Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Alexis Stewart, Space Hog

BUYER: Martha Stewart (originally thought to be Alexis Stewart)
LOCATION: 165 Charles Street, 15th Floor, New York City
PRICE: $16,000,000
SIZE: 4,890 square feet, 4-6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms (total for both units)
DESCRIPTION: The apotheosis of living as art. Sited atop Pritzker Prize-laureate Richard Meier's final iconic tower on the Hudson River is this unique parcel of units to be easily combined. A plalette both cool and sleek swaths the elegant, sparse lines within the individual rooms, replicated throughout the holistic thesis. With a total of 5 bedrooms, riverfront balconies, formal dining room and 5.5 baths...

YOUR MAMAS UPDATE: Check out the update for this purchase...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: That's right babies, Alexis Stewart, the daughter of media tycoon and domestic diva Martha Stewart, just spent $16 million smackers on two adjacent apartments comprising the entire 15th floor and 4,879 square feet of Richard Meier's breathtaking glass tower on the corner of Hudson and Charles Streets in the West Village. This is not the first time Alexis has been to this horse race. According to Max Abelson of the New York Observer, in September 2006 the younger Ms. Stewart spent just over $19,000,000 to gobble up three contiguous units at the Charles Street building which she intends to combine into a 6,900 square foot triplex apartment.

We hate to sound like a hater, but Your Mama smells her mama's buttery leather Hermes wallet. Don't you? Alexis earns her own money yakking it up on Sirius Satellite Radio where she hosts a program with Jennifer Hutt called Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer. However, we find it impossible to believe she's pulling down enough paper to acquire $35,000,000 in real estate in one fell swoop. Your Mama used to think having Big Miss Martha as our mama would be dismal, but we're starting to rethink that.

The first two Meier towers, sheathed in green glass, house many notable New Yorkers and household name celebrities including Calvin Klein (triplex penthouse at 176 Perry), Vincent Gallo (at 173 Perry) and Scott Resnick (also at 173 Perry). Even Big Miss Martha once owned in these buildings. She paid $6,100,000 for the duplex penthouse at 173 Perry, but never moved in and sold the unit just prior to her imprisonment in 2004.

The third and final Meier tower, at 165 Charles, has been completely sold and many of its residents also have recognizable names including Natalie Portman and gallerist Barbara Gladstone.

The Meier towers, for all their publicity and big name tenants, have been mired in controversy, particularly the north building at 173 Perry. An article that ran in a 2004 issue of Vanity Fair had owners complaining about buckling terraces, failing heat, and leaking ceilings. In fact before selling her apartment, Big Miss Martha's penthouse terrace flooded sending water cascading down the building. The damage was so extensive that one owner, six floors below the penthouse, was forced to have his expensive rosewood floor ripped up and re-installed due to the water damage.

The buildings were also plagued by a never caught gunman who shot at the building on several different occasions. The bullets never came through the glass, but you can imagine the fear and panic this caused. Even still, the high drama has not kept the apartments from turning over or the prices sky-rocketing. Many of the buildings' original owners have already flipped their apartments making enormous profits.

Your Mama has a funny little story, unrelated to the real estate, about the younger Ms. Stewart. We have a gal pal, whom we will call Loreliei, who has spent a great deal of time at all of Big Miss Martha's properties including her house on Lily Pond Lane in Southampton. One day a few years ago Lorelei was standing in the driveway of the Lily Pond Lane house and sees the younger Ms. Stewart across the yard with her dog and a plastic bag full of doggy poop. After a quick glance around and thinking no one can see her, Alexis tossed the bag into the tall hedge at the edge of the property.

We're not sure if she did this because she was too lazy to take the shit to the garbage can or if this was a small act of rebellion and defiance towards her mama who, as you might imagine, does not tolerate any dog poop left in the yard.

We can't be sure what Alexis is planning to do with the 11,000+ square footage she now owns, but Max Abelson reported that his source told him that Alexis hired fancy schmancy celebrity architect Annabel le Selldorf to re-do and combine the interiors.

Your Mama would like the children to note that the photos above are not the apartments purchased by Alexis, but were nicked from the building's online publicity brochure. Also for those not overly familiar with New York City and the Meier buldings, 165 Charles is the tower at the right of the photo. The floor plan shown is the original layout of the apartments on the 15th floor, however, we don't know if there were any alterations to this layout before Ms. Stewart purchased.

Sources: NY Observer, New York Times, (building photo), (floorplan and interior photos)

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