“We were admiring your security cameras,” a man in a paint-splattered Ralph Lauren polo shirt said last Sunday afternoon, standing next to his wife outside of 11 Spring Street. “We need some for our building.” He was talking to Caroline Cummings, the 27-year-old who bought 11 Spring from Rupert Murdoch’s elder son, Lachlan, exactly two years ago for $12 million.
Back then the gargantuan 19th-century brick building, once horse stables, was drenched in graffiti, among other things, although the facade’s huge street art was so beloved that Ms. Cummings helped put on an art show before pressure-hosing the walls as renovations began. (“I want to care,” said Ms. Cummings, who is writing a graduate school dissertation based on the project. “I want to be personally aware.”)
Her construction work, which produced three almost upsettingly perfect, upsettingly expensive apartments, is now days away from being done, so Ms. Cummings and her broker, Corcoran’s Robby Browne, were willing to give The Observer a look inside. “I just think this is the sexiest entrance,” Mr. Browne said when the building’s elevator opened onto the middle floor of the new penthouse triplex. The main hall sits in between a 31-by-21-foot living room and a long, thin dining room, which leads to a kitchen with a wood-burning fireplace, and an automated wine cooler (one of two in the penthouse).
Downstairs, the master suite has a closet off the main walk-in closet, and then two more closets around the corner from the bedroom, although none have been finished with shelves or lights. “I personally wouldn’t want this done, because I live a certain way, you know what I mean?” Ms. Cummings said. Some people like shoes, she meant; others like clothes. (Her grandfather was Max Fisher, the oil and real estate titan who died three years ago. Her family invested in the project, though Ms. Cummings is the managing partner. Bill Elias, another investor, died this March.)
That 4,600-square-foot penthouse has been on the market at $17.95 million for over a year, just like the $15.15 million triplex downstairs and a $6.7 million flat in between. But Mr. Browne said he hasn’t been able to seriously show the condos until this week because of construction.
“Of course they haven’t sold,” one of Mr. Murdoch’s brokers told The New York Sun in March. “They aren’t going to sell at those crazy prices.” Actually, the tags seem less crazy—though still eye-widening—when you’re inside the redone space. Views from the stable’s curved mahogany windows are pretty much heartbreaking, and the windowless 595-square-foot garage isn’t bad, either.
Better yet, the master bathrooms have heated floors, and even the powder rooms get dual-flush toilets. “That’s pee-pee and poo-poo; that’s European, it saves water.” Mr. Browne said, pressing the two pressure options. “Fabulous, isn’t it?”