YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: In the October 2015 Architectural Digest cover story that fawned over their freshly rehabbed duplex penthouse atop a prestigious pre-war co-operative apartment house on New York City’s lower Fifth Avenue, Jeremiah Brent, the chisel-chinned decorator/neophyte TV host husband of decorator/veteran TV host Nate Berkus, blathered on about how the couple believed they “were meant to live there” and that being able to buy and combine the two apartments allowed them to “create the home of our dreams.” Alas, it seems the couple wasn’t actually “meant to live there” and the penthouse isn’t really the home of their dreams or maybe they simply see a quick way to make a few million bucks because, as we first learned from our gal on the ground in the Big Apple, Polly Wannacracker, the mediagenic couple’s photogenic Greenwich Village penthouse has come up for sale with arguably ambitious $10.5 million price tag.
Property records show Mister Berkus purchased a terraced two-bedroom duplex penthouse and an adjacent one-bedroom apartment in July 2013 in two separate but contiguous transactions that totaled $5.975 million. The newlyweds, married in a much-publicized May 2014 ceremony at the New York Public Library and already the parents to a baby daughter, spent an untold but no doubt considerable amount to combine the two apartments into one cohesive, approximately 2,800-square-foot penthouse described in current marketing materials as a “townhouse-in-the-sky” with three bedrooms, two full and two half bathrooms, three fireplaces, and fairly forbidding $7,073 monthly maintenance charges.
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Almost entirely ringed by a nice-to-have but somewhat impractically narrow terrace, the public entertainment spaces on the upper floor include a foyer with inlaid French limestone tile flooring, corner living room with black carved marble fireplace, and dining room where two transom-topped 15-pane glass doors provide terrace access. Pocket doors in the wainscoted and coffer-ceiled dining room slide open to reveal the cook-friendly kitchen that’s decadently spacious by downtown Manhattan standards, naturally sun lit by a massive greenhouse-style sky-light, and expensively decked out with butcher block counter tops on glossy black cabinetry, classic white subway tile back splashes, and a center work island topped with a thin slab of exotic marble and wrapped in sheets of snazzy, decoratively on-trend unlacquered brass. Family quarters on the lower level include a small study/playroom nook, an even smaller and windowless but handy-dandy home office/nursery, and a roomy den with fireplace and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lit by a row of brass library lights. Two guest/family bedrooms, the smaller of them an unfortunately tiny and less-than-ideally L-shaped, share a hall bathroom while the neutral-toned master bedroom, which Berkus described in A.D. as “the epitome of serenity,” offers a fireplace and a commodious, two-chamber his-and-his closet/dressing room. The brass-fixtured and generously windowed master bathroom accommodates a cast iron bathtub, separate stall shower, a private cubby for the crapper, and a pair of pedestal sinks backed by graphically grained slab of marble.
Berkus and Brent told A.D. they want to raise their child in New York City, and maybe they do. But it would also appear they plan to spend a fair amount of time in Los Angeles where, just a couple of months ago, they shelled out $2.36 million for a 1920s Spanish Revival-esque micro-compound cleaved to a steep hillside up behind the Chateau Marmont Hotel that will most certainly undergo a decorative transformation that this property gossip would bet the farm will be featured in one of the higher-end shelter publications before it’s sold off at a substantial profit.
Listing photos and floor plan: Core