Media overlord Rupert Murdoch paid $44 million for his 834 Fifth Avenue triplex in May 2005. But his co-op record has been bested.
Two sources have told The Observer that a 17-room, seven-bedroom duplex penthouse at 1060 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 87th Street, will sell for around $46 million. That’s easily the most money ever paid for a New York City co-op—even though this place needs work.
The buyers, those sources said, are young hedge-fund star Scott Bommer and his wife, Donya, an ex-anchor for Good Day Philadelphia. Their seller is Georgia Shreve, a poet and writer published in The New Yorker. “Well, I feel nostalgic, because my kids grew up here. But it’s not a bad feeling to have it sell at a good price,” Ms. Shreve said. “I have bought another duplex penthouse with a great view, so I’m not that unhappy.”
But her 1060 Fifth duplex isn’t quite complete. According to the $48 million listing with Brown Harris Stevens managing directors John Burger, Fritzi Kallop and Mary Rutherfurd, the seller’s 13th-floor apartment and penthouse unit upstairs have to be combined by the buyer.
Ms. Shreve said that in 2000, when she separated from the moneyman Glenn Greenberg, she bought the penthouse. (Public deeds don’t reveal the price; Mr. Greenberg is still on property filings.) She’d been in the family’s first apartment for about a decade, and proposed combining the co-ops in the style of 18th-century architect Robert Adam.
The board turned down her plans. “I have a gorgeous apartment; it wasn’t like torture. It is a beautiful apartment, and we used the upstairs”—but had to take the building’s elevator or stairs. “It just wasn’t convenient, not as elegant.” As recompense, the penthouse has four sides of outdoor space, like a greenhouse and a south-facing, 114.5-foot-long terrace. But the corner living room (overlooking Central Park) and labyrinthine master bedroom suite are both downstairs.
Pulitzer winners have been over, Ms. Shreve said, plus Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer. When asked about her most honored guest, she said: “Have you read that book called Angela’s Ashes? You know that man? What’s-his-name!”
“Frank McCourt! Yup—I gave a big party for him, for 55 people for dinner. And it’s cute because the invitations went out and he won a Pulitzer.”
Is it somehow unjust that the buyers are paying around $46 million, but still have to combine the two apartments? “Putting in a staircase is not a big deal,” Ms. Shreve said. Why doesn’t she propose a simpler renovation than the 18th-century plan and connect the duplex herself? “The truth is, I have three sons who are grown, only one’s living at home, so it didn’t make sense to have such a huge apartment,” she said.
But her buyers are young. Ms. Bommer is still in her 30’s, and her husband, the president of SAB Capital Management (and a director of the superpowerful Robin Hood Foundation), is barely older. They’re selling an 11-room co-op at 1040 Fifth Avenue, which cost them $12.375 million in late 2005; that place, listed for $25 million, just went to contract, too.
Neither the Bommers nor the Brown Harris Stevens listing brokers on the 1060 Fifth co-op would comment.
When their purchase closes next month, a floor plan shows they’ll have a “formal bar” bigger than their servant’s room, plus two libraries, two kitchens and four wood-burning fireplaces.