Vera Wang Swapping Park Avenue Apartments


SELLER: Vera Wang and Arthur Becker
LOCATION: 778 Park Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $35,000,000 (monthly maintenance / $10,717)
SIZE: 6,000 square feet (approx.), 6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms (plus two staff bedrooms and 1 staff bathroom)
DESCRIPTION: (shortened from listing agent’s website) …The entire apartment reflects conservative elegance including the entry hall that was specifically designed to greet a visitor with a full sense of home. The design and scale of each of the rooms define luxury that is hard to equarl. The living room, dining room and library with wood burning fireplaces face Park Avenue. The corner master bedroom, with sitting room, features a bath with double sink, marble tub and shower. Each of the other four bedrooms has bath en suite. Presently configured with two staff bedrooms. The modern chef’s kitchen has granite countertops, Gaggenau stainless steel stove, two Miele dishwashers and a U-line wine cooler…

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last week the NY Post‘s impossibly well connected celebrity real estate columnist Braden Keil told the world about the recent real estate doings of stitch bitch Vera Wang, the famous fashionista who designs freakishly expensive wedding dresses for the rich, the famous, and all those merely well to do young ladies who want to appear rich and famous on their wedding day.

Honestly children, Your Mama thinks it’s obscene that anyone, regardless of the size of their bank account, would spend well upwards of $10,000 on a big white dress that will be worn only one time. One time! People in this country go without food and health care while stinking rich Bridezillas walk down the aisle in dresses that cost almost as much as a Mazda? Please. But that’s another gripe for another day.

Keil wrote that Miz Wang and her family were moving from their large, full floor apartment at super exclusive 778 Park Avenue, and into an even larger duplex at the even more exclusive 740 Park Avenue. However, Miz Wang did not have to jump through the normal financial hoops that are required in order for the average super rich buyer to pass the notoriously fussy board at 740 Park. Instead she sneaked in the back door, so to speak, having inherited her massive 10th and 11th floor duplex from her pharmaceutical tycoon father, who kicked it in September of 2006, may he rest in peace.

More information about 740 Park Avenue and it’s roster of super rich residents can be found at the website author Michael Gross set up to work in tandem with his book, called 740 Park, that recounts the fascinating history of the building and walks readers through the who’s who of the vastly wealthy and enormously powerful occupants.

Now, let’s go back to the sprawling apartment at 778 Park Avenue that Miz Wang and her huzband Arthur Becker, an information technology company CEO, have recently placed on the market at the ear splitting price of $35,000,000. The third floor apartment occupies the entire floor of the building, which means that it might fetch even more money if it were located on a higher floor.

Gaining board approval in a super-luxe building like 778 Park Avenue is not easy. You can’t just roll up to the front door in a Bentley and expect the board at 778 to rubber stamp your application. Oh no children, no one at 778 is going to be impressed by your Maybach, your collection of couture, or your entourage of Proenza Schouler clad assistants. Not only does the listing for Miz Wang’s apartment state that no mortgages will be tolerated, many of the most exclusive buildings in New York require that potential buyers have 3-5 times the purchase price in liquid assets. LIQUID! Honestly, Your Mama is not sure exactly what 778 Park requires, but you can bet that you have to have FAR more than $35,000,000 in liquid assets just to think about viewing the apartment.

What does Your Mama think about this apartment you might ask? We think it’s gorgeous. The layout is well considered and resolved with large, graciously proportioned public rooms and well separated bedrooms. Your Mama is not usually much of an aficionado of the “conservative elegance” school of interior design, but we would be stark raving mad not to recognize or acknowledge that this place has been exquisitely done by Miz Wang’s talented team of gay decorators with an subtle and understated sophistication and splendor.

We are particularly impressed by the dining room with it’s puse colored walls, an interesting and daring choice of color, and one we approve of and applaud. Your Mama shed a few tears of joy that Miz Wang and her decorators did not fill this room with a gargantuan table for 24 and a ridiculously elaborate and unnecessarily glitzy crystal chandelier. So while the room is enormous, a sense and scale of intimacy has been well achieved.

There are however three beefs we have with this apartment. Number one: the low ceilings. While we are quite certain the ceilings are higher than in most homes and apartments, but we would have appreciated another foot up there to give the rooms a slightly more grand feeling.

Number two: the funereal drapes in the main salon. We know this sort of elaborately draped window covering is customary in traditionally designed interiors, but we are not digging them at all. We would prefer to see a simpler sort of swag without an over-done valance.

And number three: Your Mama would not dream of paying upwards of $30,000,000 for an apartment with no outdoor space. For this amount of money we require at least a small terrace on which to store the Hibachi and read the newspaper. And yes, we do actually read the newspaper, thank you very much.

We would also like to note the staff suite. Of course Your Mama would sooner live in a cardboard box than have staff people living up in our house and knowing all our bizness, but we do appreciate the reasonably sized staff suite which includes a sitting room, something few rich people think to provide their live in staff.

At $35,000,000 there are precious few potential buyers for this apartment, but given the meticulous renovation and upkeep, we imagine this one will find a buyer more quickly than most $35,000,000 apartments.

Sources: NY Post, Michael Gross / 740 Park

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