Samuel L. Jackson Buys SoHo Spread

cityfile · 11/23/09 08:54AM

• Samuel L. Jackson is reportedly the mystery buyer behind the purchase of a 2,578-square-foot condo at 76 Crosby Street. The second-floor apartment, which was sold by Wall Street exec Eric Gross and just happens to be located next door to Gawker founder Nick Denton's pad, was most recently listed for $4.35 million. Jackson is reportedly picking it up for just under $4.1 million. [NYP, Sotheby's]
• Joseph Betesh, president of the Dr. Jay's chain of clothing stores, has put his 28th-floor condo at 15 Central Park West on the market. The 2,367-square-foot apartment, which Betesh bought for $5.6 million in April 2008, is listed for $12.9 million. [Cityfile, JCRE]

Ira Rennert Will Not Be Outdone

cityfile · 10/01/09 01:04PM

This hasn't been a very good year for Ira Rennert, the shadowy tycoon who built a fortune by scooping up steel, magnesium, coal, and lead companies around the world. Rennert reportedly lost $100-$200 million by investing his money with Bernie Madoff (although considering the new installment of the Forbes 400 lists his net worth at $4 billion, it's not like he's going to have to start panhandling anytime soon). Today, however, there's a bit of good news for Rennert: According to, Rennert's ridiculously massive house in the Hamptons once again takes top honors for being the largest home in the U.S. Don't believe it? A few photos of Rennert's 66,395-square-foot, 29-bed, 39-bath Italianate mansion are below.

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 05/29/09 07:08AM

Shoshanna Gruss—socialite, designer, ex-girlfriend of Jerry, and wife of Josh—turns 34 today. Former investment banker and U.S. Ambassador to France, Felix Rohatyn, is 81. Time Inc. chief Ann Moore is turning 59. Former News Corp. exec Peter Chernin is 57. Interior designer/Target fave Thomas O'Brien is turning 48. Actress Annette Bening is 51. Melanie Brown ("Scary Spice") is turning 34. Noel Gallagher of Oasis is turning 42. Fellow Brit Rupert Everett is 50. Brazilian model Ana Beatriz Barros turns 27. Lisa Whelchel of Facts of Life fame is 46. And La Toya Jackson is celebrating her 53rd birthday today. Weekend birthdays below.

The Tuesday Party Report

cityfile · 02/24/09 02:49PM

Chelsea's Lehmann Maupin Gallery played host to Glamour's "Glamour Project" last night, an art exhibit designed to celebrate the magazine's 70th anniversary. Glamour editor Cindi Leive and publisher Bill Wackermann welcomed the likes of Cynthia Rowley and Bill Powers (left), Iman, Lyor Cohen and Tory Burch, Kyle MacLachlan and Desiree Gruber, Yvonne Force Villareal, Thelma Golden, Nicole Miller, Thakoon Panichgul, Gilles Bensimon, Marcus Samuelsson, Alanna Heiss, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Evelyn Lauder, Rory Tahari, Diane Kruger, Amanda Peet, Olivia Chantecaille, Roopal Patel, Jane Lauder, Peter Som, Erin Fetherston and Hedi Ferjani, Gilles Mendel, Michael Stipe, Oscar Blandi, Lisa Airan, Charlotte Sarkozy, Alison Brod, Lela Rose, Patrick McMullan, Kai Kuhne, Waris Ahluwalia, Amy Fine Collins, and Jason Wu, who admired works by Kara Walker, Rachel Feinstein, and Marilyn Minter (among others), pieces that will be featured in the magazine's April issue. [PMc, VF, FWD, GOAG]

The List: Sorting Through the Names

cityfile · 02/06/09 09:19AM

It's still unclear how many of the people on the "Madoff List" were truly victims of the Ponzi scheme. The trustee liquidating Madoff's financial firm has said that some of the people listed may have served as trustees or agents for other people who lost money, which may explain why some of the people who have stated publicly in recent weeks that they'd lost a fortune to the scheme don't appear at all. (Case in point: Ira Rennert has said he lost $200 million to Madoff's scheme, but his name does not appear in the 163-page document.) But it's interesting to go through the names anyway, and you don't even need to bother with the tedious task of scanning the PDF document: There's a Madoff victim search engine that has made the process much easier. Just point your browser here and you can look people up by address or name. After the jump, a long list of people who have turned up as possible victims in the last day or two.

