High-powered New York City real estate developer Aby Rosen has sent his business partner Jared Kushner a pretty rude message. A new billboard at a construction site Rosen owns at 337 Lafayette Street in Manhattan exhorts passersby, in huge white letters, to “Vote Your CONSCIENCE!” On Monday, Rosen posted a photograph of the billboard to Instagram with the caption, “Wake up America.”
Are you a multi-millionaire real estate developer looking for a large mixed-use property that is chic yet gritty, gritty yet stylish, stylish yet authentic, authentic yet upscale, upscale yet downtown, downtown yet as expensive as anything uptown, as expensive as anything uptown yet appealingly sketchy-looking? I’ve got just the building for you.
By about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, throngs of eager New Yorkers were assembled outside 190 Bowery, hoping for access to a just-announced art show inside the 150-year-old former bank building. First Show / Last Show was celebrated as a chance for the public to see inside 190—which has been mostly inaccessible for decades—before the arrival of its new tenants. Not many people got in.
One ninety Bowery, a grimy old New York City building that sits literally at the intersection of Bowery and Spring Street, has found a chief tenant: a consortium of “luxury and fashion image-making” companies that, according to its CEO, sits “literally at the intersection of chic and gritty.” Literally a perfect match.
Art Basel Miami kicked off today and everyone who's anyone in the art world—from dealers to collectors to professional party-hoppers—has now headed south and Miami is now even more awash with air kisses and insincere compliments. (If you're in town and looking to crash a good party, head over to the event that Peter Brant, Aby Rosen and Alberto Mugrabi are hosting this evening; it's expected to be one of the fair's highlights.)
• Stephen Daldry, the director of The Hours, The Reader, and the Broadway production of Billy Elliot, The Musical, has picked up a new home: He paid $3.8 million for a five-floor townhouse in Chelsea. Daldry clearly has some work ahead of him. The 4,600-square-foot property located at 347 West 21st Street is currently configured as a three-unit house, according to the listing, and is in need of renovation. But he scored a pretty decent discount in the process. The home had been on the market for $4.775 million. [Cityfile, Corcoran]
• Actress Kristen Johnston has found a buyer for her duplex at 296 West 10th Street, just one month after she first put it on the market. The two-bedroom apartment with solarium and terrace had been listed for $1.795 million when it went into contract late last month. [Cityfile, Corcoran]
• Real estate mogul Aby Rosen has raised the price of his townhouse at 3 East 94th Street. Rosen purchased the 11,700-square-foot manse for $8.8 million in 2005 and first listed it for $29.5 million in September 2008. He chopped the price down to $23.75 million in February. Now it's $1 million more expensive. The luxe home is currently listed for $24.75 million. [Cityfile, 3E94th]
Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs, the real estate tycoons behind RFR Holdings and the owners of Lever House and the Seagram building, had been planning to build a Shangri-La hotel on Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street. That was before all the economic messiness, of course, and last month the project was dealt a death blow when several banks foreclosed on the property. Now the already bad situation is getting worse.
The Four Seasons celebrated its 50th anniversary last night and a predictably large crowd of media personalities, politicos, and powerbrokers turned out for the occasion. Just a few of the people on hand to celebrate the event with co-owners Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder (left, Erin Fetherston): Barry Diller, Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Mort Zuckerman, Ray and Veronica Kelly, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., David and Joyce Dinkins, Henry Kissinger, Aby and Samantha Rosen, Dolly Lenz, Tim and Nina Zagat, Steve Schwarzman, Fern Mallis, Jay McInerney, Jeffrey and Linda Chodorow, Steve Newhouse and Gina Sanders, Albert Maysles, Ruth Reichl, Robert Burke, Linda Fargo, Star Jones and Herb Wilson, Thom Browne, Don Marron, Drew Nieporent, John Gutfreund, Chuck Scarborough, Cindi Leive and Howard Bernstein, Terry Allen Kramer, Marjorie Gubelmann, Marina Rust Connor, and Salman Rushdie and girlfriend Pia Glenn. [PMc, Wireimage, NYO, Paper]
• Billionaire financier John Paulson has finally unloaded his house in Southampton, albeit for about $10 million less than he'd hoped to sell it for. The 7,000-square-foot home, which Paulson picked up for $12.75 million in 2006 and put up for sale for $19.5 million in 2008 before later dropping the price twice, just sold to an anonymous buyer for $9.99 million. [NYP]
• Karen and David Fleiss are cutting prices again at 1030 Fifth Avenue. The couple, who have tried just about everything to sell the 16-room duplex they first listed for $47.5 million last June (including dividing the apartment in two), have reduced the price of the bottom-floor unit from $11 million to $9.95 million. [Cityfile, PDE, previously]
• Now that she's no longer with the Count, "Real Housewife" LuAnn de Lesseps has moved out of the couple's rented townhouse on East 62nd Street. She's currently staying at her Bridgehampton place where she's supposedly "contemplating her next real estate move." [NYP]
Vanity Fair and USA Network celebrated the launch of "The Character Project" photo exhibit at Stephen Weiss Studio last night. Editor Graydon Carter, the mag's publisher Edward Menicheschi, and NBC Cable Entertainment president Bonnie Hammer were on hand to welcome Mena Suvari, Christian Siriano (left), Lucy Liu, Donna Karan and daughter Gabby De Felice, Katie Lee Joel, Rachel Roy, Rosie Perez, Jeff Goldblum, Peggy Siegal, Rose McGowan, Sylvia Plachy, Michael Musto, Gigi Stone, Lisa Anastos, Caryn and Jeff Zucker, Paz de la Huerta, Sky Nellor, Jeremy Kost, Josh Bernstein, Yigal Azrouël, Elise Overland, Bettina Prentice, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Kipton Cronkite, Liam McMullan, Izzy Gold, and Gossip Girl's Amanda Setton and Dreama Walker. [PMc, Wireimage, Getty, VF, NYO]
Some people dream of owning a castle; Calvin Klein wants to tear his down. Five years after the designer paid nearly $30 million for a gaudy 50,000-square-foot Southampton estate known as Dragon's Head, Klein filed an application this week to demolish it so he can replace it with a more modest (and much more minimalist) 17,500-square-foot number. To lend credibility to the plan, Klein had neighbors Ian Schrager and Aby Rosen write letters to the Southampton Village Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review on his behalf. We're not exactly sure how having someone who was in trouble for destroying an endangered bird habitat on his property this past summer bolsters his cause, but we'll keep a good thought for you, Cal! A few more photos of what's been described as "Disneyland on LSD" after the jump.
