BUYER: Fran Lebowitz
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 2,268 square feet, 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Property records show, and our celebrity real estate compadres at Luxury Listings were the first to notice, that jauntily acerbic writer and cultural critic Fran Lebowitz splashed out $3.1 million for a one-bedroom and two bathroom condo at the Chelsea Mercantile, a full-service, celeb-approved building on a busy corner in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Listing details show the 2,268-square-foot apartment, which opens to a 25-plus-foot long and closet-lined entrance hall, has honey-toned hardwoods, magnificently high 13.5-foot beamed ceilings, and a 20-foot wide and 11-foot tall wall of west-facing windows in the not-quite 35-foot long, loft-like combination living/dining area. The kitchen, open to the living/dining area over a long work island that will seat five ar bar stools, has medium-grade stainless steel appliances and high-quality if perfectly ordinary black granite counter tops on mundane, medium-brown Shaker-style cabinets. The generously ample master suite includes a large bedroom with an adjoining dressing alcove, a large and luxuriously appointed if aggressively all-beige bathroom and, at the end of a long closet-lined corridor, a windowless, prison cell sized room suitable for a home office, gym, meditation nook or additional closet space. A windowless room opens off the living/dining room and could well be used as a den/media lounge, office area or a sleeping cave for overnight guests.
The Chelsea Mercantile, which has a 10,000-square-foot planted roof terrace and a subterranean garage where the Miz Lebowitz can, for a considerable monthly fee, park her battleship-sized 1979 Checker Marathon, is no stranger to high-profile residents. Chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay has owned in the building since 2000; Kyle MacLachlan and his “Project Runway” executive producer wife Desiree Gruber own a not-quite 2,000-square-foot unit they bought in 2002; Sheila Nevins, President of Documentary and Family Programming for HBO and Cinemax, owns a handful of units including a $4.5 million penthouse; Back in 2009 Jane Fonda rented in the building during her short run in the Broadway play “33 Variations” and Katie Holmes, set to star as Jackie Kennedy in the TV mini-series “The Kennedys After Camelot,” famously shacked up in a luxury rental during the much-publicized aftermath of her split and subsequent divorce from Tom Cruise.
Our research suggests Miz Lebowitz, a suit-wearing and cowboy boot-shod fixture in the arts and culture scene in New York City since the 1970s when she was a columnist for Andy Warhol’s “Interview” magazine and who in the mid-Aughts held down recurring role as a judge on “Law and Order,” was most recently shacked up in a two-bedroom and two-bathroom rental in a classic cast iron building in Soho.