If there's one thing Your Mama has learned from our half dozen years in the property gossip trenches it's that no matter what the condition of the economy—globally, locally, up, down, depressed or otherwise in flux—there's always going to be rich people and some of them are going to be so extraordinarily financially well endowed they can comfortably acquire a exceptionally expensive trophy property such New York City's newly listed The Residence at River House,
What is this The Residence at River House, you ask? Well, children, buckle your safety belts because, if you haven't already heard, it's a real damn real estate doozy.
The RRH.—let's just call it that for short, shall we?—eats up 62,000 square feet over five floors of the venerable and still preposterously snooty if no longer terribly fashionable River House complex that hovers over the filthy, traffic-choked F.D.R. Drive and over looks the ship-trafficked East River. The urban mega-mansion was hoisted on the open market this week amid much hullabaloo and flabbergast with a publicity seeking and publicity ensuring $130,000,000 price tag.
Once upon a time, River House was the very pinnacle of real estate snobbery in upper class New York City. So the scuttlebutt goes, in 1980 the famously persnickety co-op board allegedly rejected Gloria Vanderbilt's bid to buy into the high-nosed building because she was presumed to be having—ahem—relations with her "frequent escort" Bobby Short who is—oh, dear—a black man. Nowadays River House feels stuffy and musty in terms of its desirability to the globe-trotting super rich of today's world and, just between us chickens, the building is a couple too many blocks east of Midtown to be considered convenient to anything but itself.
The department store-sized spread, which occupies what was formerly River House's private social and athletic club, is offered "in its existing condition," as per marketing materials. That means the $130 million price is for raw space that will, we should all be assured, take years and another ten or twenty million to transform in to a properly fitted and luxuriously outfitted private residence of truly Brobdingnagian proportions.
To wit: the Casa Grande at Hearst Castle in San Simeon (CA) rings up at 60,645 square feet which means The Residence is almost 2,000 square feet bigger. Have you seen Hearst Castle? Your Mama has. We've been there, many times. Case Grande is epically gigantic. And RRH, children, is larger, and it's on the edge of Midtown Manhattan. It's real estate insanity, really.
Tony Ingrao are described in marketing materials as a 30-ish room spread with eight bedrooms, ten bathrooms, and cavernous public rooms with 20-foot ceilings. Twenty! The river-view living room alone looks in renderings to be as big as a hotel ballroom. Mister Ingrao envisions an equally commodious double-height library and a super-sized kitchen complex, one presumably planned to best facilitate the gastronomic creations of a well-compensated private chef and a minimum wage scullery maid.
Mister Ingrao's plan calls for a 15,000 square foot bedroom wing that includes a 62-foot long master bedroom and another 6,000 square feet of staff accommodations. Did you get that? Six thousand square feet of space just to house the staff. If six though square feet for staff sounds excessive keep in mind that it's virtually impossible for pampered housewife with part-time staff to maintain a home of this proportion. Fer chrissakes, imagine how long it takes to Swiff a 62,000 square foot house. For-evuh, that's how long. And you think Madame of the 62,000 square foot apartment is gonna Swiff that shit three days a week when she has better things to do like have a private fitting with Karl Damn Lagerfeld or fly private to Houston to pick up a particularly hard to come by Birkin bag? Pleeze. A lady like this has people, usually a slew of people at her beck and command. This can't even get dressed without paying three people an arm and a leg to tell her what to wear and how to accessorize it nor can she get in or out of a chauffeur driven car without a body guard and an PDA-laden assistant that's stuck to her like a barnacle.
And don't even get Your Mama started on this lady's husband because y'all should not need little old us to tell you that this lady's man, a man with the resources to fork over $130,00,000 for a 62,000 square foot apartment that he can also afford to build out and maintain is not about to scrub his own damn toilet or—let's be honest—make himself a peanut butter sandwich. People, this man could hire a man to wipe his backside if he wanted and—trust, children—that degradation as a symbol of ultimate wealth and power is coming. Mark Your Mama's word on that, butter beans, because it's coming. Anyways, the point we're trying to make is that a 62,000 square foot house, even one used on a part-time basis, requires an extensive, full-time retinue of personnel. Iffin we had to guess, we'd say at least half a dozen not counting a 'round the clock Mossad-trained security team.
Listing details state that floor plans are available upon request. We'd request them but we sorta know already that the high-powered real estate agents who hold the listing for RRH would sooner lick a cat's ass then email the plans to naughty-naughty Yours Truly. However, iffin any of the children get their hands on a copy and might fancy a covert pass along, we'd puke with gratitude.
listing photos: Brown Harris Stevens