Tilman J. Fertitta made a whale-sized fortune selling shrimp at tourist-oriented chains like Bubba Gump. Now the Texas billionaire and Landry’s Restaurants CEO has plunked down $19.5 million for a Tribeca pied-a-terre—a small portion of the vast wealth generated by his empire of middle-brow restaurants.
Mr. Fertitta may lack the cult-like following and breathless reviews of celebrated Manhattan restaurateurs like Keith McNally and Danny Meyer, but do either of them have a full-floor condo with a hot tub and south-facing terraces off both the master bedroom and the living room?
To say that one lived on the Park once meant something very specific in New York. There were other parks, of course, and very posh residences surrounding some of them—to wit, Gramercy—but none could compare to Central, whose vast expanse of green may as well have been made of gold.
Oh, how times have changed. At least, real estate developers are doing their damndest to see that they do. This fall, the $42 million penthouse of 18 Gramercy Park went into contract—a downtown record. And now, an ultra-luxe condo development at 21 East 26th Street is looking to draw the Louboutin-heeled to Gramercy’s northern neighbor.
The Whitman, as the handsome brick and limestone manse is to be known, will have three full-floor residences, priced at $10 million, $10.25 million and $10.5 million (the cost increases incrementally as the floors go up), and a 6,540-square-foot duplex penthouse. The penthouse comes with three terraces (totaling 3,000 square feet), a $22.5 million price tag and the ultimate luxury—27,500-square-feet of air rights. Enough to build another mansion on top, or to sell to Madison Square Park’s next luxury-minded condo developer.