In an ideal world, every member of the Bush administration would buy incredibly garish real estate, which would make it easier to rib them for being fat cats.
But $3.85 million isn’t a despotic amount to spend these days. Ex-White House senior staff member Dina Habib Powell and her husband, Richard, paid that sum last month for an apartment at the Metropolitan, Philip Johnson’s horizontal-striped condo on East 90th Street.
In 2003, Ms. Powell became assistant to the president for presidential personnel, and two years later she became an assistant secretary of state. “We immediately recognized her brains and her ability,” an old boss, Dick Armey, once said of her, “and then her charm, and finally, I think somebody noticed she was gorgeous, too.”
The $3.85 million is $760,000 less than what former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife (no relation) just spent on two apartments on West 93rd Street. Modestly, as The Observer has already reported, that couple turned down a $135,000 “upgrade package” that would have gotten them a fridge, subway tiles and granite countertops.
The Upper East Side Powell apartment won’t need any upgrading. According to a Stribling & Associates listing, their four-bedroom, 2,234-square-foot apartment comes with “Viking appliances, custom cabinetry, granite marble, cherry wood and mahogany finishes.”
Stribling photographs show a tree, a grand piano and a lounge-like orange chair in the condo’s big-window living room. That’s what you’re awarded with when you leave the White House to become a Goldman Sachs managing director (which Ms. Powell did this year). Husband Richard C. Powell Jr. has a new job, too: In August he became the chief operating officer at P.R. monolith Burson-Marsteller.
Via e-mail, Mr. Powell said they wouldn’t comment. Their sellers, according to city records, are Elizabeth and Richard W. Collins Jr.
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