The Big Apple's Biggest Price
Any billionaire looking for a prime New York residence and can loosen up enough cash to pay outright the $125 million price tag for the Pierre Penthouse, will have acquired one of the most lavish and opulent landmark apartments in the world. It is currently the most expensive listing in New York City. It’s also in a building that, if hotel walls could talk, would tell of a fabulous and intriguing past.
The Pierre Hotel was built in 1930 for $15 million through a joint venture of financiers including E. F. Hutton, Walter Chrysler, Otto Kahn and restaurateur Charles Pierre, for whom the hotel was named. The hotel went into bankruptcy in 1932 during the Depression. In 1938, J. Paul Getty purchased the building for about $2.5 million and turned a number of the hotel suites into co-op apartments. The luxury hotel is owned and managed by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces of India, which was formed in 1903. Today this group owns and operates 76 hotels, 7 palaces, 6 private islands and 12 resorts and spas, spanning 52 destinations in 12 countries across 5 continents and employs over 13,000 people.
The Pierre has quite an interesting past as well as present. In 1972, it was the scene of one of the most famous hotel robberies in history. The crime cleverly took place after New Years Eve celebrations when jewels worn that evening were placed in the hotel’s safe deposit boxes prior to being returned to the safety of their respective banks after New Year’s Day. The four robbers held the hotel guards at gunpoint and it took two hours to get most of the boxes opened. The robbers netted $11 million in goods. Three of the men were eventually arrested and sent to Attica Prison. The fourth fled to Mexico and was never found.
Some of the hotel’s notable residents have included Elizabeth Taylor, Yves Saint-Laurent, Harrods Department Store owner Mohamed al-Fayed, and Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom.
The over-the-top tri-level penthouse has been the backdrop for many scenes in both film and television such as Scent of a Woman, Meet Joe Black, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Real Housewives of New York City, and CSI:NY.
Most recently owned by Martin Zweig, a stock market analyst best known for his prediction of the 1987 stock market crash, the penthouse has been put on the market since his death in February. Zweig bought the home in 1999 for $21.5 million, which also set a price record that year. The penthouse occupies the top three floors under the hotel’s distinctive sweeping copper roof. These top floors were modeled after Mansart’s Royal Chapel at Versailles. Exceptional features include the living room which was originally the grand ballroom of the Pierre with 23’ ceilings, five fireplaces throughout (including the gym) designed in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and the only wood burning fireplaces in the building. There are four terraces with stunning views of Central Park, city skyline, Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. Included are 5 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, staff room off the kitchen, Swedish sauna, private elevator, 3 kitchenettes and main kitchen, private gym, paneled library, a wine cellar and a stunning black Belgian marble staircase in the grand foyer.
Prospective buyers must pass a stringent co-op board interview and be able to meet the building requirement of an all-cash purchase. The monthly maintenance fee is $47,000 which includes electricity and two housekeeping staff. Priced at $125 million.
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Jackson Hole Mansion Auction
Each winter season, Jackson Hole attracts thousands of visitors for both its spectacular national parks and world-famous skiing. The town has also become well known for its culture and nightlife. It has been the host of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference for twenty years and is the site of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Center for the Arts. Many celebrities live in Jackson Hole including Harrison Ford and Sandra Bullock.
The town offers two premier ski resorts with miles of trails for both novice and extreme world class enthusiasts. Adding to the fun are the Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the National Elk Refuge. The premier ski areas include 8,000 acres of lift service and one of the highest vertical drops in North America at 4,139 feet. Jackson Hole gets an average of 500 inches of snow annually and has gained the reputation as one of the best ski vacation destinations in the world.
This Jonathan Foote rock and timber masterpiece is architecturally stunning. Gracious interiors overlook lovely streams, lush gardens, 23,000+ square foot interior, 7 bedrooms, 7 baths, guest quarters, 12 seat theater, 2 offices, wine cellar, 1,200 square foot gym, elevator, lovely koi pond, garages house 7 cars, pavers line drive and paths. Located on 10.63 private and heavily treed acres.
Ranked top three ski home by CNBC & TopTenRealEstateDeals.com in 2010. Old-world estate over 24,000 square feet on over 10 acres. Was $32.5 million. Selling without reserve at auction on July 12th.
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Howie Wants To Make a Deal
Howie Mandel has been making us laugh for ages and has had an ongoing battle with two major health issues. Plagued by adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the far more difficult disease of mysophobia, an irrational fear of germs, in interviews he has said there are some days that are so bad, it’s been almost impossible to leave home. But he forces himself and is an inspiration to others with the disease, letting them know that they can overcome it to the point of reaching their dreams. The dreams for Howie came true with his huge success as a stand-up comedian, film actor, children’s book author, TV personality, the sitcom St. Elsewhere, game show host and as a judge on America’s Got Talent, which is running again this summer on NBC.
