SELLER: Rupert Murdoch
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $28.9 million
SIZE: 6,500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 full and 3 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Just a month after he married for the fourth time — this time, after a whirlwind five-month courtship, to Mick Jagger’s Texas-born former model ex-wife Jerry Hall, to whom he gave an asteroid-sized marquise-cut diamond engagement ring — Rupert Murdoch relisted his townhouse in New York City’s West Village with an asking price of $28.9 million. The octogenarian Australian media tycoon, who presides over a self-made fortune of more than $12 billion, according to Forbes, acquired the 25-foot wide townhouse in March 2015 for $25 million. Just five months later he caught a classic case of the Real Estate Fickle and, with few alterations as far as we can tell, flipped the unassailably soignée yet still remarkably livable urban manse back up for sale with a 15%-plus mark-up at $28.9 million. The townhouse was briefly taken off the market just before he and Miz Hall married in London in early March of this year.
Located on a picturesque, tree-lined street just a few steps from the tasty if tourist-thronged Magnolia Bakery, the circa 1850s, Greek Revival-style townhouse presents an austere, red brick exterior that camouflages elegantly polished and sumptuously finished interiors with herringbone-pattern wood floors, black lacquered woodwork, and a trio marble-manteled fireplaces. A sensuously curved staircase plus a four-person elevator services all six floors including the basement and roof terrace, and there are — natch — extensive security measures and a comprehensive home automation system. All together there are four bedrooms and four full and three half bathrooms, including a generous bedroom with marble en suite tucked behind the kitchen on the garden floor that’s well suited for live-in domestic staff. Two ample family bedrooms share the fourth floor, and each have en suite marble bathrooms, while the master suite privately occupies the entire third floor and commodiously encompasses a full-width bedroom with fireplace and room-wide bank of windows and glass doors that open a slender terrace that peers over the private Bleecker Street Gardens. The dressing room, which less than ideally does double duty as the suite’s entry vestibule, is lined with mirror fronted and nickel trimmed cerused oak wardrobes and the marble and travertine slathered bathroom provides double vanities, a private windowed cubicle for the toilet, a free-standing soaking tub, and a steam-equipped shower larger than many $2,500-per-month studio apartments in the formerly arty and bohemian now fashionably high-toned neighborhood.
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The gleaming, all-white kitchen incorporates a laundry list of creature comforts such an integrated espresso maker, dual dishwashers, and imported German cabinetry outfitted with one-touch mechanized drawers and interior lighting that means never having to scramble around for a can opener in the dark. The kitchen opens to a combination family room and informal dining space that, in turn, that spills out through an entire wall of windows and glass doors to a three-level landscaped backyard. The basement level, finished to the same exacting standards as the rest of the house, offers laundry facilities, a small gym with pressurized rubber flooring, a 1,200-bottle climate controlled walk-in wine cellar, and a recreation/screening room with newly installed custom millwork. Up top, the roof terrace is expensively paved with Indiana limestone and has a pergola built of clear Spanish cedar with open views of the Empire State Building to the north and One World Trade Center to the south.
Mister Murdoch once owned one of the New York City’s most illustrious penthouses, late Laurence S. Rockefeller’s titanic, 20-room triplex atop one of Fifth Avenue’s most prestigious and expensive co-operative apartment houses. The penthouse, along with a 20,000-plus-square-foot mansion in Beijing and other assets, was granted to Mister Murdoch’s third ex-wife, Wendi Deng, in their 2013 divorce. In early 2014, in need of a Big Apple bachelor pad, Mister Murdoch coughed up $57.25 million for the top four floors of the 50-floor One Madison tower in the Flatiron District. Alas and, it seems, once again caught in the clutches of the Real Estate Fickle, the News Corp. plutocrat put the uppermost three floors — about 7,600 square feet, with a wrap-around terrace and double-height great room — up for sale on the open market nearly a year ago with a mouth drying $72 million price tag. The triplex penthouse remains unsold at the same sky-high price. Mister Murdoch, yet to publicly name a successor to his multinational media empire, additionally maintains a luxury apartment in London, an estate near Melbourne in Australia and, though he sold his long-time Beverly Hills estate last year for $30 million to his son James, a 16-acre spread in Los Angeles he picked up in August 2013 for $28.8 million.
Listing photos and floor plan: Dolly Lenz Real Estate