If you’re trying to guess who the mysterious buyer of a townhouse is these days, it seems like a good idea to start with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.
Yesterday, The Observer broke the news that the Ellen Biddle Shipman mansion at 21 Beekman Place, listed with Brown Harris Steven’s Paula Del Nunzio, had sold for $35 million—with all the furnishings included. And now The Post is claiming that the buyer is none other than the real estate mad sheikh himself, who just bought Aby Rosen’s $47 million townhouse at 22 East 71st Street.
Apparently the prime minister and his minions fancy themselves regular Janna Bullocks. They’ve even been bothering to whittle down prices lately—getting a $8 million discount on the already price-adjusted Shipman townhouse, which hit the market last fall for $48.5 million. The buyer’s broker, Douglas Elliman’s Paolo Zampolli, confirmed to The Observer that the buyer was indeed the prime minister.
But two townhouses on the Upper East Side? That sounds decadent, even for a sheikh.
Is the prime minister still trying to soothe his hurt feelings after getting snubbed by the board of 907 Fifth last summer? Retail therapy for the fabulously wealthy? Or maybe he feels upstaged by the Emir of Qatar, who owns a roughly 45,0oo-square-foot complex, reportedly the largest single-family home in the city, on East 72nd?
Not quite, says the Post, which claims that the Prime Minister won’t be using the Biddle Shipman Mansion for himself, but for his U.N. delegation—which seems plausible given that the home was sold furnished. But then again, maybe he will. Because actually? He hates Aby Rosen’s mansion. The Post writes that the sheikh “soured on the place because it didn’t have enough privacy or security for his wives, children and gun-toting security detail, reports The Post’s Jennifer Gould Keil.” Who may or may not be the author of the uncredited story about the Prime Minister’s buy. Or perhaps it’s now house style to write the reporter’s byline into the story?
Update: Mr. Zampolli told The Observer that the prime minister intends to use the home as the ambassador’s residence.