With her 19,000 square foot mansion in Greenwich sold, it should come as no surprise that Cynthia Biondi—the wife of Lazard chieftain Michael Biondi, who died in 2007 at the age of 50—is headed to Park Avenue. Though Ms. Biondi’s Connecticut estate failed to claim its $26.5 million asking price, it did manage an entirely respectable $25 million—enough for plenty of square footage even in the city’s fanciest buildings. But rather than to 720, 778 or 740 Park, Ms. Biondi has elected to relocate to the slightly less hallowed 737 Park Avenue, where she recently purchased a three-bedroom corner unit for $11.2 million, according to city records.
To be sure, Ms. Biondi will have to adjust to certain changes in lifestyle—changes of the sort rarely associated with a move to Manhattan’s most storied boulevard. Changes, that is, of the belt-tightening variety. The apartment, for instance, has only three-and-a-half bathrooms, a full eight fewer than her old Greenwich place. The staff wing off the garage will be replaced by a service entrance off the kitchen, the tennis court and pool with a lowly gym—available to all tenants of the building. Where once there were 8.23 acres, there will be a mere 2,915 square feet. To add insult to injury, the building even offers a pair of apartments for rent. (A five bedroom goes for $15,000 a month, while a four bedroom fetches $14,000.)
Still, things are not all bad for Ms. Biondi, who bought her new condo as a sponsor unit from Macklowe Properties. Its (relatively) modest space is “elegantly proportioned,” in the listing’s estimation, and western-facing windows in the living and dining rooms afford lovely views of Park Avenue. There are solid oak and marble floors, custom casement windows and a Varenna kitchen. Built in 1940, the building has been recently renovated and upgraded to suit the tastes of today’s jet set.
This it shares, to some extent, with Ms. Biondi’s last home, which was constructed in 2001 on the site of a house she and her husband razed after buying it for $7.7 million the year before. That leaves her with a nice chunk of post-closing pocket change, should she decide to splurge on any further improvements. For even very beautiful things, as she well knows, can stand some updating once in a while.