I spent a few days with the rock legend Kim Fowley in the ’70s. This is, believe it or not, a great memory.
I spent a few days with the rock legend Kim Fowley in the ’70s. This is, believe it or not, a great memory.
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 … Continue reading
More than nine years after it was first published, 740 Park just appeared at #18 on the New York Times e-book bestseller list. Thanks to all who put it there!
The New York Times tomorrow offers a compelling argument for taxing the owners of the often-empty pied-a-terre luxury condominium apartments that have filled Manhattan and coincidentally raised the price of real estate beyond the reach of many who actually want to live here. Bravo.
The kindly folks at Random House are offering the e-book of 740 Park at the bargain basement price of $1.99 for the next ten days. You can buy and download it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Biddle Duke, son of Robin and Angier Biddle Duke, once residents of 740 Park Avenue (that’s the late Angier in the photo with JFK, whom he worked for), came to my book on the building a few years late. He takes belated issue with several sentences in it, so I offered to print his note to me verbatim here, and he agreed. He writes: Dear Mr. Gross, This is mostly a useless exercise, because the ink’s long dry now on 740 Park. All I can say is that I wish you’d called me about Mom and Dad, Robin and Angie … Continue reading
The October issue of Avenue is out this week and is now available to read online. In today’s New York Post, Richard Johnson previews the cover story on 740 Park resident David Koch‘s philanthropy. The controversial conservative demonstrated his considerable sense of humor when he posed for us wearing a dinosaur tie (click the cover at right to see it) in front of two dinosaur skeletons at the American Museum of Natural History, one of the institutions he favors. The issue, which I guest-edited, also features this year’s Avenue A-List (are you on it?), a previously unpublished interview with the … Continue reading
Hedgie Israel Englander‘s purchase of the French government’s duplex at 740 Park Avenue for a co-op-record-setting $71,277,500 hit public records over the weekend. Assuming he plans to combine his new palace with his existing one, a flight above, to create a massive triplex, Englander will likely top upstairs moneybags neighbor Stephen Schwarzman , and be able to claim ownership of the most impressive spread in the luxury building. Square footage in co-ops is difficult to compute, but his current fourteenth floor apartment (shown at left), one of the building’s few simplexes, which he’s owned since 2000, sprawls across 740′s entire … Continue reading
Business Insider touts 740 Park as the Billionaire’s Hive this week. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.
Hedgie David Ganek bought the 740 Park duplex where Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy grew up (in an apartment provided to her father “Black Jack” Bouvier by her grandfather, 740 developer James T. Lee) just before 740 Park was published. Now, having purchased a loft at Jared Kushner‘s renovated Puck Building just after Departures published my story featuring the lavish home, Ganek’s put his 740 unit on the market via Sothebys’ broker Serena Boardman, asking $44 million.
I just learned that fashion modeling pioneer Eileen Ford, 92, died today. Her life story is fully told in Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, which can be ordered via links on this web site. UPDATE: Here are obits from the Los Angeles Times (which was so nice, they did the obit twice) and the New York Times.
Curbed reports today that the French government’s apartment at 740 Park Avenue has been sold, according to Paris Match, to upstairs neighbor Israel “Izzy” Englander after a bidding war that saw the price soar millions over ask to tie the current co-op sale record of $70 million. Englander, a secretive hedge fund runner, is unlikely to confirm or expand, but his history and that of his current apartment–a rare, sprawling 740 simplex, are spelled out in 740 Park. And if the report is true, he will climb over his upstairs neighbor Steve Schwartzman to become 740′s big man on campus. … Continue reading
Apartment 15K at 15CPW, a three-bedroom spread with a balcony, albeit one without a park view, has sold for a second time for just over $13 million. It was first purchased off plans by Evan Cole, co-founder of ABC Home, who sold it a month after taking possession in March 2008. As reported in House of Outrageous Fortune, Cole sold it “to an investment manager in Chicago, whose son would eventually occupy the apartment. Cole thought they were ‘Goldman Sachs people,’ he says, ‘but I didn’t look. They’re probably smarter than me. I’m sure it’s worth millions more than they … Continue reading
Fifteen Central Park West and 740 Park Avenue are well-represented on Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine list of the top-earning hedge fund runners for 2013. SAC Capital’s Steven A. Cohen comes in at #2. Though he isn’t a resident of either building, Raj Sethi and Derek Cribbs of that firm both own apartments at 15. Coming in at No. 5 on the Rich List, with estimated earnings of just under $1 billion, is Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin, who rented at 15 after deciding not to buy. Just beneath Griffen, with earnings of $850 million last year is 740 Park’s Israel “Izzy” Englander … Continue reading
This heartbreaking letter just arrived from the wonderful Bookhampton book stores: Dear Friends and Neighbors and BookLovers: The most wonderful part of owning BookHampton has been the discovery of new books and the camaraderie of fellow readers. The saddest part is the awareness that all things, even those we cherish most, have days that are numbered. The frozen Winter and this very chilly Spring caught BookHampton in a grip that has brought us to our knees. We’re fighting to have one more Summer, and not to be bowed by the writing on the wall that forced our colleagues to close … Continue reading
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.
