It’s Good to be The King

by John Delach

It is good to be the king especially in New York City. Witness these gems that all appeared in the July 26 and 27 weekend edition of the New York Times. The following pieces appeared in the Real Estate Section:


Manhattan’s Secret Pools and Gardens: The authors point out that the asking price for a four-bedroom apartment in Franklin Place, a condo with a roof-top swimming pool is $7.5 million. Nice crib, if you can get it.


Another venue: “The Dream Downtown, a hotel in the Meatpacking District, charges $175 a day to use the pool, Monday through Thursday. A cabana on the weekend will set you back $2,500.”


(The e-copy of this article was accompanied by a slide show.) My favorite is a shot from a helicopter hovering over a condo on Broadway between East Eighty Eight Street and Waverly Place. The camera is trained on an elevated roof-top pool and a large patio area one level below the pool Young things male and female line the apron below the pool soaking in the rays, the boys in knee length or longer suits and the girls in miniscule Bikini triangles. A few peer up at the chopper. Meanwhile, way down on street level, pedestrians oblivious to the scene above shuffle along Broadway more in tune with a passing a subway entrance than the good life above them.


Park and River Vistas for $30 Million: Tyler Ellis, the daughter of fashion designer, Perry Ellis, held the record for the most expensive sale of the week at $30,003,000. Marcel Herrmann Telles, a Brazilian billionaire is the buyer of her former abode, Apartment 33A in the tower at 15 Central Park West. Mr. Telles is the controlling shareholder in Anheuser-Busch InBev.


On the Upper West Side, a House Divided by Income: A new development on the Upper West Side south of Seventy-Second Street has …”received approval from the city for separate entrances – one for wealthy residents and one for those earning far less who would occupy the projects affordable units in a separate wing.”


This “Let them eat cake” concept of providing affordable housing was introduced during Bloomberg’s administration as part of the incentive to spur developers to include such “affordable” units in “market-rate projects.” But this plan for Riverside South has raised a bit of a storm. Gina Bellafante noted in her piece that it is doubtful the De Blasio administration can do much about the decision even though…”the building’s configuration is anathema to his values…” as it is perfectly legal


This separate entrance, already deemed, “the poor door,” allows rich people to live, as they prefer with other rich people by effectively separating out the masses.


But, then again, so does first class travel.


Not to be outdone, the Sunday Business Section included this First Page gem:

Seeing a Supersize Yacht as a Job Engine, Not Self-Indulgence: (The last piece demonstrates that Big Money plays just as well in St. Louis as it does in Gotham.)

Dennis M. Jones who sold his niche drug company, Jones Pharma, for $3.4 billion in 2000 has taken delivery of his new 161 foot mega-yacht, D’Natalin IV, where he intends to spend winters sailing in the Caribbean and summers cruising Europe. Christensen Yachts won the bid to build and outfit his boat for $34 million.


Mr. Jones noted by coincidence, the price of his boat is the same amount that he has contributed to charities since the year he sold his company in 2000. Bully for you, Mr. Jones.


The 75-year old Jones also noted his purchase saved the boatyard located in Vancouver, Washington. Paul Sullivan reported that, “Joe F. Foggia, chief executive of Christensen Yachts, does not dispute Mr. Jones’s recollection. His yacht order was a catalyst for others. ‘We had finished some boats, but the last one delivered was in the later part of 2010.”


If that alone is not sufficient proof that Mr. Jones is an engine for jump starting the economy, the article points out that the D’Natalin IV will have a crew of 10. “An experienced captain on a ship like this earns $200,000 a year, an engineer about $150,000 and the rest of the crew from $40,000 to $50,000. (Room and board are free.)…This is not a bad gig, especially as the Jones and/or their friends are not on board a decent amount of the time.


Christian Bakewell, a yacht broker who oversaw construction explained it for us, the unwashed: “People see splashy images of Beyonc’e  stepping on a yacht. What they don’t see is how many people go into building that yacht and maintaining that yacht. Those things get missed and people fall back on the one percent arguments.”


As Mel Brooks said and at the risk of being redundant, “It’s good to be the king.”