s tenure at 15CPW was more profitable than it was happy for the banker, as readers will discover when House of Outrageous Fortune is published in three weeks and six days. That Weill on the New York Post’s wood at right.

Miami Modern Made New

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The Saxony on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach was once that sandy strip’s best known hotel. In “Miami Modern With a Latin Twist” in the February issue of Avenue, the Unreal Estate column revels in its rise, fall and rebirth as the centerpiece of Faena Miami Beach, an under-construction resort-condo-arts complex that’s already attracted apartment-buyers like Leon Black and Lloyd Blankfein.

Vanity Fair says House of Outrageous Fortune rules

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Writing in the new Vanity Fair, architecture eminence gris Paul Goldberger previews House of Outrageous Fortune, calling the book’s subject, 15 Central Park West, “the biggest magnet for money and celebrity New York ha[s] seen in more than a generation.” He continues, “Michael Gross…rules[s] the school of literature you might call Books About Buildings Where Lots of Rich People Live.”

Gripepad Exclusive: $45 million saves River Club

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River House–a frequent subject in this space–released a statement today revealing that a letter of intent has been signed to keep the private River Club inside the esteemed cooperative apartment house. What was not revealed was the price, but Gripepad has confirmed with an inside source that it is a $45 million deal. Not quite the $130 million the building claimed to be seeking for the premises–it also claimed that was not a negotiating ploy–but not chump change, either. So though on a blogging hiatus while traveling, Gripepad thought you should know.