Thursday, March 18, 2010
David and Gina Chu's Pricey Penthouse Pad
SELLERS: Gina and David Chu
LOCATION: Park Avenue, New York City, NY
SIZE: 7,700 square feet (approx.), 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After yesterday's extravaganza of downtown New York City floor plan porn Your Mama thought we'd head uptown to have a look-see at the far more traditional but no less impressive Park Avenue triplex penthouse recently heaved on to the market with a blistering asking price $32,800,000 by apparel tycoon David Chu and his philanthropist wife Gina.
Mister Chu, for those who do no recognize his name, is a screamingly-successful 50-something year old Taiwanese born fashion designer whose family emigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s and opened a Chinese food restaurant. Mister Chu grew up to become a fashion designer who in 1983 created the Nautica brand of classic–if not particularly inspired–American sportswear. He pocketed well over a hundred million clams when he sold the company in 2003 for nearly $600,000,000.
Mister Chu did not sit on his laurels and riches for long. In addition to signing on to re-work the upscale Tumi brand of luggage popular with fashionistas around the world, the bizzy beaver took some of the spoils of his success and bought a six floor, 16,894 square foot townhouse on East 22nd Street near Madison Square Park. The townhouse serves as his headquarters from where he now runs his new fashion empire that encompasses several upscale men's clothing lines including David Chu Bespoke where a man of means and dignified taste can go for custom-tailored suits, super 150's worsted wool trousers, spun cashmere sweaters, vicuña overcoats and hand-stitched leather loafers.
Sale prices for apartments sold before 2003 are not (usually) publicly available and in 1999, according to property records, Mister and Missus Chu purchased their penthouse triplex for an unknown amount of money. The three-floored penthouse sits atop the old Mayfair House hotel, a pre-war dowager on the corner of Park Avenue and East 65th Street where the original and legendary Le Cirque restaurant once occupied space on the ground floor. The hotel was converted to condos during the mid- to late- 1990s buy a partnership that included, among others, New York's most hairrifying real estate mogul Donald Trump. The apartments were laid out by architect Kostas Kondylis–(in)famous for his many bland but luxurious apartment towers that blight the New York City skyline–and the public spaces were done by high society decorator Mica Ertegun's company Mac II. Building amenities include 24/7 doormen services, a fitness center, maid services, valet parking and catering is available by Daniel Boulud's culinary emporium Daniel, which now occupies the space where Le Cirque used to be.
Listing information indicates the tri-floored apartment measures a suburban mansion-sized 7,700 square feet (approximately) and includes 5 bedrooms and 5.5 poopers, although we count 6.5 poopers including the one in the staff suite. Presumably Mister and Missus are selling–and hoping to cash in–because they've decamped to much more modest 1,684 square foot digs at the over-hyped 15 Central Park West that records show they snatched up in August of 2008 for $2,940,000. The couple first put their Park Avenue penthouse pad out for lease in January of 2010 at an eye-popping $75,000 per month while also quietly shopping the colossal condo to qualified buyers. The penthouse is no longer for lease–recent reports reveal there are tenants currently in place–but it has hit the open market with a sky-high asking price that puts it among the top ten most expensive condominium listings in all of New York City.
The apartment's main entrance is on the building's 16th floor where a semi-private elevator landing opens into a blinding, snow white and almost perfectly square foyer from which the entire apartment orbits around like planets around the sun. The generously proportioned rooms include a massive 39-foot long and 700 square foot corner living room with a pretty view down tree-lined Park Avenue, a fireplace and an adjacent wet bar-room situated in the stair hall. To one side of the living room a library is wrapped in built-in bookshelves and on the other–just past the bar-room–a small media room provides a private pooper and walk-in closet.
Beyond the media room is a nicely sized dining room which sits next door to the kitchen complex that includes a huge, windowed kitchen, separate breakfast area, a massive walk-in pantry. It's gratifying to see such a large and family friendly kitchen in a Manhattan apartment but we're deeply concerned about the black granite flooring that would cause our imperious house gurl Svetlana conniption fits trying to keep clean. A back hall that connects the kitchen with the foyer contains the powder pooper, closet space and access to the service elevator. From what we can tell, the Chus have place a scary, carved statue of a caped person at the end of the hall. Lo-ward children, that thing would have Your Mama jumping right out of our skin with fear iffin we caught a glimpse late at night in a darkened house when while we made our way to the kitchen for a midnight snack of Ho-hos and Ding-dongs.
The bedrooms are located on the lower floor and in addition to the nearly 28-foot long master bedroom that includes a generous windowed pooper with separate terlit cubby and two walk-in closets, there are two family bedrooms, each with private pooper and a large bedroom/den, also with private terlit facilities. The children will note the closet within the closet of one of the master bedrooms walk-in closets. The staff quarters, well separated from the family's living quarters, consist of laundry facilities, a separate entrance, pooper and a bedroom actually large enough for a person to sleep in without feeling like they're shacked up in a cell at Riker's Island.
The top floor of the penthouse consists of a small sun room that opens out to the approximately 1,400 square foot roof terrace. Clearly Mister and Missus Chu spent boo-coo bucks having the terrace trellised, planted and landscape and we can only imagine the how much more they've spent over the years having Hugo and Leonardo the urban gardeners up there several times a week trimming the box hedges and wiping all the city grit off the teak dining room table and loungers.
There don't seem to be too many folks out there in the market for $30,000,000+ apartments right now so Mister and Missus Chu might have to sit on their penthouse a while longer or maybe even, heaven forfend, chop the price. Either way they're likely to walk away with more money than most people will ever earn in a lifetime.
Other residents of the building, according to the peeps at Property Shark, include celebrity chef Danial Boulud, Angeles Kozlowski, the ex-wife of former Tyco-head honcho Dennis Kozlowski, Bed, Bath & Beyond co-founder Leonard Feinstein, and financier Gerald Unterman and his wife Elaine who own the second of the building's two penthouse units.
source: Corcoran / Carrie Chiang