Thursday, December 6, 2007

Those Lucky Bommers

Buckle yer seat belts babies because Your Mama is feeling particularly long winded today. So grab yourself a steaming cup of coffee, a cute little gin and tonic or whatever it is that you drink to get you through the day, sit back and let Your Mama take you on up to the Upper East Side where some of Manhattan's most moneyed shack up in co-ops and condominiums that cost more than the GDP of some small countries.

Your Mama is tuckered out and plum tarhd of hearing all the sniping and griping in the (New York) media about how hedge funds are in crisis and that Wall Street bonuses are going to be down this year which means that all the good people in real estate are going to go without food and water next year because Wall Streeters simply won't have the extra coin to pay cash for a 3,500 square foot loft in TriBeCa or a few million to spare on a summer house in Southampton. Your Mama don't believe it.

The hedge fund honchos, private equity princes and freakishly rich futures traders seem to have no shortage of money to toss around on high end New York City real estate. Case in point, Mister Scott Bommer and his lovely wife Donya. Earlier this week, the erudite Max Abeleson reported in the Manhattan Transfers column of the NY Observer that the socially active and philanthropic pair paid "around $46,000,000" for a duplex penthouse co-op on Fifth Avenue, a record price for a co-operative apartment and a purchase which guarantees Mister and Missus Bommer a place in the real estate gossip hall of fame.

Before we begin discussing the Bommer's obscenely expensive real estate, Your Mama would like to say that by all reports and accounts Mister Bommer is a compassionate and hard working man who gives both time and money to help the less fortunate and is a director of the Robin Hood Foundation. But let's be honest, compared to the Bommers, everyone is less fortunate, right?

In addition to raking in tens of millions with his eponymous SAB Capital Management firm, Mister and Missus Bonner appear to have a knack for buying and selling high end properties at significant profits. According to property records, back in September of 2003 the newly nuptialed couple dumped $3,600,000 for a 33rd floor condo at the Trump International, The Donald's phallic black glass tower at 1 Central Park West, which they sold in October 2005 for $5,950,000, an impressive $2,350,000 profit in just two years of ownership.

The couple, according to property records, went on to fork over an even more impressive $12,375,000 in September of 2005 for a 14th floor sprawler at the super dee-luxe white glove building located at 1040 Fifth Avenue (pictured below), one floor below the 15th floor apartment occupied by the iconic and marriage savvy Jackie O. until she crossed over to the other side.

Overlooking the Metropolitan Museum and the tree tops of Central Park, the Bommer's 11 room, 4,700 square foot residence features 4 family bedrooms and 4 bathrooms plus 2 staff rooms, each with it's own bathroom. Fireplaces warm the living room and the library, and the 27 foot long dining room is large enough to feed an battalion of stinking rich hedge hogs. A small terrace off the master bedroom provides an excellent place for the homeowners, if they are so inclined, to smoke a high grade doobie in private after the children have been put to bed.

Although 1040 Fifth Avenue is a limestone clad Rosorio Candela designed building, the young Bommers have smartly moved away from the early American antique and chintz sofa look so popular with the old school Upper East Side blue bloods. While chintz king Mario Buatta does what he does excellently (if a little too exuberantly for Your Mama), we much prefer to see filthy rich young people living up in an apartment that reflects a more modern point of view.

We're not sure if the Bommer's had a nice gay decorator or if Missus Bommer did the place up herself, but whatever the case it's clearly intended to be a study in the nuances of white. Naturally Your Mama is jelly kneed over all that blinding white paint. We just love a sun blasted apartment with art gallery white walls. And of course we love nothing more than a living room full of white sofas for our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly to soil with their dirty little paws. So the living room we like, just don't tell PETA about that flattened animal carcass in there or they'll be throwing blood balloons all over the front of 1040 Fifth.

The mammoth dining room with its long glass table top and 14 barely there Phillipe Starck Ghost Chairs give the room a not so subtle feel of an igloo. So, even though we're not big on the pink color, we're thrilled to see that large triptych on the back wall which manages to keep the room from looking like icy inside of a damn freezer. Now, let's discuss that white shag rug. Yes children, it looks expensive, but it's just not practical. One really ought not ask multi millionaire dinner guests to remove their dirty John Lobbs and mucked up Manolo Blahniks before sitting down at the table for a gourmet dinner prepared by a private chef. And what happens when the boozed up guests start dropping food on that pristine thing? Fortunately the Bommers have as much money as a Colombian drug lord so they can afford to simply replace it, but for those with just a few million rather than a few hundred million, Your Mama does not recommend a white rug for the dining room.

