U2 Bassist Sells Big Apple Spread to Bruce Willis

BUYER: Bruce Willis
SELLER: Adam Clayton
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $8,695,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama must be feeling in a New York state of mind because lately we’ve been drawn to any sort of Big Apple celebrity real estate news like a duck to water so when we read this morning in the New York Post’s always fun and informative Gimme Shelter column that middle aged action flick actor Bruce Willis and his second and—natch—much younger wife, model Emma Heming, were in contract to buy a swank spread listed at $8,695,000 at the storied and gloried Eldorado building on Central Park West in New York City we just couldn’t resist.

What the well informed lady property gossip at the New York Post surely knew but didn’t reveal—but the kids at Curbed did last fall—is that the seller of the completely renovated, art-filled and decoratively serene and sophisticated fourth floor apartment is none other than U2 bassist Adam Clayton who quietly pushed the apartment on the market last October with an $8,695,000 price tag.

Listing details don’t reveal the actual square footage of the nine into 7.5 room residence but a few quick tabulations on Your Mama’s hard-working abacus puts it at around 3,000 square feet, give or take. In its current configuration there are 19 windows—seven with direct Central Park views, four exposures, nine or ten closets depending on how one counts, four full bathrooms and three proper bedrooms and a shy handful of elegantly proportioned living and entertaining spaces.

Although the building’s architect—the great Hungarian-born Emory Roth*—originally designed the corner unit as one apartment—see original floor play layout above, right—previous reports reveal that the apartment was once split into two separate rental units. Mister Clayton picked up the first piece of his two piece apartment puzzle in 1993 for $620,000 and the second the following year for $430,000. Mister Clayton proceeded to (re-)combine the apartments back into one but altered the original floor plan in some important ways that made it more conducive to celebrity-style modern living.

Although Mister Willis is a well-preserved 57 years old and has three grown daughters he made with hardly working anymore actress Demi Moore, he and new Missus Willis also have a toddler age daughter who will no doubt have a damn ball riding an expensive tricycle up and down the highly polished and deliciously over-scaled herringbone pattern wood floors in the 38-plus foot long entrance gallery.

Wood, steel and glass doors slide back into the walls and connect the gallery to both the formal living and dining rooms. With more of the soon-worthy herringbone patterned wood floors under foot, the 500-plus square foot living room has a decorative fireplace, custom-designed open shelving for media equipment and three nearly floor-to-ceiling multi-paned casement windows filled with the leafy tree tops that line the perimeter of Central Park. At almost 28 feet long and with two multi-paned park-facing casement windows of its own, the adjacent formal dining room—accessible from the living room through another wood, glass and steel door that disappears into the wall when slid open—can easily and comfortably accommodate twelve or more for a sit down dinner.

What was originally a narrow, galley style kitchen, two prison cell sized staff rooms and a compact bathroom was opened up into a spacious  eat-in kitchen with north and west exposures, terrazzo flooring and a semi-separate butler’s pantry/laundry room with service entrance. While we’re not so into the stainless steel inset into the cabinet doors, it is otherwise beautifully done with custom terrazzo flooring, subway tiled walls, slate counter tops and top-grade commercial-style stainless steel appliances. The once puny staff bathroom was reconfigured and slightly expanded and now serves as a convenient powder room/guest bath.

Two roomy guest/family bedrooms—one is a generous 23 feet long—occupy the south facing west wing of the U-shaped apartment. Each has two over-sized windows, a walk-in closet and a restored vintage bathroom.

The corner master bedroom—which Mister Clayton appears to have used as some sort of sitting room—connected to the living room through another of those sliding steel, glass and wood doors—has a decent sized but hardly huge private bathroom slathered in marble and outfitted with with a soaking tub and separate stall shower. Beyond the bathroom, in the space that was once a fourth bedroom, there’s a sizable windowed dressing room finished with custom shelving and closets.

With monthly maintenance charges that tally up to $6,426, according to listing details, residents can and should expect white glove services and amenities such as 24-7 hour doormen, concierge services, a state-of-the-art fitness room, a play room for the kiddies, a mini-basketball court and a bike storage room.

The Eldorado has long attracted (and allowed) Showbiz types including U2’s front man Bono, Faye Dunaway and Alec Baldwin who listed his pair of apartments in late 2011 and quickly sold the larger one for its $9.5 million asking price. Diminutive, meat-free musician Moby—now based in L.A. in the wacky and storied ridge top compound known as Wolf’s Lair and the writer of one of L.A. more quirky and charming blogs about architecture—briefly owned one of the four-floor tower penthouses that he bought in 2005 for $4.5 million, renovated, flipped back on the market in the summer of 2007 for $7,500,000 and finally sold in August 2008 for $6,700,000 to financier TM Dempsey.

Mister Willis has a fairly substantial property portfolio that includes a handful of residential and commercial properties in Hailey, ID; a Beverly Hills mansion bought in June 2004 for $9,000,000 and just a hop, skip and a jump from the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel; and a 2,900 square foot ranch-style residence on L.A.’s famed Mulholland Drive that’s all but next door to the mansion Annette Bening and Warren Beatty recently completed re-building after it was destroyed in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

*Mister Roth designed a long list of definitive New York City buildings, many of them with his signature twin-towers. Roth’s often Art Deco or Beaux Arts style confections include 930 Fifth Avenue, the venerable Beresford at 211 Central Park West, the celeb-friendly San Remo at the corner of Central Park West and West 75th Street, the super-fab, Mayan temple like Ardsley; and The Normandy on Riverside Drive at West 86th Street where Mister Roth lived in his retirement.

exterior photo: Christopher Bride for Property Shark

listing photos and floor plan(s): Halstead Property

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