SELLER: Estate of Roger Ailes
LOCATION: Cresskill, NJ
SIZE: (approx.) 3,500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The New Jersey home of recently deceased and, at least by some accounts, disgraced Fox News founder and former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes remains available after his unexpected death last week with an asking price of $1.65 million. Mister Ailes, a hemophiliac, died last week at 77 from complications due to a head injury he suffered a week or so previously when he fell at his home in Palm Beach. The polarizing media magnate purchased the property in October 2000 for $1.85 million — a hefty $200,000 more than the current asking price — and first put it on the market just after the first of the year at $2.225 million. The ranch-style residence, a relatively humble choice for an immensely powerful and globally influential news baron, was designed per marketing materials by “internationally renowned architect Jorge Rosello” and sits on a not-quite one-acre corner parcel with four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in about 3,500-square-feet.
The faux-quoined, beige-brick residence’s unassuming exterior barely hints at its opulent yet still somehow frumpy interiors that include a center hall foyer with inset marble floor and teardrop crystal chandelier hung from a raised, tray ceiling custom painted as a cloudy sky. The spacious, step-down formal living room features blond parquet floors, floral window treatments with carefully swagged fabric flourishes, and a couple of bowl-shaped crystal chandeliers that would be perfectly at home in the ballroom or conference center of a generically luxurious hotel. The adjacent formal dining room has a raised, tray ceiling that, like the foyer, is painted with a fluffy swirl of white cumulus clouds on a baby blue sky. Flooded with natural light through a couple of large skylights, the eat-in kitchen sports shiny white marble floor tiles and jet black granite counter tops on ordinary but probably expensively custom milky-white raised panel cabinetry. The kitchen adjoins a family room with peg-and-groove hardwood floors, a vaulted ceiling pierced by at least four skylights, a mirror-backed walk-in wet bar, and a stone-faced fireplace beneath a mural that depicts a watery landscape. A bank of glass sliders lead to a glass-roofed sunroom that overlooks the property’s free-form swimming pool and extensive gardens, which are watered by a private well. The residence also has a finished walk-out basement with a family room and an office/library.
For the last 15 years or so, Mister Ailes and his widow, Elizabeth, and their teenaged son, Zachary, who publicly vowed over the weekend in Palm Beach to go after his dad’s accusers in an effort to clear his sullied name, have resided in a nearly 9,000-square-foot mansion in Garrison, New York. The hilltop manse presides over a wooded compound that spans more than 20 acres and includes a handful of surrounding homes, two of which have been for sale on and off for quite some time. The smaller of the two, about 2,500-square-feet on 3.4 acres, was purchased in 2008 for $1.65 million and sold at a heart-stopping $825,000 loss in late 2016 for $825,000 while the larger home, almost 2,900-square-feet on more than two acres, remains for sale at $765,000, $435,000 less than the $1.2 million paid for the property in 2007.
Like many mega-rich tycoons who pal around with billionaires, high-profile media figures and other deep-pocketed captains of international industry, Mister Ailes, a longtime friend of real estate tycoon turned firebrand president Donald Trump, has long maintained a home in the ritzy Palm Beach area of South Florida. In September 2016, less than a year before his death and just a couple of months after he was ousted from Fox amid a deluge of damaging allegations of sexual harassment, Mister Ailes shelled out a staggering $37 million for a brand-new ocean-front contemporary of 12,747-square-feet. Coincidentally and not likely of any underlying significance, Mister and Missus Ailes opted for a Palm Beach mansion that is just five miles north of Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago Club and only about a dozen doors up the beach from the gargantuan mansion Donald Trump bought at a foreclosure auction in 2004 for $41 million and, having never actually occupied the premises, famously sold in 2008 for about $95 million to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.
Listing photos: Prominent Properties Sotheby’s