The Friday Party Report

cityfile · 01/23/09 12:19PM

The Villency Emerging Fashion Program hosted a dinner at Bobo on Wednesday night to honor Elise Overland and threeASFOUR designers Adi, Ange and Gabi. Eric Villency and wife Kimberly Guilfoyle welcomed a collection of fashion and social fixtures, including Zani Gugelmann (left), Byrdie Bell, Daniel Benedict and Andrew Saffir, Ann Dexter-Jones, Richard Johnson, Hope Atherton, Kate Schelter, Maggie Betts, Horacio Silva, Jessica Joffe, Glenn O'Brien, Ferebee Bishop, Gigi Stone, Tom Sachs, Serena Merriman, Poppy de Villeneuve, and Stephanie LaCava. [PMc, FWD, VF, GoaG]

The Bernie Madoff Saga Rolls on

cityfile · 12/22/08 09:16AM

Bernie Madoff has been sequestered in his apartment since his bail conditions were modified on Friday, but that's hardly put a damper on the media frenzy. Over the weekend, the Post was kind enough to tally the funds lost by members of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue (or the "Temple of Doom," as the Post describes it), a $2 billion sum that includes a $200 million investment by Ira Rennert, an amount that is about twice what he spent on his house in the Hamptons. The Times offered up an extremely detailed look at Madoff's rise over the years, and revealed that Walter Noel, who runs the Fairfield Greenwich Group, collected more than $500 million in fees from the $7.5 billion he steered into Madoff's hands, a good portion of whuch was rustled up thanks to the efforts of his globetrotting sons-in-law.

Tax Trouble for the Rich and Famous

cityfile · 11/24/08 09:30AM

Hope you didn't try and cheat on your taxes last year or pull some sort of shady maneuver that you were hoping no one would notice. With the state now facing an unprecedented budget shortfall, tax authorities are now pushing people who haven't paid their outstanding tax bills to pay up in a hurry. Ralph Lauren had to hand over $4.18 million in back taxes recently, a debt related to taxes on his Gulfstream jet (photo here), although the fashion mogul says he plans to fight the ruling. Secretive billionaire Ira Rennert has been battling the state over a tax bill imposed on his holding company, the Renco Group, although he's since settled the case by coughing up $1.77 million. And Shelby Bryan, Anna Wintour's boyfriend (and the father of Alexis Bryan), also had to write a hefty check to New York State recently. In August, he handed over $976,222, although the IRS also hit him with a $1.6 million lien for outstanding federal taxes. Looks like Anna may not be able to retire so soon after all!

Household Help No More

cityfile · 08/04/08 06:31AM

Ira Rennert may be looking for some help around his Hamptons compound today. Degli and Maria Martinez, a husband and wife who served as live-in help at Rennert's 110,000-square-foot home, just quit their jobs after winning the largest jackpot in New York State lotto history. The winning ticket came out to $21 million as part of a lump sum payment, which is roughly what Rennert spends a year on gas for his fleet of jets and Hummers. [Page Six]

The $100 Million Nunnery

cityfile · 07/17/08 08:08AM

Good news for anyone looking to give Ira Rennert a run for his money in the Hamptons real estate market! The Post reports the 21,000-square-foot nunnery known as Villa Maria in Water Mill is about to hit the market at more than $100 million. (It's now owned by Vincent Camuto, the co-founder of Nine West.) In addition to the manse, which features 12 bedrooms and a ballroom, the property also comes with three guest cottages and 1,200 feet of shoreline. It's a little bit more modest than Rennert's "Fair Field," but you can always install the two bowling alleys yourself.

Ira Rennert

cityfile · 02/03/08 09:32PM

Ira Rennert is known for two things: the vast wealth he's acquired thanks to investments in highly unpopular industries, and his home in the Hamptons, which has the distinction of being the largest residential structure in the country.