United States Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin seeks to stuff his personal coffers with the $32.5 million sale of his longtime duplex apartment at 740 Park Avenue, one of New York City’s most illustrious, sought after and written about apartment houses. Amply proportioned, decidedly grand and unquestionably luxurious if in a surprisingly and almost aggressively ordinary sort of way, the 12-room apartment measures about 6,500-square-feet over two floors with four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms plus a punishingly puny, prison cell sized staff bedroom and bathroom squirreled back behind the kitchen.
The former Goldman Sachs partner and former CEO and chairman of OneWest Bank, who made a killing foreclosing on homes during the 2007 housing crisis before he founded Dune Entertainment, which has financed a number of high-octane blockbusters including the “X-Men” film franchise, “Suicide Squad” and “Avatar,” purchased the palatial pad in 2000 for $10.5 million. According to Michael Gross’s 2005 real estate page turner “740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building,” Mnuchin purchased the apartment from his aunt, Carol Lederman, who, interestingly enough and as noted in The Wall Street Journal, is one of the Warburg Realty brokers handling the sale of the suburban macmansion-sized apartment that’s been in Mnuchin’s family since the 1960s and carries horse-choking maintenance fees that exceed $17,000 per month.
A semi-private elevator landing opens to a roomy, not quite square foyer with polished tan-colored marble floors and an elegantly curved staircase with its original bannister. At almost 35-feet long and more than 22-feet wide, the living room certainly qualifies as baronial and features lustrous medium-brown hardwoods, intricate ceiling moldings, a carved marble fireplace and four fantastically huge windows that overlook Park Avenue. Presumably neither the multi-colored Ross Bleckner painting in the living room nor any of the other blue chip art scattered throughout the apartment are offered as part of the sale. The dining room encompasses almost 575-square-feet with a delicate, rusty-orange marble fireplace and the library has built-in bookcases, a wet bar and a black marble fireplace. Tucked into the rear, northern wing on the main floor is a spacious kitchen predictably fitted with banker’s green marble countertops on white, Shaker-style cabinets enhanced with utilitarian and always fashionable white subway tile back splashes. There’s also an adjoining breakfast room with convenient rear staircase and a laundry room next to the staff suite. Private family quarters on the upper floor include an en suite guest bedroom, a children’s wing comprised of two more en suite bedrooms plus a shared lounge and a master suite with a fireplace, several fitted walk-in closets, two bathrooms and a gentlemen’s office/study with built-in desk and storage.
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Designed by Rosario Candela and built by James T. Lee, grandfather of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, the 19-story, limestone-faced Art Deco tower was completed in 1929 and has always housed New York’s richest and most powerful. Current owners include video game tycoon Greg Fishbach, former financier J. Ezra Merkin, billionaire industrialist David Koch — said to be famously cheap with holiday tips to the staff, and Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwartzman who presides over a mega-mansion-sized triplex he bought almost 20 years ago for upwards of $35 million. Financier Howard Marks paid $52.5 million for a vast, 30-plus room duplex in 2012 and angered at least one of his neighbors with incessant noise from a multi-year renovation and just over four years ago the French government sold an 18-room duplex unit for $71,277,500 — an astonishing $23+ million above the $48 million asking price — to hedge fun fat cat Israel Englander who already owned the duplex directly above.
Like many men of Mnuchin’s considerable financial means, he and his substantially younger third wife, bit part Scotish actress and neophyte producer Louise Linton, maintain an extensive portfolio of huge and atrociously expensive to maintain mansions. In late 2005, while married to his second wife, Mnuchin shelled out $14.78 million for a 2.25-acre estate superbly positioned just a few houses from the beach on the shore of Coopers Neck Pond in Southampton, N.Y.; In 2009, also while still married to his second wife, he shelled out $26.5 million for a not quite 23,000-square-foot Mediterranean villa on 1.25-city-view acres in an exceptionally posh section of L.A.’s Bel Air; and in early 2017, shortly after Trump’s inauguration but before Mnuchin and Linton were excoriated in the media for photos of the two of them grinning like Cheshire cats while holding huge sheets of newly printed dollar bills, he coughed up $12.585 million for an opulent avilla of almost 16,000-square-feet with nine bedrooms, 12.5 bathrooms and an indoor swimming pool in a leafy Washington, D.C. neighborhood chock-a-block with foreign embassies.