Late Oil King Warren Alpert Lived Lightly; His Ritz Tower Co-Ops Go for $1.57 M.

transfers ritzexterior3v Late Oil King Warren Alpert Lived Lightly; His Ritz Tower Co Ops Go for $1.57 M.By the time Warren Alpert died this March, his private oil business was doing $2 billion in sales annually. Considering that he grew up in the 1920’s in a clapboard house outside Boston, one might think he’d have chosen to spend his latter years in massive onyx-clad opulence.

But his two co-ops in The Ritz Tower at 465 Park Avenue were sold off this month for relatively petite sums. A two-bedroom apartment went for $1.4 million, city records show, and a fourth-floor studio/storage space sold for $175,000.

In contrast, he gave $100 million to Brown University’s medical school just before his death, which added to his $15 million Mount Sinai Hospital donation, plus the $20 million he gave to Harvard in 1993. “I want cures for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, AIDS,” he said at the time.

Considering the $135 million in donations and his $1.575 million apartments, the Warren Alpert Ritz Rule hereby stipulates that all New Yorkers must donate 85 times what their real estate is worth.

According to an obituary, his home at the Ritz was his only luxury. Yet the main apartment hadn’t been renovated in a number of years, according to Ritz Tower managing director Richard Veffer, especially due to his declining health. His estate’s buyer, listed in city records as Cohen Brothers Realty, an uptown office building firm run by developer Charles S. Cohen, will be gut-renovating.

The place has just two bedrooms and a small kitchen: “Most of the apartments have small kitchenettes because we have room service here,” Mr. Veffer said. “He would take advantage of that for lunch and dinner.” (An in-house menu posted online features double lamb chops with mint, plus steak au poivre with cognac sauce.) Mr. Alpert also took housekeeping every day, and paid a bellman extra to deliver mail to his office nearby, according to Mr. Veffer.

But, really, as far as oilman decadence goes, that’s not quite depraved.

Article continues below
More from Politics
(FILES): These two file photos show then Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (L) speaking to reporters about the minimum wage for federal contractors at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feburary 12, 2014; and Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (R) during a press conference about Islamophobia at the National Press Club on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.

US Democrats, licking their wounds from last year's election debacle, will pick a new leader on February 25, 2017 to take the fight to President Donald Trump and his Republicans. The race to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) features front-runners Tom Perez, a Hispanic-American and former secretary of labor under Barack Obama who is the establishment pick, and Keith Ellison, a black Muslim congressman from the party's progressive wing who has left open the prospect of pushing to impeach Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN AND Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanders 2020 Just Became Much More Likely With Tom Perez as DNC Chair