The Malibu house he now has on the market was designed for any Californian whose heart is still stuck on the East Coast. It also gives us some insight into Howie's style preferences and why it is so airy, bright and obviously sparkling clean. Howie’s home is tasteful with a nice blend of elegance and cheerfulness. He tore down the original home on this property in 2008 after owning it for two years and rebuilt it in a style more typical of the northeastern United States. The landscaping, shingles, window boxes and the roof line are more of a New England home style. If it weren't for the craggy beachfront, it would be hard to tell the home is actually in California. Almost brand new, the home and grounds are open and sunny. Similar to many New England beach homes, the overall decor suggests that you are by the ocean without being in your face about it.
Located in the Point Dume neighborhood of Malibu and sitting on over an acre with panoramic Pacific views, the house contains everything for comfortable family living and entertaining. Consisting of 5 bedrooms and 5.5 baths, the house also has a theatre, gym and office and the great room has soaring ceilings with overviews from the floor above. Outside is a pool-guest house along with rolling lawns, attractive landscaping and more spectacular views. A very strong selling point is the proximity to the highly-respected Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School.
On the market for over two years. America's Got Talent and Deal or No Deal celebrity is asking $7.50 million. Howie bought the home in 2006, tore it down and built a New England style home in 2008.
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Historic Zilicon Valley Estate
Long before Silicon Valley existed as a bastion of high tech industry, Percy Morgan, from a prominent Welch family, had quit Oxford at the age of 14 and went to work learning banking and accounting. This accomplished, he set out for America at the age of 21 to make his fortune. And that he did. After sojourns in Colorado running his accounting business, he went to Montana to become superintendent of the Republic Mining and Smelting Company in Cooke City. Finding the weather in Montana to be brutal, he went to San Francisco in 1885. There he advanced rapidly in both business and wealth accumulation. Morgan is also known for creating the California Wine Association, which was the largest winery in the world at that time, and he was one of the first trustees at Stanford University.
In 1893, Morgan married Fanny Babbit Ainsworth, who he called “Daisy.” Four years later he bought 100 acres of land. In 1989 and in bad health, his doctor ordered rest. He and his family took the grand tour of Europe where they saw the tudor mansion, Speke Hall. During their travels they purchased furnishings and accessories with the idea to replicate Speke Hall on their 100 acres. It was completed in 1914 at a cost of $400,000 which would translate to $9.3 million today.
After Morgan’s death in 1920, the estate passed through various owners including a private school. After the school closed and the mansion fell into disrepair, it was purchased by venture capitalist Kelly Porter and his wife Christina in 1999, who spent millions restoring and updating the home to current standards.
At 30,000 square feet now on 8 manageable acres, the home has 7 bedrooms, 8 baths, a ballroom, and a speakeasy bar located in a secret room behind the library bookcases. The wine cellar is carved out of stone and will hold thousands of bottles. There is also a caretaker’s home and separate building which houses the gym. The main house has over two dozen rooms. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, thereby lowering taxes and offering grants to assist in upkeep.
Silicon Valley historic Tudor mansion, once priced at $45 million – now relisted at $27 million.
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Crate and Barrel Home On Sale
Carole and Gordon Segal were a perfect match with common interests and creativity as well as business talent. They married young and honeymooned in Europe. While there, they were impressed with the clean lines of the furniture and home accessories they saw in many of the stores and immediately thought of opening something similar in the United States. They eventually found small European companies from which they could buy direct, eliminating the middlemen.
Gordon and Carole opened their first Crate and Barrel store on December 7, 1962, when they were only 23 years old, in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. It was an immediate hit! They named the store Crate and Barrel after the way merchandise was shipped. In order to emphasize the fact that it was imported, they put their merchandise displays on top of the crates surrounded by the packing material. They also grouped items that were related, thereby starting a new trend that was copied by other retailers.
By 1968 they opened their second store in the Chicago suburbs of Wilmette, Illinois and in 1971, a third store in Oak Brook, Illinois. By 1985 they had grown to 17 stores. After opening two more stores, they sold a majority share to a German mail order company, the Otto Group in 1998. That gave them the capital for further expansion. There are now over 170 stores in the United States and 11 more stores in Canada, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and Singapore. This year is their 51st in business.
Taking their creativity in another direction, they bought this house that they had loved from a distance for years. When the last owner wanted to tear it down, instead in 2008 they sold it to the Segals. Though the sellers had paid $5.493 million for the property only three years prior, they sold it to the Segals at an 18 percent loss.
The house was built in 1936 by Ralph D. Huszagh, a Chicago architect, and sits on 2.4 acres. For four years, Carole renovated the property. She changed the entrance from the front to the back, turned the existing garage into a family room, added a new garage and then updated everything else. One very unusual feature is the large walled garden designed by Douglass Hoerr and the serpentine wall shape.
Although the Segals have not said how much the renovation cost, they put it on the market last year for $6.9 million. It was then taken off the market and relisted this April at $5.9 million. At 10,000 square feet, the home has 5 bedrooms, 7 baths, large rooms and windows.
This lovely Georgian-style home restored by Crate & Barrel owners, was $6.899 million – now on sale at $5.9 million.