UNICEF's 5th annual Snowflake Gala took place on Wednesday night at Cipriani 42nd Street. Bryant Gumbel entertained the crowd of 500 and Lucy Liu was honored with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian award. Attendees included Michael Bloomberg, Jenna and Barbara Bush, Maggie Betts, Roland Betts, Lauren Bush and David Lauren (left), Marcus Samuelsson, Charlie Trotter, Charlotte Moss, Pamela Fiori, Gillian Miniter, Douglas Hannant and Frederick Anderson, Elyse Newhouse, Donny Deutsch, Alexandra Lebenthal, Jessica Joffe, Tea Leoni, Matt Lauer, Meredith Melling Burke, Cynthia Lufkin, and CNN's Sanjay Gupta. [PMc, Wireimage, Style.com, The Daily]
1) Bronson van Wyck and Andrew Fry (left) held a "Sunset Supper" at their house in Southampton for guests including Aby and Samantha Boardman Rosen, Peggy Siegal, Eric Villency, Fernanda Niven, Alex Kramer, and Peter Davis, who were served caviar in little lumps on their hands. According to Davis: "Caviar is the new cocaine... it's decadent and totally rehab-free!" Just think how disappointed his dealer's going to be when he catches wind of this. [Paper]
Aby Rosen has never been known as the best neighbor. Remember that nasty feud last year with fellow residents of the Upper East Side over the building he wanted to construct on Madison Avenue? It turns out he isn't very sensitive when it comes to his neighbors in the Hamptons either. An official spotted two of Rosen's sons (we're guessing that would be Charlie, pictured left, and Gaby, since his other two kids are babies) driving their ATV scooters in an endangered bird habitat, and notified the Southampton Village police. But Rosen wasn't about to take responsibility for his sons' intrusion on protected land that's home to the endangered piping plover: "Rosen advised the officer to take a hike and brazenly locked the offending vehicles in a garage after the cop threatened to impound them." The cop's response? "The officer then obtained a warrant to have Rosen arrested on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing governmental administration."
1) At the Harold Pratt House, the New Yorkers For Children Fall Gala was previewed with a Tuesday night gathering of Campion Platt, Andre Leon Talley, Jeffrey Kalinsky, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Dayssi Olarte De Kanavos, Douglas Hannant, Kate Schelter, Katie Lee Joel, Derek Blasberg, Debbie Bancroft, Joy Bryant, Daniel Benedict and Andrew Saffir, Annelise Peterson, Jamee Gregory, Fern Mallis, Jennifer Creel, Fabiola Beracasa, Oscar De La Renta, Thakoon Panichgul, Tom Florio, Zac Posen, Zani Gugelmann, Lauren Santo Domingo, Phillip Lim, Heather Mnuchin, and Peter Som. [Guest of a Guest]
A year and a half after Tom Wolfe took to the Times Op-Ed page to mock Aby Rosen's tummy and assail his plan for a shiny Sir Norman Foster-designed skyscraper at 980 Madison, he's picking up the hatchet again. At a hearing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission last night, Wolfe lit into Rosen and Foster's five-story, 152,000-square-foot second draft for 980 Madison, a pared-down proposal that they'd hoped would silence people like Wolfe who were sinking the project the first time around. No luck!
1) The New York City Ballet's 24th annual "Dance With the Dancers" party was sponsored by Elle and Ferragamo. Fabiola Beracasa, Zani Gugelman, Allison Sarofim, Robbie Myers, Joe Zee, and Olivia Chantecaille wore Roman-inspired outfits, while Tatum O'Neal had everyone wondering what was in her glass. [Elle]
The Observer's Max Abelson sits down with high-rolling, art-guzzling real estate plutocrat Aby Rosen, who makes no bones about the extravagant lifestyle he shares with his socialite wife Samantha Boardman Rosen, their two babies, and Rosen's two kids from his first marriage. Hey, did you know you can buy caviar by the wheelbarrow?