Howard Marks Spends Big at 740 Park Avenue

SELLER: Courtney Sale Ross
BUYER: Howard and Nancy Marks
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $52,500,000
SIZE: Huge with lots of bedrooms and bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: No babies, your eyes have not played tricks on your brains and Your Mama’s weary finger-nubbins did not make a mistake in that-there purchase price. According to all the property gossips in New York City—and property records available on Streeteasy—Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital kingpin Howard Marks and his wife Nancy really did fork over an eye-popping and record-breaking $52,500,000 for a legendary duplex at the ludicrously expensive building at 740 Park Avenue in New York City.

The two-floor, two-unit combination crib—sold by Time Warner widow Courtney Sale Ross who some time ago re-located her city digs to a much smaller but hardly inexpensive apartment downtown—had been widely rumored to be available off-market for a number of years with asking prices as sky high as $75,000,000 and last winter the approximately 10,000 square foot duplex was at-long-last hoisted on the open market a still scorching $60,000,000 price tag. The two units were also put out for sale separately at 25 and 35 million clams apiece.

The easiest and best way to comprehend the magnitude of Los Angeles-based Mister and Missus Marks’ new Manhattan pied-a-terre is by the numbers. According to listing information—and Your Mama’s count according to the floor plan included with marketing materials—the colossal co-op encompasses 30 (or so) rooms with more than two dozen closets and dressing rooms, 6 principal bedrooms including a spacious master suite with private sitting room, 2-3 staff bedrooms, 9 full and 3 half bathrooms, 6-7 wood burning fireplaces, 6 separate landscaped terraces (none of them particularly large), 2 grand entrance galleries (each with swooping floating staircase), 2 living rooms (one 35-feet long and almost 20-feet wide and reportedly kitted out as a media room), formal and informal dining rooms, 2 well-equipped chef-friendly kitchens (connected by an all-but-hidden corridor), two libraries, 2 offices, and one game room/gym. 

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Listing information from late 2011 shows common charges and maintenance for the bloated duplex totals $34,326 per month, and amount Your Mama’s bejeweled abacus calculates at a blood-curdling $411,912 each year just to keep the doorman making nice-nice when you come through the building’s lavish and whisper-quiet lobby.

Your Mama discussed the Sale Ross cum Marks apartment late last year, iffin any of y’all give a white what we thought about it back then.

As truly epic as Mister and Missus Marks’ new spread at 740 Park may be, it’s still out-shown, one could argue, by the building’s even larger triplex penthouse owned by Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwarzman who allegedly coughed up $35-40,000,000 for the 34-room titanic triplex in 2000. See kids, there’s always someone with bigger and more, even for free-spending billionaires.

Mister and Missus Marks, as mentioned above, reside primarily in Los Angeles, CA where property records (and other online documentation) reveal they are the very picture of what Your Mama would call hardcore real estate ballers. They play, our unscientific and incomplete research shows, on the same real estate battlefield as recently (and oh-so-bitterly) divorced ballers Frank and Jamie McCourt.

Records show way back in July 1996 Mister and Missus Marks paid commercial real estate tycoon Robert Maguire III a tongue-twisting $7,963,570 for a nearly 2-acre estate area on one of the most desirable and priciest streets in all of Los Angeles. The L.A. County Tax Man and other online sources indicate the the multi-structure estate in Brentwood has an 8,617 square foot multi-winged quasi-Colonial main mansion with 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms surrounded by expansive lawns, fussed-over gardens, a parking lot-sized circular motor court, a swimming pool complex with pool house and at least one other detached structure of unknown purpose.

Property records are a wee bit convoluted but as best as we can tell Mister and Missus Marks acquired all three pieces of their 10-ish acre oceanfront estate in Malibu, CA in early 2000. The bulk of the estate had previously belonged to casino widow Verna Harrah who sold it in 1999 for $27,000,000 to Herbalife founder Mark Hughes who was found dead in the house just a few months after buying the extravagant, bluff-top property. We didn’t turn up a purchase price for the but an snippet in Forbes from the time of the purchase indicates that word on the real estate street at the time was the big deal went down for around $31,000,000.

Since then Mister and Missus Marks have re-built the mansion from the ground up and replaced every square inch of the fully-landscaped estate. Aerial images show a multi-pronged mansion that winds around a pair of motor courts and various terraces that give way to broad lawns, a bluff-top swimming pool and a tennis court complex with viewing pavilion. There are least four additional structures we presume (but do not actually know to be) guest houses and/or staff quarters. The Los Angeles County Tax Man puts the existing main house at 19,340 square feet with 8 bedrooms and an unlucky 13 poopers.

The Marks’ nearest neighbors in Malibu include mustachioed actor Sam Elliot (Up In The Air, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), hedge fund honcho Jon Brooks, and television super-producer Marcia Carsey (The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The ’70s Show) who all live close enough that one of Mister and Missus staff could easily dash over in a golf cart to borrow a cup of sugar or bottle of Perrier Jouet.

In June 2010 First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Children (in)famously spent an afternoon at the Mark’s Malibu estate, a seemingly innocuous summertime seaside event that triggered a lot of sharp-toothed chatter and controversy by folks who found it unseemly the First Lady and her children would take a luxurious and care-free vacay while the American economy remained stuck in a great big pile of stinking shit.

Anyhoo, politics, shmolotics…

In the early 1980s, according to online documents Your Mama peeped, Mister and Missus Marks picked up a privately-situated, 7.7 acre estate in the semi-rustic but very uppity enclave of Montecito, CA (above). Records indicate they paid just under $700,000 for the property that the Santa Barbara County Tax Man shows now includes an 8,306 square foot mansion with additional outbuildings that include (but may not be limited to) a pool house, tennis pavilion and detached guest/staff residence. In 2007, about the time they were buying up their Malibu estate they had their Montecito estate on the market with a $29,000,000 price tag. The property was eventually sold in August 2002 to, we’ve been told by two separate sources, Mister Marks’ bidness partner Bruce Karsh and his wife Martha.

Mister and Missus Marks also—we’re told by someone likely to know such a thing—own a residence in London as well as a 4,639 square foot condo on New York City’s Central Park South that property records indicate they acquired in May 2007 for $18,875,000. Listing information from the time of the purchase indicates the full-floor space was totally raw—meaning unfinished—and wrapped in 29 windows with 10 that face Central Park. That means they’ve likely spent several to many millions more building the space out to their specifications. The Marks’ aerie on Central Park South happens to be just upstairs from the gargantuan duplex gambling tycoon Steve Wynn just bought for $70,000,000.

Your Mama needs a damn nerve pill just to consider the brobdingnagian financial resources required to pay for, staff and maintain two, multi-acre high-maintenance estates in southern California, a fancy flat in London and a large spread in Manhattan which we assume they’ll sell when it comes time to move to 740. Add to that the cost associated with owning Mister and Missus Marks’ new, $52,500,000 real estate bauble at 740 Park Avenue and we are out cold with flabbergast. Iffin we were the betting type, and we’re not, we’d wager both our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that it costs more each month for the Marks to pay their various utility bills than most people earn in an entire year.

740 Park photo (exterior): Property Shark
740 Park listing photos (interior): Brown Harris Stevens
Aerial images (Los Angeles & Montecito): Bing 

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