The paint had scarcely dried at 15 Central Park West before the building’s first residents set to knocking down the walls and stripping out the ultra-luxury condo’s ultra-luxurious finishes. Not that the finishes were lacking—like the layouts, they were widely considered to be exquisite—a stunning marriage of old-fashioned grandeur and modern sensibilities. In fact, ex-Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill thought that architect Robert A.M. Stern had done such a fine job designing the building that he hired him to do a massive renovation on his brand new, $43.7 million penthouse.
In the upper echelons of Manhattan real estate, the pursuit of perfection is as common as Sub-Zero refrigerators and private elevator landings. Haunted by dreams of what could be, owners are forever tearing magnificent properties apart in the hopes of transforming them into even more magnificent properties.
Such dreams often pay off handsomely. To wit, Mr. Weill’s freshly-renovated penthouse was so striking that it fetched $88 million shortly after completion. But of course, it would surprise no one, particularly not Nicholas S.G. Stern, son of A.M. and the owner of boutique construction concern Stern Projects LLC., if the Russian tycoon who bought the celebrated spread started his own renovation any day now. Read More