Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Preening Park Avenue Penthouse

SELLER: Your Mama Don't Know
LOCATION: 778 Park Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $24,500,000
SIZE: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Okay puppies, buckle your seat belts because Your Mama going slightly out of our celebrity real estate purview in order to discuss a penthouse apartment in one of New York City's whitest white glove buildings, 778 Park Avenue.

No chickens, were not going to blather on about the late Brooke Astor's 14-room residence on the 15th and 16th floors of the ridiculously dignified Rosario Candela designed apartment tower that was first listed in May of 2008 at $46,000,000 and is still sitting unsold at $24,900,000. Instead, we're gonna rip into another penthouse at 778, this one located on the 18th and 19th floors and recently heaved on to the market with an asking price of $24,500,000. If that eye-popping price don't make y'all want to pull your teeth out from anxiety and flabbergast, maybe the $15,420 monthly maintenance fees will. Lo-ward knows the monthlies have Your Mama reaching for the smelling salts and nerve pills.

Because co-operative apartment buildings in New York City have historically not been required to file property transfer documents–buyers technically purchase shares of stock allocated to a particular apartment and not the actual apartment–and because Your Mama's powers for sussing and sorting out property proprietorship only go so far, we feel we must to confess that we don't have the slightest ideeur who owns this place. But day-um is it ever a New York City damn doozy. We're certain one of the children knows who this 9-room hunk of refined residential fabulosity belongs to and perhaps they'll be so kind and generous as to sneak the name to Your Mama. Come on you Park Avenue kiddies, no one will ever know it was you.

Before any of you children start in on Your Mama about how the day-core looks like the inside of a damn half-and-half carton, recognize that the first thing we'd do is throw some color around the rooms and hang a few choice pieces of artwork, say something like this. Or this. Or maybe one of these beauties. Despite the lack of intense color, and maybe because of, every inch of this place oozes a certain kind of don't wear your shoes in the house sophistication that is certainly not how Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter do up our day-core. Even still, we could quite easily and gleefully slip into that cloud like living room, open to French doors that lead to one of the penthouses five small terraces and spend a few hours with all the latest gossip glossies and our back log of New Yorker magazines we've been meaning to read while the sizzle, crackle, hum and horns of New York City waft through the room like the smell of bacon cooking in the morning.

What Your Mama is really drawn to here, however, is not the elegant and understated–and still somehow not quite finished looking–day-core, but the floor plan, which has Your Mama hyperventilating with desire and real estate envy. It's not often that Your Mama runs across an apartment in a top tier building that induces uncontrollable salivation because, let's be honest babies, Your Mamais not nor will ever be a Park Avenue sort of person no matter how many hideously expensive hot pink boxes of Fauchon chocolate we throw down our gullet.

Anyhoo, we digress...At first glance the floor plan looks like a higgledy-piggledy collection of rooms that barely relate to each other, but upon closer examination we find a complicated yet completely sensible program that is really rather well resolved and successfully separates the public rooms from the private spaces. The public rooms include a commodious but still intimately sized living room situated four or five steps down from the foyer with a fireplace, 12-foot high ceilings, park and city views and terrace access. Speaking of the foyer, this really is one of the better foyers Your Mama has laid eyeballs on in a long time. Call us ka-ray-zee, and we're shore you will, but we rather adore how the utter simplicity and swooping contemporary built-in sofa that wraps around the back wall sets the stage for the (mostly) blissful marriage of this pre-war cougar to a much younger and more modern but still traditionally minded huzband.

The library, located off the foyer and paneled with wood that has a rich red undertone and a bright red over note, acts as the bridge between the public rooms and the bedroom wing. Listing information shows the duplex penthouse includes 4 bedrooms and 4.5 marble poopers. However, from the looks of things it's currently being utilized as a very roomy two or maybe three bedroom aerie with the very privately situated master suite being comprised of two rooms–a sitting room and a boo-dwar–plus two wonderfully windowed poopers and four closets, two of them being walk-ins large enough for all the Lanvin and Louboutins a ladee could want. A guest bedroom with a slim terrace and private pooper completes the bedroom wing and a flex-use space on the second floor above the kitchen can be used as an additional bedroom, staff quarters, gym, yoga studio, s/m dungeon, or etc. Given it's access is through the kitchen, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would definitely utilize the space as a home office where we could spend out days tapping our fat fingers to the nubbins on our trusty laptop trying to provide the children with some good real estate meat to chew on.

The one significant beef we have with the floor plan is the lack of an informal eating area and the dearth of windows and natural light in the kitchen, which our imperious, sun seeking house gurl Svetlana would probably have a hissy fit about. Otherwise it's a perfectly lovely cooker with white cabinets lower cabinets and white, glass fronted upper cabinets, wood floors and counter tops that look like they might be a gorgeous, glossy mahogany or possibly copper. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Twenty four and some million smackers is a hell of a lot of money for this or any other apartment, but considering the most recent sale recorded at 778 Park Avenue was in August of 2008 when a 1 bedroom and 1.5 pooper penthouse doo-plex (plus one staff room and bathroom) on the 19th and 20th floors went for $10,250,000, the current asking price may just be in the ball park. 778 Park Avenue, some of the children may recall, is the same hotsy-totsy building where well born wedding and lifestyle guru Vera Wang sold her 14-room, full floor apartment for $33,600,000 so that she could move into her parent's old place at the even more hoity-toity 740 Park Avenue.