Monday, June 9, 2008

Mariska Hargitay Flips Out on Sixth Avenue

SELLER: Mariska Hargitay and Peter Herman
LOCATION: Sixth Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $8,250,000
SIZE: 4,167 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Spectacular 4,819 sf duplex home atop the O'Neill Condominium offering 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths with 2,549 sf of expansive and private planted entertaining terraces off the living space. A 53' x 19' living space with walls of windows and light opens to 2 terraces, top of the line eat in kitchen with separate breakfast room/family room opens to terrace, Cupola media room and 2 bedrooms and 2 baths comprise the 1st level. Upstairs is the master bedroom suite which opens to a terrace from the bedroom as well as an over sized spa bath with walk-in closets.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last night Your Mama was combing through Manhattan real estate listings while the Dr. Cooter was watching that mystifying momager Dina Lohan on her new E! reality show Living Lohan, which the bigwigs say is meant to be about teenage wannabe superstar Ali Lohan, but seems to be way more about Miz Dina Lohan herself. Anyhoo, as we merrily rolled along scanning floor plans and haughtily scrutinizing the chesterfield choices of total strangers, we noticed a large and strangely familiar living room rug in an impressively terraced penthouse. As we sat on the sofa slowly stroking our pussycat Sugar–who was having an unusually friendly moment–we wracked our gin soaked brain until Bazingo! Yes children, it's the very same rug that once graced the floor of the Jeffrey Bilhuber designed TriBeCa penthouse of Law & Order queen bee Mariska Hargitay and her huzband, the former soap stud (Guiding Light) turned Law & Order princeling Peter Herman.

Naturally Your Mama's little brain went into a tailspin and we had to pour another round of gin and tonics to settle our nerves because a quick search of the internets revealed it was only last fall that all the real estate gossips, including Your Mama, went wild reporting the purchase of a Sixth Avenue penthouse by the then preggers Emmy winning actress and her good lookin' and scruffy faced huzband. Clearly they've changed their fickle little minds and are flipping the penthouse because it's back on the market with an $8,250,000 asking price.

Property records show in October of 2007, less than nine damn months ago, the couple paid an even-steven $7,000,000 for their 4,167 square foot high drama duplex on bizzy, wide and loud Sixth Avenue. The current asking price for the multi-terraced penthouse that includes 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms indicates that even after they fork over the considerable real estate fees, they're still lined up to pocket half a million clams or more for the bother and energy spent purchasing and owning the building topper for less than one year. Not bad work if you can get it.

Situated on the top two floors at the south end of the famed O'Neill Building, the condo includes a 1,000 square foot living/dining room, more than 2,500 square feet of planted terraces, two secondary bedrooms,each with it's own private pooper, and a master bedroom that occupies the entire second floor and features a private terrace, and gigantic bathroom and a large dressing room closet. However, by far the most interesting feature of the south and east facing penthouse is the media room that is located in the circular "cupola" which sits just below one of the two restored and easily recognized gold onion domes perched on the corners of the building. Although much reviled by some, Your Mama actually likes them. They're odd, quirky, totally artificial, entirely unnecessary and give an otherwise ordinary and bland stretch of Sixth Avenue lined with mass market retailers like Old Navy and Blood Bath and Beyond a little visual zip and zeal.

The terraces are vast and lovely and having nearly 5,000 square feet of living space in the middle of Manhattan is certainly a dee-voon luxury only the rich can afford. However, is it just Your Mama or does it seem a soup├žon strange that the generously paid couple simply moved the furniture from their previous penthouse on Beach Street to this one? Why is it that we expect rich and famous folks to trash everything when they move from one location to the next? Hmm. We'll have to think about that.

Whatever the case, Miz Hargitay should prolly have consulted Mister Bilhuber before bringing all that furniture to her Sixth Avenue penthouse because it looks rather puny and under scaled in that 53-foot long living room. Speaking of's a lovely room with a long wall of floor to ceiling glass that would surely give our house gurl Svetlana conniptions, but Your Mama worries considerably that a 53-foot long living/dining room might easily suffer from intimacy issues without the deft hand of a nice gay decorator.

We are a little distressed by the unhappy marriage between the cabinets and the lovely wood floors in the kitchen, and we think the crystal chandelier–while a nice touch and an interesting juxtaposition to the clean lined cabinetry–is simply too meager to make the statement it could and should be making.

We do, of course, love the relationship of the master bedroom suite to the rest of the house...who needs guests near enough to hear the host fornicating or fighting? And we also appreciate that the developer thoughtfully included private poopers for each of the secondary bedrooms, a feature we don't see enough in ultra high-end properties.

The couple reportedly unloaded their Beach Street penthouse –for $5,100,000–because they wanted and needed more square footage to house their expanding family. That place, amazingly, included a private garage, a feature worth a lot of money to anyone who pays an extortionist amount of money to park their fancy car in a Manhattan parking garage where the attendants bang up the bumpers and run down the battery while they sit in the cars and eat their lunches and listen to the radio. 'Tis true, puppies. We know from experience.

Anyhoo, where this peripatetic pair and their itty bitty baby will move once this penthouse gets sold is nuthin' but a mystery to Your Mama. Will they leave the city for some leafy and expensive Westchester suburb to raise their family? Will they move back to Los Angeles where they sold their Warbler Way house back in 2006? Did they find a cute little townhouse in the West Village that has a roof terrace and a wee back yard? If Your Mama was the betting type–and we're not because we love our money way too much to give it away–we'd put our cards on the ever intrepid and enviously rolodexed Max Abelson at the NY Observer as the one who will get that scoop. So get to it Maxie Boy, we're counting on you this time.

YOUR MAMAS UPDATE (later same day): Well, we like to give credit where credit is due and it turns out that Mister Josh Barbanel, the gentleman who writes the Big Deal column for the New York Times, actually wrote about Miz Hargitay flipping her penthouse yesterday...on June 8...we just hadn't seen it yet. Nor did we, obviously, bother to look.

Mister Barbanel reports that Miz Hargitay and Mister Herman are looking to move uptown because their young son will be attending a (no doubt esteemed and ridiculously expensive) pre-school on the Upper East Side and it's an awfully long daily trek from Chelsea to the Upper East Side.

So there you have it...just another of many examples of the crazy real estate ways of the rich and famous.

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