Who will sell New York’s first $100 million apartment? Where will it be? How staggering its views? How starchitect-y its design? And who will buy it? A Hedgie? A Saudi? A cloaking LLC? That inevitability is the subject of my cover story in the January-February issue of Departures, the luxury travel magazine. It’s now unlocked to read online.
Noted without comment: The last few days have seen several of Gripepad’s obsessions flitting hither and yon in the news. Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour , who appears on the cover of Rogues’ Gallery, has been rewarded for her fundraising and cheerleading efforts on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute with the naming of its newly-renovated galleries in her honor. The board of directors of 995 Fifth Avenue, just across the street from that museum, has sued One57 developer, the cantilever and crane-crazy Extell (and a partner) for breach of contract and fraud “in the construction, … Continue reading
Today’s New York Post has a laugh-riot story by Jane Ridley on Christmas staff tipping rituals in better buildings like 740 Park and 15 Central Park West. Read it and remember, they know if you’ve been bad or good so you better tip good for goodness sake!
Seagrams heir Edgar Bronfman, second owner of the triplex penthouse atop 740 Park built for Elecrta Havemeyer and J. Watson Webb, and now occupied by for United Technologies head George David, has died at age 84. He paid $235,000 for the massive spread in 1961, and still owned it when his son Sam was famously kidnapped in 1975–though he’d moved to Fifth Avenue. His living room, designed by Albert Hadley, is shown. Late in 1979, Edgar finally sold the penthouse for $600,000 to Steven J. Ross, the head of Warner Communications.
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 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
John Sutter of CNN.com has crowd-sourced a list of 99 must-read books on income inequality, presumably for the 99%, though some of the 1% might do well to read a few of them. My 740 Park makes the list at #30, between titles by George Bernard Shaw and Jonathan Kozol. Isn’t that rich?
William D. Cohan, author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World and House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street, and a Contributing Editor of Vanity Fair, is the latest early reader to praise the forthcoming House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address. “Michael Gross has done it again!” he writes. “In intricate and revelatory detail, he shows how Fifteen Central Park West became the most famous and talked-about building in Manhattan: It’s the people who live there, of course, and Gross gives us … Continue reading
Yesterday’s revelation of a series of jewel heists at 740 Park led to a series of followups today in the New York Post and on CNN, among other outlets. You can watch the CNN video here. The Post reveals that the victims include Danielle Ganek, whose husband’s hedge fund “agreed to pay the feds more than $21.5 million for its role in an insider-trading scheme” and Lauren Merkin, whose husband Ezra “was charged with civil fraud for allegedly steering $2.4 billion in client money to Bernie Madoff.” The Post missed the fact that victim #3 was Caryl Englander, whose husband … Continue reading
Today’s Page Six lede and New York Post wood reveal a series of minor jewel heists at the legendary 740 Park cooperative, the 20th Century’s tower of financial power and the subject of this author’s 2005 book. Per the Post, the missing items are a wedding ring here, a watch there. Is the perp terrifically clever, stealing only things that won’t be missed? Or are they like opportunistic shoplifters grabbing penny candy from the counter? Not to cast aspersions, but per this report, it sounds like sticky-fingered support staff are more likely responsible than some savvy criminal mastermind.
House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address is now available for pre-orders on Amazon by clicking here. Publication date is March 11, 2014. I’ll post a bn.com link as soon as it, too, becomes available.