Into the library and we wonder how this room sneaked into this crystalline palace. And the blue carpet? Oh dear heavens, no. Perhaps it's just a bad photo of a good room?

Although the Bommer's only purchased their Fifth Avenue digs two years ago, they're already moving on. The peripatetic pair put their palatial place on the market for $25,000,000, and according to listing information, the property has gone to contract. We can safely assume the couple is getting something near the asking price when you consider that Jackie O.'s former pad upstairs sold last year for a reported $32,000,000.

One item of note for the children to ponder...$25,000,000 might buy a spine tingling view of Central Park, white glove service in one of the city's top co-op buildings, a small terrace, and 10 times more square footage than the average New Yorker, but it does not buy central air conditioning. Yes puppies, even in some of the finest apartments lining Fifth and Park Avenues, including the Bommer's crib at 1040, the ridiculously rich residents must shove cheap air conditioners in every window to remain calm, cool, and collected during the sickeningly hot summer months just like the poor people. Air conditioning happens to be one of the great equalizers among the economic classes in New York City.

According to Abelson, the couple is not moving far. As we mentioned above, the cash rich couple has reportedly inked a deal to purchase a duplex penthouse (pictured above) two blocks north at 1060 Fifth Avenue for around $46,000,000, a staggering and record breaking number. And what does around $46,000,000 buy a youngish and extraordinarily rich couple in Manhattan you might ask?

According to listing information, the "duplex" is actually two separate spaces that have yet to be combined into one humongous building topper. And children, keep in mind it's not a foregone conclusion that the two units can be combined...any plans to merge the 12 rooms on the 13th floor and the five rooms on the 14th floor will require board approval and, according to Mister Abelson's lovely interview with the writer, poet, and seller Georgia Shreve, the persnickety co-op board already nixxed her request to combine the to two spaces several years ago. Perhaps they'll change their minds for the unfathomably well to do Bommers?

Combined, according to listing information, the stately apartments count 17 rooms, 7 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms including a gargantuan master suite on the first level with 8 closets, 2 bathrooms, a sitting room and a private office, 2 living rooms, 2 dining rooms, 2 libraries, 2 kitchens, a 10 x 10 foot formal bar which will delight the booze hounds among us, 4 fireplaces, and a 114.5 foot long, four sided, south facing terrace with a greenhouse that is entirely wrapped with a dignified stone balustrade overlooking Central Park.

Although we are swooning over all the plaster moldings and perfectly scaled architectural detailing, it appears the current interior decor is that particular brand of Upper East Side doyenne chic that Your Mama finds oppressively patterned with too fussy curtain treatments and scads of creepy oil painting portraits of historical figures and pedigreed family members. All well and good if you're a mega rich society maven in a classic YSL suit and a pair of conservative Ferragamo pumps. But not so much if your an achingly rich young family like the Bommers.

Your Mama hopes they'll leave all that spectacular detailing, but based on their previous crib, we imagine that after the units are combined and the rooms reconfigured at considerable expense, the Bommer's and their team nice gay decorators will gleefully strip the place of all the traditional wallpaper, paint it all a glorious chalk white and fill it with a million dollars worth of contemporary but warm and family friendly furniture. We're thinking maybe the couple might like to consider the sophisticated, talented, and expensive interior designer John Barman, who masterfully mixes staid architecture with a modern sensibility, and thankfully does not shy away from injecting bright colors into an otherwise white room..

Your Mama also hopes that the couple visits the galleries in Chelsea, the East End of London and the Dashanzi district in Shanghai to buy up a few hundred thousand dollars worth of striking works by emerging and promising artists so that all that Wall Street money can trickle down Reagan style to the artist folks.

Just so that the children don't worry that the Bommers are stuck in New York City in the sweltering and stifling heat of the summer, property records reveal to Your Mama that in November of 2006 the real estate rich couple plunked down $18,300,000 for a 6,729 square foot ocean front fixer on posh Gin Lane in Southampton. Lucky them.

So how do the children feel now about the oft reported demise of hedge funds and/or the decrease in Wall Street bonuses? Hmm.

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