Certain parties wondered five years ago whether contemporary art adviser and curator Allan Schwartzman had gotten a good deal on the three-bedroom condo he bought at Jean Nouvel’s Vision Machine building at 100 11th Avenue for $3.78 million. If Mr. Schwartzman is not exactly a household name, he is nonetheless regarded by clients as something of a clairvoyant when it comes to spotting modern aesthetic creations whose values are likely to increase. And his West Chelsea pad has proven no exception. He’s just sold the place for $5.3 million, according to city records, to a corporation registered to James and Loren Ridinger—the fabulously-wealthy founders of Market America, a multilevel marketing company in the (not-terribly reputable) tradition of Avon and Amway.
As city records have it, Mr. and Ms. Ridinger seem to have been very busy in recent weeks. To the $19.4 million duplex they’ve owned at 100 11th Ave. since 2009, they’ve added not only Mr. Schwartzman’s old place, on the 12th floor, but a second three-bedroom on the 14th floor that closed for $5.6 million. (Given that the building has no 13th floor, we’d have to say that the couple is planning another duplex. Perhaps something for their daughter Amber, who wed last year at a $5 million ceremony in Puerto Rico that included performances by Fat Joe, Mary J. Blige and Marc Anthony?) After all, if you can’t shower your loved ones with funds bilked from deluded, middle-class dreamers, what’s it all for?
The bad news for the newlyweds is that Mr. Schwartzman will be taking his beautiful and expansive collection of art and furniture with him. (Then again, if the younger Ms. Ridinger has inherited her mother’s taste for nouveau riche baroque, she will likely be only too happy to say, “Good riddance.”)
The two condos can be combined for roughly 3,900 square feet, depending on the particulars of renovation. There are unobstructed views of the Hudson River through Mr. Nouvel’s irregular and much-discussed windows, and high-end fixtures, finishes and appliances practically brand new. The space will be a bit on the opulent side for the Tupperware party-style events popular among multilevel marketing acolytes. Compared to the luxury boutiques of the nearby High Line district, however, Market America’s overpriced weight-loss programs and nutritional supplements can only appear like a wonderful bargain.
Perception, of course, is nine tenths of the law. No, wait. That isn’t right.