Via Bloomberg View, author William D. Cohan adds his voice to the chorus of condemnation aimed at billionaire Tea Party pal and 740 Park resident David Koch (shown greeting the late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg at an obviously bipartisan 2010 party) in an essay titled “David Koch’s Chilling Effect on Public Television.” Cohan is commenting on The New Yorker’s recent revelation about attempts by public television executives to placate Koch over critical coverage–in Alex Gibney‘s documentary Park Avenue, based on 740 Park, and another film–and Cohan links those concerns to government snooping on phone calls and the Internet. “Just … Continue reading
My latest book, House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address, is coming in March 2014 from Atria Books, Cindy Adams reveals in her New York Post column today (scroll down past Bernie Kerik. Mixing up her Midases a bit (understandable in an era when there are so many making and managing new money), the gossip great names a few 740 Park “inmates” as characters in the new book, but this time, the “scoop and poop” will be about Lloyd Blankfein and Sandy Weill, not Steve Schwarzman and Henry Kravis, and Dan Loeb and Dan … Continue reading
Alex Gibney‘s documentary Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, based on my book 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building, aired worldwide last fall and is currently available for sale or rental in the iTunes store and on Hulu (as well as free online in the truncated-for-broadcast PBS version via Youtube). This week’s issue of The New Yorker is led by a story about Gibney’s film, detailing the pressure put on WNET, New York’s public television station, for broadcasting it. Though this is hardly the first time a wealthy subject has pushed back against revealing … Continue reading
Did someone say, how was your weekend? Well, busy. First we were unwillingly evacuated from our home. So I didn’t have time to post about NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon listing his apartment at 15 Central Park West, subject of my just-completed next book, or about France selling the home of its UN ambassador at 740 Park, subject of an earlier real estate opus. Then, Le Monde published a story on the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute and its ball quoting my Rogues’ Gallery, and Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the select invited guests, opined that, “It sucked.” And finally, my exile on … Continue reading
In the last pages of 740 Park, written nine years ago, I challenged Stephen Schwarzman to live up to the standard set by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who’d once owned the private-equity chief’s apartment in that fabled building, and add significant philanthropy to his resume. It took a few years, but Schwarzman did take up that challenge, as has been noted in this space. Today’s New York Times finds the Blackstone boss in China, giving away money for good again, donating a third of the cost of a new $300 million scholarship program for study in China, and helping raise … Continue reading
Alex Gibney‘s documentary Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, based on my book 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building, is now available for sale or rental in the iTunes store. UPDATE: This week’s issue of the New Yorker is led by a story about Gibney’s film, detailing the pressure put on WNET, New York’s public broadcasting station, for broadcasting it.
The new listing of a tower duplex at River House for $25.5 million by Brown Harris Stevens this week might seem to have been inspired by my Unreal Estate column on the building in this month’s Avenue Magazine, but in truth, it’s come on the market because its owner, Betty Evans, just died. Hers happens to be the only River House apartment I ever visited. She was a niece of Julia Loomis Thorne who, with her husband Landon, were two of the most fascinating characters ever to inhabit 740 Park, the subject of my 2005 book. Evans was one of … Continue reading
Where’s Barclay’s banker-in-chief Robert “Bob” Diamond been since leaving Barclays in disgrace amidst a rate-fixing scandal last summer? Licking his wounds (and counting his millions) right in our midst in a modest $37 million penthouse at Fifteen Central Park West. Read that and other tales of high-end apartment insanity in Manhattan–and of the people who spend eight figures on it without blinking–in “Bonfire of the Verities,” my update of Tom Wolfe’s 1985 discussion of “the Good Buildings” in the new issue of the digital only Newsweek via The Daily Beast. 740 Park was one of the good buildings. These are … Continue reading
To each his own. Trophy building, that is. The Real Deal’s Jane Timm and Candace Taylor look at several of the city’s finest residences, then, now and, it predicts, in days to come, in this story on what it calls It Buildings. Two are the subjects of books by this blogger: Then, it was 740 Park. Now, I’m finishing my book on 15 Central Park West. One quoted broker says “she’s shown apartments at [the as yet unfinished] One57 to 15 CPW owners, some of whom are looking to sell before the older building loses its cachet,” the paper reports. … Continue reading
The new issue of the bi-annual fashion magazine Husk has an interview with me by Eugenia Lapteva and a lengthy and irreverent guide to the residents of 740 Park (and some gate-crashers, too). I told Husk that 15 Central Park West is the new black, but apparently they still hanker for old school East Side co-ops. That’s alright. I still like my Turnbull & Asser blazer as much as I do the Rick Owens jacket I wear in the photo by Hadley Hudson that accompanies the piece. To read it in pdf form (be warned, it’s a big download) click … Continue reading
Sandy Weill takes the cake, but he’s hardly along in cashing in on do-ops, condos and townhouses this year. The baker’s dozen biggest deals in residential real estate in New York City are the subject of my Unreal Estate column in the new December issue of Avenue magazine. And yes, 740 Park makes the list along with 15 Central Park West. (It’s a few pages–five clicks–into the “most talked about” feature.)
