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SELLER: Joseph Plumeri
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $32,000,000
SIZE: 8,360 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms (plus an additional staff room and bath)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen chickens, Your Mama was unexpectedly waylaid and re-routed this morning so we are all kinds of discombobulated, bent out of shape and plum worn out. Rather that prattle on about the slew of recent celebrity real estate transactions we haven’t yet gotten around to discussing—or linking to—we thought rather than leave y’all high and dry it might be fun to veer off a bit for little afternoon delight in the form of some good ol’ fashioned and very high brow New York City floor plan porn, shall we?

Even before we arrived home Your Mama very fortunately received a communique from our ever vigilant aide-de-camp Hot Chocolate who captured Your Mama’s limited attention with a colossal, full-floor condop* spread at 995 Fifth Avenue in New York City that just popped up on the open market with a bell-ringing $32,000,000 asking price.

The children may recall that free-spirited and sartorially fearless beer heiress Daphne Guinness recently sold her outrageously dressed and art filled condop apartment at 995 Fifth Avenue, formerly the Stanhope Hotel. Miz Guinness sold her 4,100-ish square foot half floor unit in late November (2012) for $11,300,000—$435,000 less than she paid for the place in spring 2008—to some otherwise little known outside of Wall Street but obviously very rich portfolio manager named Matthew McLennen and his pixyish blond wife Monika. The children may also recall that Miz Guinness was involved in a very public legal dustup with her downstairs neighbors who successfully sued after their apartment was repeatedly water damaged after Miz Guinness somehow managed to overflow the bathtub in her master bathroom on four separate occasions. The court ordered the skunk-haired Miz Guiness to pay for the repairs of the damages but tossed out the neighbors request for financial compensation due to “mental anguish and emotional distress.”

Anyhoodles poodles, a few short minutes research on the internets turns up clear and easy evidence that the behemoth, 8,000-plus square foot sprawler was purchased in March 2010 by insurance services fat cat Joseph Plumeri who coughed up just over $21,000,000 for the 15th floor residence that developers first listed in May 2007 with a significantly higher $33,000,000 price tag.

Maybe Mister Plumeri isn’t a household name for all the celeb obsessed tabloid readers but in the banking and insurance industries he’s a bone fide playa, babies. The Willis Holdings Group, the company at which Mister Plumeri is the CEO, is such a big deal that they were able to buy the rights to the old Sears’ Tower in Chicago. That’s why the 1,451 foot tall skyscraper is now, officially, called Willis Tower. ‘Tis true.

As it turns out, Miz Guinness’s neighbors weren’t the only residents of 995 to file a lawsuit. Mister Plumeri actually filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the developer, Extell, after post-purchase renovations uncovered a hornet’s nest of (alleged) issues and defects that “create a nuisance and/or danger to the 15th-floor apartment residents and other’s life, health and safety.” The issues were hardly trivial and were cited in the New York Post as “‘numerous latent defects, including defective waterproofing, defective installation of floors and soundproofing…defecting fireproofing, [and] defective structural work.'”

The Stanhope building is austere and elegant and worth knowing something about if you care about such things but, in the interest of time, rather that fashion a new one, we’re taking the easy way out toda. Here’s how Your Mama described the Stanhope back in February 2012 when we discussed Daphne Guinness’s apartment that was then listed at $14 million:

The Stanhope, a stately if somber limestone and brick edifice designed by preeminent New York architect Rosario Candela in 1926 stands directly across from the southern flank of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The building was converted to 26 (or so) luxury residences in the early- to mid-Aughts and offers its well-heeled residents white glove services (doormen, porters, valet parkers, etc.), a private library/conference room, access to the on-site (and very posh) La Palestra spa and fitness center, 24-7 concierge services accessible through a touch panel/video intercom, and wine storage space (plus sommelier recommendations and free delivery) at Acker, Merrill and Condit, a swank wine shop on the Upper West Side.

