Red Carpet Real Estate
The Whitman has been getting a lot of attention lately, though very little of it has been directed at the building itself. Ever since word got out in March that Chelsea Clinton was buying at the Madison Square Park luxury condo conversion, discussion of the finishes and floorplans have fallen by the wayside.
But last night at the penthouse’s unveiling, the talk turned brick-and-mortar again (or rather, plank rift oak and marble slab), with hardly a mention of the former first daughter. (Though on the elevator ride up, we couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to share it with Hillary, Bill and their sizeable secret service entourage.)
Well, we can’t say that we’re surprised that NBC correspondent and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has inked a deal to move into The Whitman. (At least, if the New York Post can be believed—apparently the whole Clinton family posed for photos with the construction workers when visiting the four-unit luxury condo last week).
The Whitman, at 12 East 26th Street, is just the kind of old-fashioned with lots of new-fangled bells and whistles luxury product that has had buyers frothing at the mouth these days. To wit, 15 Central Park West, 18 Gramercy Park and 135 East 79th Street. A brand new or gut-renovated building molded into classically-styled condos on a Park is a fail-safe residential development play in Manhattan. No one relishes dealing with the awkwardness of kitchenside maids’ rooms pre remodeling job or blue hairs on a co-op board. Nor is townhouse living for everyone. Ditto industrial chic—a painfully played out trend if we ever saw one. Especially not those who have spent eight of their formative years living in the uber-traditional White House.
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.