SELLER: Howard and Nancy Marks
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 4,536 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Los Angeles-based fat cat financier Howard Marks and his wife Nancy shelled out $52,500,000 in May (2012) for Time Warner widow and philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross’s 30-plus room duplex at 740 Park Avenue in New York City.
Since then all us property gossips have been on real estate pins and needles in anticipation of the notorious and prolific trophy property collectors putting their Central Park view pied-a-terre atop the ritzy Ritz-Carlton hotel at 50 Central Park South on the (open) market. Well, they did, over the weekend, with an electrifying asking price of $50,000,000. That’s right, kitty cats, they want fifty million clams for their two bedroom condo crib. Sure, it’s as big as a suburban mcmansion but, still and all, that’s a lot of damn dinero for a part time residence with just 2 bedrooms.
At the time Mister and Missus Marks acquired the 33rd floor condominium in May 2007 for $18,875,000, the 4,536 square foot space was raw space ripe for a redo. Current listing information reveals they engaged the much-in-demand services of fancy-pants architect Oscar Shamamian and traditional-minded Oval Office decorator Michael Smith to transform the full-floor, U-shaped space into a sumptuous, adult aerie with 92 feet of direct and dramatic park frontage, 29 windows on all four exposures 4 full bathrooms and, as mentioned above, just 2 bedrooms.
Clearly, as evidenced in the delectable photographs included with current listing information, Misters Shamamian and Smith weren’t restrained by anything as pedestrian or middle class as a budget when it came to the big ticket finishes and fine furnishings of the Marks’ part-time apartment in The Big Apple. The roomy, 25-plus foot wide formal living room has a fireplace and six massive windows with double exposure, south for sweeping views of the city and north for an even more sweeping park view. There is labor intensive Venetian stucco on the walls, high-gloss white lacquer on the ceiling, and Parquet de Versailles-patterned flooring underfoot decadently described in the listing as “German silver, hand hammered over wood.”
Double doors that extend almost all the way to the 10-foot ceiling flank the fireplace in the living room. One set opens to the foyer (and passenger elevator) and the other to the formal dining room (above, top) wrapped in 18th-century style boiserie painted the chalkiest of whites. Pewter-colored curtains frame over-sized windows with park views and a pair of identical, marble topped commodes stand on either side of the notably chatoyant dining room table. Your Mama pegs the commodes as (possibly) 18th century French Neoclassical Directoire and we’d bet both our beloved long-bodied bitches they are exquisitely pedigreed, fastidiously papered and more expensive than our BMW.
Less fah-fah-frou-frou snacks, meals and (boozy) beverages be taken in the adjacent, window-lined corner breakfast room (above, lower left) that connects through to the sleek, galley-style kitchen (above, lower right) outfitted with a full complement of integrated Euro-style stainless steel appliances and flooring that appears to Your Mama like it might be Calacatta marble or onyx or some other sort of high-grade decorative stone so preposterously pricey we’ve never even heard of it before.
Mister Smith, a man who frequently injects his projects the a healthy dose of Chinoiserie the super rich seem to like so much, worked over the Marks’ park-facing library (above) with exquisite examples 18th-century Chinese lacquer panels. He also outfitted the not-exactly casual space—inspired, as per listing information, by no less than Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment—with a luminous, up-lit gold leafed ceiling; a truck load of velvet- and satin jacquard-upholstered furniture punched up with jewel-toned accents; and what may (or may not) be light mink-colored leather tile floors.
The spacious and deluxely-done guest suite (above), tucked for maximum privacy at the rear of the apartment’s southwestern quadrant behind the kitchen, has three exposures with panoramic city views and an attached bathroom with oblique park views and some sort of (somewhat dizzying) vertically installed, striated stone on the walls.
The massive master suite (above) occupies its own wing and encompasses an entry vestibule—there is, we think also an door from the library into the bedroom—a park-side corner bedroom large enough for a comfy-cozy sitting area, a private (and paneled) library/office and two bathrooms. The “his” pooper (below, left) is slathered in a white-veined stone the color of money—that would be green—and the “hers” facility (below right) has a niche for the soaking tub lined with (what may or may not be) glimmering, gold-leafed glass tile. We presume but can not divine from the listing the monumental suite—bigger than Your Mama’s entire house probably—also includes extensive, custom-fitted closets and dressing areas.
The Marks apartment is one of only a dozen private apartments atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Central Park South where the $7,864 in monthly common charges (plus $6,015 in monthly taxes) pays for a private lobby (separate from the hotel), full time doormen, heavy-duty-have-no-fear security, and preferred access to the hotel’s on-site business center, fitness facility, (La Prairie) spa, and party room plus a spectrum of 5-star hotel services that our research indicates includes (but is not limited to) maid, restaurant and private car services.
In addition to their new digs at 740 Park and their old sprawler at 50 Central Park South, Mister and Missus Marks’ east coast property holdings include (but may not be limited to) a pair of adjacent parcels in East Hampton, NY that total (approx.) 3.3 acres purchased in October 2010 for $30,184,000 from ad man turned boob-toob personality Donny Deutsch. Both parcels—one on the ocean the other right behind it—were vacant at the time of their purchase but our research indicates Mister and Missus Marks are well on their way towards completion of what will surely be a new mansion of staggering proportions and jaw-dropping opulence.
Some of Mister and Missus Marks’ nearest neighbors in East Hampton include all-but-retired comedian Jerry Seinfeld, German minimalist fashion designer Helmut Lang, Wall Street muckety-muck Roy Zuckerberg, and shipping magnate Angela Chao, the widow of private equity billionaire Bruce Wasserstein.
On the west coast, L.A.-based Mister and Missus Marks have long-owned own 1.9 acre compound on a particularly posh street in Brentwood area of Los Angeles (above) bought in July 1996 for $7,963,570 from real estate tycoon Robert F. Maguire III. Like many super rich Angelenos the Marks also maintain an almost 10-acre ocean front spread in Malibu, most of which was formerly owned by Verna Harrah who sold it for $27 million in 1999 to Herbalife founder Mark Hughes who died in the house only a few months after buying it.
In June 2010 First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Children (in)famously spent an afternoon at the Marks’ Malibu estate, a seemingly innocuous summertime seaside event that triggered a lot of sharp-toothed chatter and controversy by some who found it unseemly the First Lady and her children would take a brief but very luxurious and care-free vacay while the American economy remained stuck in a great big pile of stinking shit.
Multiple sources have also snitched to Your Mama that Mister and Missus Marks also have a luxury outpost in London but we haven’t any details about said residence.
Those who think fifty million sounds a bit steep for the Marks’ plush 2-bedroom spread at the Ritz-Carlton might want to consider it was only a couple months ago that nearly sightless casino kingpin Steve Wynn and his new and much younger British bride Andrea Hissom dumped a blood-curdling $70,000,000 for an almost 11,000 square foot duplex just a few floors below the Marks’ at the Ritz-Carlton.
P.S. Believe it or not we got all the way through our discussion today before we realized those hard-working kids at Curbed yakked about this listing over the weekend.
listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty
aerial imagea (Los Angeles): Bing