Unreal Estate: The $48.8 M. Artifact

The only thing more staggering than last summer’s $48,836,000 penthouse sale at 1060 Fifth Avenue is just how monstrously different New York has become only one year later. On July 29, 2008, an anonymous trust bought the two-level, 17-room co-op from Scott and Donya Bommer, who had paid a record $46 million for the place that very January.

The July sale was the go-go era’s great last gasp: Those olden days of record-smashing feel so far gone that talking about the penthouse’s glorious floor plan is like reminiscing around a campfire. Even the language on the old plan—courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens, the firm that represented the writer Georgia Shreve, who sold the co-op to the Bommers—sounds antediluvian. Witness the semi-private landing; the master suite’s three wardrobe closets; the green house; the 114.5-foot-long south-facing terrace; and that air conditioner handler!

These days, the world is a new place, but so is the apartment. Among other things, the Department of Buildings approved plans earlier this year for a staircase that connects the co-op’s two floors, making the $48,836,000 apartment into a true duplex. So this floor plan isn’t just outdated, it’s an antique—an artifact of the mega-sale era. — Max Abelson

PropertyShark.

The south-facing terrace alone was over a third of the length of a football field.

The living and dining rooms added up to just shy of 1,000 square feet. “Have you read that book called Angela’s Ashes? You know that man? What’s-his-name!” Ms. Shreve once said. “Frank McCourt! Yup—I gave a big party for him, for 55 people for dinner. And it’s cute because the invitations went out and he won a Pulitzer.”

Ms. Shreve kept the apartment after her divorce from the investor Glenn Greenberg. “When my ex-wife got the apartment, I got most of the stocks,” he has said. “It’s not like I’m here eating fish bones.” Fish bones or no, the duplex has three kitchens.

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The top floor would have been just fine by itself, and yet it sat on top of four bedrooms, two offices, a gallery, a living room, a library and a formal dining room.

What do awesomely rich people do with their awesome penthouse greenhouses? “I’m planning to grow, like, organic vegetables up there,” the Chelsea hotel heiress Marlene Krauss said last year about her new solarium at a different Upper East Side penthouse.

This walk-in closet looks like it was almost exactly the size of the maid’s room upstairs, and yet there was a second walk-in hallway closet (plus three regular ones, too).

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Scandalously, this bathroom seems to have been shared by two bedrooms (which, naturally, both had a walk-in closet).

This writer is not exactly sure what an air conditioner handler is or how one works, but it nevertheless seems great to have a room dedicated to one.

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