In December, Brooke Astor’s duplex at 778 Park Avenue, the home where she held court for decades, and was allegedly held hostage by her son Anthony Marshall, went to contract for $19.9 million. It was a shocking price–shockingly low–given that the 14-room home in one of the city’s most exclusive co-ops came on the market almost three years earlier for $46 million. Mr. Marshall was said to have taken a steep discount on the home due to multimillion-dollar legal bills, stemming from his criminal trial, currently under appeal, for which he allegedly swindled his late mother out of $60 million.
Mr. Marshall may have to look elsewhere for his legal fees, as The Transom has learned that a foreign buyer, reported to be Swiss moneyman Daniel Forcart, has been turned down not once but twice by the board of this Rosario Candela masterpiece. He is said to be trying to salvage the deal, but as one Uptown boker put it, “He was turned down twice? There’s nothing left to salvage. Maybe his psyche, by the time he recovers.” Another buyer is rumored to have been turned down in the fall.
Finding a new one could be difficult, as well, because the board strictly enforces summer work rules. Even if someone were to buy tomorrow, by the time the board approval was over and city permits approved, everyone would be headed home from the Hamptons, and it would be too late. The renovation–“nothing’s been updated in years, the kitchen is probably from the 1950s”–would have to wait until the next Memorial Day.
Kenneth Warner, one of Mr. Marshall’s attorneys declined to comment.
It remains unclear why this buyer was turned down, but one source suggested that de facto board chair Susan Hess, wife of oilman John Hess, wants “a lot of panache” in the building. Look no further than the maisonnette, which Mark and Renee Rockefeller bought from the Buckley estate in December for $8.75 million.
That, or maybe the foreigner could not produce a birth certificate.