SELLER: David and Danielle Ganek
LOCATION: New York, NY
SIZE: 8,000 square feet,
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The always well-informed property gossips at the New York Observer snitched last week that former hedge fund manager David Ganek and his novelist wife Danielle planned to list their art-filled duplex at New York City’s fabled and highfalutin’ 740 Park Avenue and, sure enough, the mansion-sized apartment popped up on the open market this week with a sky-high but probably not unreasonable asking price of $44 million.
Mister Ganek, whose Globel Level fund was shuttered in the wake of an embarrassing 2010 Federal investigation for insider trading that sent his partner to prison, purchased the Park Avenue spread in March 2005 for $19,100,000 from Russian-speaking American businessman Rand Araskog and his wife Jessie. The pedigreed pad, as it turns out, was the childhood home of Jackie Kennedy Onassis whose grandfather, James T. Lee, built 740 Park Avenue in 1929
The Ganeks’ decision to sell seems to have less to do with the rash of rare and rather shocking burglaries in the famously secure building last year — the Ganeks lost a pair diamond earrings, two Patek Philippe Patke watches and other jewelry worth about $100,000 — and, so a source told the Observer, more to do with their yen to live downtown where they’ve reportedly purchased a 6,000 square foot, three-bedroom penthouse pad at the Puck Building in SoHo that was up for grabs for about $28 million.
The art-filled interiors of the Ganeks’ spread at 740 were recently and thoroughly refreshed and updated by the lauded, applauded and well-compensated decorating dervishes at Fox-Nahem. Listing details show the 12-room apartment — using the floor plan Your Mama loosly calculated it’s about 6,700 square feet — includes four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms plus a staff wing behind the kitchen with two cell-sized bedrooms and another bathroom. Monthly maintenance charges run up to more than $13,000, as per digital marketing materials.
Grandly proportioned living and entertainment spaces on the lower floor include a marble-floored foyer with swooping, wrought iron railed staircase and a nearly 40-foot long formal living room with fireplace, four over-sized windows and a custom-crafted all-bronze bar. The paneled library next door provides a more intimate if no less expensively dressed space with built-in bookcases on either side of a fireplace and the 550-plus square foot formal dining room is cozied up by a third fireplace and decoratively done up to do double-duty as a comfy sitting room.
Behind the dining room, the roomy but hardly humongous and unfortunately north facing, St-Charles-designed eat-in in kitchen has a hexagonal mosaic tile floor, a classy meets utilitarian combination of stainless steel and marble counter tops, and a windowed walk-in pantry nearly as big as the two itty-bitty staff room rooms.
Like many modern-day hedge fund managers who haul in astronomical amounts of money, Mister Ganek has a voracious appetite for name brand contemporary art. Just a cursory perusal of listing photos shows the main floor rooms brim with works by Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Cindy Sherman. Although it no longer includes Christopher Wool’s iconic “Apocolypse Now” painting since they let it go at auction late last year for $26.5 million, their extensive, museum-grade collection also includes works by top-selling artists like Jeff Koons, John Currin, Mike Kelley and Diane Arbus, according to the Observer. Anyhoodles…
The upper level master suite spans the full, 60-foot width of the apartment along Park Avenue and centers on a surprisingly medium-sized bedroom anchored by another fireplace and fully carpeted in a semi-shag that we’d bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, is woven with baby soft silk. The bedroom, with two large east-facing windows, is flanked by a pair of fitted dressing rooms and adjoining offices as well as dual bathrooms, one a shimmering study in silver and stainless steel and the other a stainless steel accented creamy-beige space with walls sheathed floor entirely in marble with a slightly disturbing if terrifically chic snakeskin-like striation.
The main guest/family bedroom opens off the upper stair landing and includes a private, albeit windowless bathroom. The west end of the upper floor, ideally suited for children and/or live-in domestics, is easily closed off from the rest of the apartment and has two additional bedrooms with private windowed bathrooms plus a small (windowless) media lounge and a large laundry room.
The uncommonly spacious apartment is undeniably fitted and kitted with only the finest finishes and materials. But, children, will all that decorative decadence bring in multiple buyers who will drive the sale price over asking as happened with the last apartment at 740 Park Avenue to go on the market? Remember that? In early April (2014), a 12th and 13th floor 18-room duplex owned by the French government — it was used as the residence of the UN ambassador — popped up on the open market to much hullabaloo with a $48 million price tag. So the story goes (at least) three billionaires dug in their heels and put up their financial dukes and drove the sale price all the way to $70 million. The big winner was American multi-billionaire Israel “Izzy” Englander who already owns the sprawling simplex apartment directly upstairs. (The Englander apartment, in case you’re curious, was also burglarized last year but all they lost was $7,500 Vacheron Constantin gold watch.) But we digress…
Naturally, like a high percentage of New York’s 1%, the sick-rich Ganeks maintain a humongous weekend house in the Hamptons — or the Hamptoons depending on your point of view. Property records show that in April 2002 Mister and Missus Ganek shelled out $12.65 million for a gated, ocean front estate on Southampton’s prestigious Meadow Lane and the Suffolk County Tax Man shows the 2.3 acre beach front getaway includes a nearly 9,000 square foot mansion with 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, a swimming pool and a partially sunken tennis court. Just for shits and giggles: Other unimaginably rich real estate moguls, captains of industry and financial services gajillionaires who own Meadow Lane estates include David Koch, Daniel Och, Leon Black, Rachel Ray, Calvin Klein, Ian Schrager, and Aby Rosen.
Listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby’s International Realty