Friday, September 28, 2007

Ron Burkle's Swimming Pool in the Sky

BUYER: Ron Burkle
SELLER: Jonathan Leitersdorf
LOCATION: 704 Broadway, New York, NY
PRICE: $17,500,000 / monthly charges: $7,836
SIZE: 11,000 square feet (approx.), 5 bedrooms 5.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: One of the most unique and spectacular homes in the world, this Penthouse triplex home in the sky boasts: 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 2 powder rooms, 13'-17' ceilings, more than 50 windows, and a landscaped forest alongside a heated outdoor swimming pool...Unmatched amenities include two separate professional grade kitchens, W/D on each level, exquisitely detailed with massive Danish Tudor wood burning fireplace, two separate sound systems controlled from every room with speaker throughout.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Braden Keil, the virtuoso celebrity real estate writer at the New York Post, was on fire this week telling all us disciples about half a dozen big buys and sells in and around New York City including some juicy tidbits about the sale of a very well known downtown Manhattan penthouse that former owner Jonathan Lietersdorf recently sold to billionaire grocery store tycoon Ron Burkle.

The triplex penthouse sits atop a non-descript building, called "The Dandy," that offers residents a central location near the Bowery Bar and BondSt, but no luxury amenities such as a doorman, which might be the least one could expect when coughing up nearly $20,000,000 for a Manhattan penthouse.

Built by venture capitalist Mister Lietersdorf as a pied a terre for himself, the residence doubled as an event space called Sky Studios that could be rented for private parties, photos shoots, and other such glamorous and typically New York functions. Sex and the City shot at least one episode here, presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton had a birthday party here, and Jerry Seinfeld was married in the gargantuan living room on the first level.

The 11,000 square foot behemoth has ridiculously high ceilings, 50+ windows, walls of glass, a panic room behind the library bookcases, and a carpet of green grass and a small "forest" on the Eastern terrace. But by far the most remarkable and notable feature of the aerie is the heated swimming pool that hangs over the city with 360 degree views as far as the eye can see.

Mister Lietersdorf first put this impressive home on the market in 2002 for $27,500,000, but had to reduce the price over the years to it's final asking price of $18,750,000 before anyone took the plunge to purchase the 5 bedroom 5.5 bathroom mansion in the sky.

According the the NY Post and records on file with the city, the Los Angeles based Mister Burkle, who pocketed billions from buying and selling huge grocery store chains, paid $17,500,000 for the penthouse that Your mama imagines he will use infrequently.

While he comes from modest means and is often thought of as a very down to earth guy (for a billionaire), the famously private jeans wearing Mister Burkle is no stranger to a large and lavish lifestyle and travels in a private 757 airplane. Lawhd children, just imagine Mister Burkle's yearly fuel bill for that steel bird.

In California, where he lives in an extremely posh section of Beverly Hills in a legendary 23,114 square foot house on a deliciously beautiful estate called "Green Acres," his nearby neighbors include fellow billionaire Miss David Geffen, filthy rich dee-vorcé Suzanne Saperstein, and Paris's grand daddy Baron Hilton, just to name a few.

Unless this purchase was simply an investment and/or a convenient place to park a wad of cash, Your Mama can't imagine Mister Burkle will continue to lease the place out for the weddings and bar mitzvahs of Manhattan's demi monde. But then again, it's hard to believe that even a down to earth billionaire would call a doorman-less building home.

Sources: New York Post, New York Observer, New York Magazine

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