Listing information puts Mister Plumeri’s palatial pad at 8,360 square feet and shows there are eight bedrooms and ten full and one half bathroom. We don’t dispute the 8,360 figure but a brief scour of the floor plan included with current listing details and we came up 2-3 guest/family bedrooms lined up on the northern facade, a separate guest suite off the entrance gallery, a discrete—and discreet—staff bedroom with private bathroom tucked up behind the fire stairs and a multi-room master suite situated in the southeast corner. At best, that’s a total of six bedrooms. We’re not sure where the eight comes from. We also tabulated the number of bathrooms shown on the floor plan and we came up with not 10.5 bathrooms but seven full and two half bathrooms. Perhaps there are a couple of crappers we’ve over-looked?

We realize that 8,300 and some square feet might not sound large compared to a 35,000 square foot mega-mansion in Beverly Park or Alpine, NJ but by New York City standards, it’s a whale-sized apartment for sure. Mister Plumeri’s pad is so massive, in fact that it has three street frontages: Fifth Avenue, East 81st Street and Madison Avenue.

A quick comparison of the floor plan included with marketing materials from the time Mister Plumeri purchased the condop and the floor plan included with current listing details shows that Mister Plumeri made some minor but important alterations to the extravagantly proportioned apartment that still includes a 36-foot long entrance gallery with direct elevator access, a nearly 41-foot long living room with three gigantic windows that peer over the Met and beyond to Central Park.

About ten feet of the formal dining room was sliced off to make room for a walk-in temperature controlled wine cave; The corridor access to the old library was closed up and the library became the study that’s now only accessible by traversing the new library—the old media room—and passing through a short hallway flanked by a half bathroom and convenient wet bar; In the 600+ square foot open-plan kitchen/family room Mister Plumeri had an ovale breakfast banquette built into an over sized window; An oddly located staff room just behind the family was incorporated into one of the guest bedrooms and a new staff room (with private bathroom) was carved into a space where a small guest bedroom (and bathroom) used to be.

The most significant changes were made at the rear, eastern flank of the apartment where the tail end of a 50-plus foot long corridor that links the public and family areas to most of the bedroom suites was softened with a circular vestibule. Two guest bedrooms, each with walk-in closet and private bathroom, line up along the northern side that overlooks East 81st Street and 998 Fifth Avenue, an even swankier co-operative with residents—or at least owners—who include Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, booze heir Matthew Bronfman, hedge fund honcho Mark Rachesky, media mogul Herbert J. Siegel, real estate scion Jordan Panzer and big tim businessman Paul Fribourgg. Because of the way doors can be closed around the circular vestibule, a third guest bedroom, also with walk-in closet and private facility, can easily be incorporated into the already vast master suite next door.

The master bedroom encompasses a wing of its own and includes a long entrance hall, sitting room with fireplace, bedroom, a pair of fancy bathrooms and two custom fitted bedroom-sized dressing rooms, one of which was created by absorbing an adjacent guest bedroom and bathroom. When compared to the old floor plan, it’s clear both of the bathrooms in the massive master suite were reconfigured and expanded. One now has a spa tub, separate shower and a bidet while the other has a steam shower and a bar. Now, children, pleeze. How goddamn divine would it be to have a bar in the bathroom? It’s perfect for an easy-peasy, pre-chompers scrubbing early morning pick me up and ever better for a late night nipper during a pre-bedtime steam.

A quick peek and poke around property records indicates Mister Plumeri has been in the mood to shake up his property portfolio the last few years. In August 2011 he sold a small one bedroom and 1.5 bathroom co-operative at The Pierre building on Fifth Avenue for $1,950,000 and at the tail end of 2012 he dropped $3,640,000 on a condo crib in an Old School ocean front building in Palm Beach, FL. At one point he owned a number of residences in New Jersey but it looks like most if not all of them—including an large house on two bay front lots and a smaller land locked one across and down the road in the seaside community of Mantoloking—were deeded over to his ex-wife in 2010.

*If you care about the differences between and condo, a co-op and a condop, have a look see at a 2005 article in the New York Times that parsed the distinction(s) so Your Mama don’t have to.

listing photos and (current) floor plan: Douglas Elliman Real Estate
(former) floor plan: Corcoran via Street Easy