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Friday Floor Plan Porn: 720 Park Ave

SELLER: We Don’t Know, Do You?
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $25,000,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms (plus 1 staff room and bath)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We woke up this morning and thought it might be nice to tie up the work week with a little high-priced floor plan porn of the New York City variety. Fortunately for Your Mama and the children we awoke bushy tailed but bleary eyed to a short missive from our favorite real estate rabbi—that would be, of course, Rabbi Hedda LaCasa—who thoughtfully pointed Your Mama to a spectacular penthouse at 720 Park Avenue that popped up on the market today with a $25,000,000 price tag.

In an era of $100+ million dollar listings in London and Los Angeles and the recent spate of $50+ million sales in Manhattan, $25,000,000 for a multi-terraced simplex penthouse in one of Park Avenue’s most coveted buildings sounds almost like a bargain, don’t it?

The resplendently posh pre-war grande dame at 720 Park Avenue was designed by legendary apartment house architect Rosario Candela. The 17-story Neo-Georgian red brick and limestone edifice was completed in the late 1920s and today remains one of the most prestigious addresses on Park Avenue.

Your Mama can’t vouch for its veracity but, so the stories go, 720 Park Avenue was built so that wealthy Jewish folks who were largely forbidden from acquiring apartments in many of the swankier of the swank apartment houses that line Park Avenue. Of course, those sorts of restrictions aren’t legally allowable anymore…

Anyhoo, 720 Park Avenue offers residents de rigueur white glove services such as 24-hour doormen and concierge and laundry facilities (that most residents will only ever see through the eyes of their washerwoman Helga) as well as a few unique extras that include basement level storage space and a residents only fitness room and squash court. That’s right, a residents only squash court. Naturally these things don’t come cheap and listing information shows the monthly maintenance and common charges for the simplex penthouse in question come to $14,391. That’s $172,692 per year, in case you were about to make the mental calculation.

Listing details for the simplex penthouse in question show there are a total of ten rooms with more than 90 feet of west-facing Park Avenue frontage. The square footage isn’t listed but a quick perusal of the floor plan including with marketing materials shows there are three bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms (plus a staff room and bathroom), three terraces (plus two more planting terraces), four exposures and and two wood burning fireplaces

A private elevator vestibule opens into a foyer that is unexpectedly but satisfyingly humble in size for a penthouse of this proportion and expense. The cocoon-y foyer bursts open into a baronial wood floored corner living room with wood burning fireplace, direct access to two terraces and more square footage that two large living rooms combined.

The dining room can be gotten directly to from the living room through a set of double doors or—the more fun route for booze hounds like Your Mama—by passing through the bar, a tiny room devoted to the storage and serving of mood altering beverages.

Less formal, family quarters are the fully paneled and wall-to-wall carpeted library with built-in book shelves and a second wood burning fireplace. (Is that ever so humble pine paneling?)

The kitchen and service areas make a compact unit on the west side of the penthouse and include a spacious, T-shaped butler’s pantry, a roomy center island kitchen with built-in breakfast banquette, an office nook with two work stations and a utility hall with washer, dryer and service elevator access. Listing description says the staff room off the butler’s pantry is—and we quote—”large.” We don’t know in whose world a 9-foot by 8.5-foot room with a two-foot wide closet and a three-quarter pooper so tiny that Kim Kardashian couldn’t even get her ass in there is large but, seriously, the people in that world need a reality check.

Each of the two guest/family bedrooms have decent closet space and a private, windowed bathrooms. The master bedroom, tucked up into the northeastern quadrant, has a tiny entry vestibule, two fitted walk-in closets and two windowed bathrooms. Now, see, children, this is why Rosario Candela-designed apartments are so in demand. Here was a man that really knew how to place a pooper to allow it some natural ventilation. We know all about those whisper quiet air filtration systems that can be installed in a windowless bathroom to deal with the steamy damp and putrid odors of a bathroom but we simply prefer a window. Better yet, a window and one of those state-of-the-art ventilation systems.

The largest of the three walk-out terraces runs for 31 feet on the east side of the penthouse—the Park Avenue side of the penthouse—has perfectly charming retractable striped awnings and is accessible from either the library or one of the guest/family bedrooms.

Listing information goes on to show that the penthouse is equipped with Crestron home automation and Sonos wireless audio systems, 5-zone heating and cooling, a separate storage room in the basement and a wine cellar.

There are two other apartments currently on the open market at 720. They include a Mark Hampton-decorated second floor two bedroom and three bathroom with large laundry room, one puny staff room and a private 320-square foot terrace. It’s listed at $4 million. Also up for sale is a 14-room sprawler with three fireplaces, four exposures, more than 20 closets, five bedrooms (plus two tiny staff rooms), 5.5 bathrooms (plus two more for the staff) and monthly maintenance and common charges of $17,504. It was originally listed for $30,000,000 in June 2011 but the price has been cut to $25,000,000.

Apartments don’t change hands so much at 720 and, in fact, the most recent recorded sale was in May 2010 when Phillip and Susan Sassower sold their 15-room digs to philanthropist Jaime Tisch for $21,995,000. The next most recent transaction was in late 2008 when Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel sold a 7th floor spread wit 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms for $36,630,000 that they’d only purchased two years earlier for $20 million. The Spielvogels didn’t, however, move very far. They only moved, as per property records, to a smaller, lower floor unit with two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms (plus another bathroom between the two staff rooms) for which they paid $8,980,000.

listing photos and floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens

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