Saul P. Steinberg, the financier, died yesterday at age 73. Though he declined to be interviewed for 740 Park, he nonetheless emerged as the book’s leading character, appearing in its opening pages and later, at the center of some of its most raucous moments. Felled by a stroke in 1995, he lost his business and sold his massive duplex apartment, one of if not the grandest in the city, to Steven Schwarzman for a then record-setting $29.9 million in 2000, and left the public stage he had occupied since the 1960s. He is survived by his second and third wives … Continue reading
“None of those Park Avenue billionaires will sleep any less soundly after watching this film,” says the Telegraph’s Neil Midgley after viewing Alex Gibney‘s Park Avenue, based on my book 740 Park, which debuted on England’s BBC4 the other night. The reviewer went on to condemn the documentary as “a pretty thin retread of some already well-vented resentments in US politics.” The Independent disagreed, hailing Gibney’s conclusion that, “The US, built on the promise that anyone can drag themselves out of poverty if they work hard enough, actually has lower social mobility than most other comparable democracies.” Gripepad reports. You … Continue reading
Good things are worth waiting for, like this review of Alex Gibney‘s Park Avenue by Kim Velsey of the New York Observer. “The documentary unfurls like a crime story,” she writes, “with a raft of damning evidence revealing the shameful acts committed by the masters of the universe in service of accumulating even vaster fortunes than they already have….[Gibney] makes a compelling case that inequality imperils democracy and that the victims of the inequality include not only those who find themselves in the rapidly expanding underclass, but the American dream itself.”
Alex Gibney‘s Park Avenue cleaned Amazon out of copies of 740 Park, but it’s now back in stock and available for purchase again. Happy Black Friday!
I never watched ABC’s supernatural soap opera 666 Park, and now it’s been cancelled, which makes me think I made the right choice. It was “shameless when it came to the inaccurate portrayal of Manhattan real estate,” Kim Velsey writes in her analysis of its failure in the New York Observer. But the real reason it’s died, she thinks, was “the erratic plot, the wooden acting, the lack of any sympathetic characters and for those who care about these kinds of things, the incoherence of the ‘evil’ plaguing the building.” So I wonder, if someone accurately dramatized the story 740 … Continue reading
For those who missed it last week on PBS, Alex Gibney‘s documentary inspired by 740 Park is available for viewing online. You can watch it here.
Neil Genzlinger reviews Oscar-winner Alex Gibney‘s “Park Avenue” in today’s New York Times. The documentary based on 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building airs tonight at 10 PM on PBS in America. Check local listings for air times elsewhere in the world.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek reviews Alex Gibney’s documentary based on 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building, and critic Greg Evans gives it a rave and 3 1/2 stars. It airs on PBS November 12th at 10PM.
Alex Gibney‘s Park Avenue documentary inspired by my book 740 Park is now streaming for free on Hulu. Please like its Facebook page, too.
“Gross delights in telling inside stories about the gaudy world of master-of-the-universe apartments,” Max Gross (no relation) writes in an article in today’s New York Post on Alex Gibney’s “Park Avenue” documentary, based on 740 Park. The Post also sneaks the name of the worst tipper at 740 Park, which is revealed in Gibney’s film. UPDATE: Business Insider give Gibney’s trailer some linkage love.
The 14th issue of Acne Paper, a lavish, oversized custom publication, is a tribute to New York City and features an interview with me by Freddie Campion about luxury real estate, focused on 740 Park and my upcoming book on Fifteen Central Park West. If you don’t mind loading a PDF file, you can find it here.