740 Park, the bronze-door co-op for billionaires and banana barons, doesn’t leave much to be desired. It’s simply spotless and grand.
So it’s odd that the Texas-born philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross, who has a massive 12th-floor duplex at the Rosario Candela-designed Park Avenue shrine, bought another New York duplex last month.
City records show that under the name Venice II LLC, she paid $7.25 million for a penthouse at 160 Wooster, a glass-and-white-metal downtown condo built this decade. Her sellers are Deutsche Bank global securities trader Greg Lippmann (famous for his online ranking of New York sushi restaurants) and wife Kimberly.
“Here’s what I’m willing to tell you: I loved my terrace, it was fabulous—great space for outdoor entertaining and for the kids to play,” Ms. Lippman told The Observer.
But even if that Wooster terrace is 1,731 square feet, and even if it has a fireplace, the duplex at 740 Park Avenue is in another universe of nobility.
Soon before the 1992 death of Steve Ross, the Time Warner magnate, he and Ms. Ross created their Upper East Side duplex out of two apartments, one with 14 rooms, the other with 18. This reporter remembers visiting the sprawl around age 10, watching the Disney movie Blank Check in the home theater, eating homemade cookie dough and briefly getting lost in the duplex afterward.
Considering the apartment’s Park Avenue weightiness, could Ms. Ross really be moving down to hip little Wooster Street? Michael Gross, who published a tell-all on 740 Park two years ago, said it wasn’t impossible: “We’re talking about a double apartment with extraordinary provenance, in what is arguably the best building in New York. You’d be crazy to not have thoughts of cashing out.”
But it’s more likely that the Wooster penthouse isn’t for Ms. Ross: After all, even though her signature is on the condo’s deed, a family trust named with her daughter Nicole’s initials is listed as the “sole member” of Venice II. The family did not return several calls, so it’s hard to say which Ross woman will get the Wooster penthouse.
Meanwhile, the Lippmann family just upgraded to another duplex, city records show. In April, they paid $12.5 million for a mammoth penthouse, next door to Lenny Kravitz, on Crosby Street.