While Larry Ruben, the founder and chairman of real estate investment and management firm the Ruben Companies clearly likes to get the family name out there, his daughter Rochelle Ruben Kivell has kept a low profile all these years.
For a woman who can spend $11.1 million on a full-floor co-op at 760 Park Avenue, Ms. Kivell’s names yields an almost startlingly low number of Google hits. All we know is that she sits on the research and advisory board of a breast cancer foundation and that she makes a lot of political contributor to democratic candidates. That, and she has thing for sprawling apartments in tony precincts. At least one respect she is following in daddy’s footsteps.
And we can see she drives a hard bargain, too. The four-bedroom, 4.5-bath co-op apartment with grandly scaled rooms and more than 80 feet of Park Avenue footage came on the market in March asking $12.25 million. Scarcely more than a month later Ms. Kivell had netted a contract with a million dollar discount.
Maybe seller Arturo Ramos, having lived all these years in the same building with real estate tycoon William Mack, who sold his apartment in 2010, has seen how persistent real estate types can be? More likely Ms. Kivell was able to whittle down the ask because she could see through the listing’s positive spin.
When Brown Harris Stevens broker Caroline EY Guthrie wrote: “As this apartment has remained in the same family for over forty years it provides a buyer with a unique opportunity to custom-create a wonderful large home combining the elegance of the original well-conceived layout with all of today’s modern amenities,” some buyers might see “custom-create… a wonderful large home… with all of today’s modern amenities.” Whereas we’re guessing Ms. Kivell saw the subtext: this apartment hasn’t really been renovated in 40 years. The only way you’ll ever get modern amenities if you install them yourself.
On the bright side, it looks to be a handsome space so long as you don’t set too much stock in modern amenities. There’s a library, lots of gleaming wood, awesome wallpaper, big windows and all the major rooms face Park Avenue. (We’re guessing those don’t include the staff quarters by the kitchen?)
And if Ms. Kivell ends up changing her mind, she can always ask her dad to rent her one of the 480 residential units at Symphony House, one of the many buildings he manages.