Inside New York's most expensive home for sale

At 62,000 square feet, the $130 million property also would be the city's largest single-family house.

By MSN Real Estate partner Oct 4, 2013 7:19AM

© Trulia.comBy Morgan Brennan, Forbes


Price tags exceeding $100 million have become more common on the sale block in the past two years. And in no place more so than notoriously pricey New York City. Well add another trophy home to the nine-figure pile: the newly listed Residence at River House, asking an eye-popping $130 million.

The new offering is now New York’s most expensive home for sale, trumping the $125 million Pierre penthouse and the $115 million Bloomberg duplex owned by hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen. It’s also the fourth most expensive home for sale in the U.S., behind the $135 million Crespi-Hicks estate in Dallas, the recently price-chopped $140 million Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich, Conn., and the “off-market” $150 million Owlwood estate in Los Angeles.


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The “Residence,” as it’s called on its listing page, is actually the five-story building that has been River House’s private club since 1931, when the elite co-op building first opened. The space, perched above the East River, has been leased by the nonprofit River Club of New York for the duration of that time period. It’s hitting the residential-sale block now at the behest of the co-op board, because ongoing attempts to strike a long-term lease renewal or sale have not yet materialized, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Encompassing a massive 62,000 square feet, it would become the biggest single-family home in New York City — and one of the largest in the country, alongside billionaire mansions such as Ira Rennert’s 65,000-square foot Fair Field estate and Dmitry Rybolovlev’s 60,000-square foot Maison de L’Amitie.

The Residence, co-listed with Kyle Blackmon and John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens, is offered in its “existing condition,” essentially as raw space. It’s marketed alongside a proposed renovation plan from interior designer Tony Ingrao.


The clubhouse property touts its own entrance, separate from the art deco building, on the 52nd Street cul-de-sac. It opens onto a private riverfront garden and houses a 62-foot indoor swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, an IMAX screening room, a wine cellar, a full spa and a card room. Ingrao’s proposed plan includes a 15,000-square foot bedroom level with a giant master suite and a level designated entirely to staff.

At $130 million, the aspiring urban mansion  breaks down to just under $2,100 per square foot — a relative bargain (despite being raw space) when compared to penthouse condo sales as high as $10,000 per square foot and penthouse co-op sales as high as $4,500 per square foot.

The River House is in midtown Manhattan, all the way east in a posh, predominantly pre-war building enclave called Beekman Place. Perched over the East River, the co-op stands 26 stories tall. It has long enjoyed a reputation for utter exclusivity, thanks to a picky co-op board that has over the years turned away such rich and famous hopefuls as Gloria Vanderbilt, Richard Nixon and Diane Keaton. After Joan Crawford, married to a Pepsi exec at the time, was turned down by a board touting Coca-Cola’s president, rumors surfaced that the actress had the giant Pepsi sign — which still populates Queens’ Long Island City — installed where River House residents would have to see it across the river every day.


Just this year, perhaps because of a spate of listings languishing on the sale block, the swanky co-op began to ease its stringent policies, allowing brokers to host occasional open houses in for-sale apartments, waving the requirement for tax returns from prospective buyers, and even hiring a public relations consultant to represent the building. 


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Oct 4, 2013 6:26PM
Oct 4, 2013 1:26PM

When, you are a billionaire 130 Million dollars is chicken feed for a house.


These 100 Million homes are not really homes, they are statements to flaunt how rich the individual is.


How about publishing a List of all individuals that make over fifty million dollars per year, show how much they pay in Taxes and how much they give to help other people and charitable non church no abortion groups.


Anything over twenty million dollars for a house is absolute capitalist bull rap. You can only occupy one space at a time as an individual so how long does it take you to walk through you 65,000, 00 square feet waste of money you call a house. 


I think at a certain point too much money made a couple of these people nuts.

Oct 4, 2013 12:11PM
Where is the Russian fertilizer king?   Boy have we got a deal for him.
Oct 4, 2013 11:59AM
Why would the president of Coca-Cola, headquartered in Atlanta, live in New York City? Pepsi's HQ at the time was NYC. Maybe the president of the New York bottler?
Oct 4, 2013 11:56AM
Oct 4, 2013 10:27AM

I was prepared to spend $129,000,000.00 but $130,000,000.00?


No way

Oct 4, 2013 10:07AM
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