He got rich selling mid-priced clothes, but Mickey Drexler just can’t seem to shift this designer-done downtown townhouse. In May 2016, the former Gap Inc. and J.Crew Group CEO — he’s also the founder of Old Navy and Madewell — put the Tribeca townhouse up for sale at just under $30 million; the price was cut to $27.5 million before it was yanked off the market a year later. Now, it’s back. Asking $29.9 million, the property is being repped by Deborah Grubman at Corcoran.
Now CEO of Alex Mill, a Gap-like clothing concern started by his son Alex Drexler, the veteran retail tycoon paid $5.5 million for the former coffee-roasting plant in 2008, before hiring beau monde architect and designer Thierry Despont to convert the rugged industrial space into an ultra-luxe single-family home. Built in the 1890s, the five-story building still maintains signage for one of the old coffee companies on the façade.
Since Drexler has been reported to live primarily in an apartment on the Upper East Side, one might easily wonder why this home’s interiors are so attuned to his very specific taste. For example, the street-level entrance hall is, according to promo materials, “inspired by the Maison de Verre in Paris,” which is arguably a bit of a stretch and could be a turnoff for buyers who want a turnkey purchase. Fortunately, Despont maintained some of the building’s original industrial feel with exposed steel, wood and brick, cast iron columns, and original arched windows. He’s also added so much wallpaper and pattern and color that we wonder if potential homebuyers might get a little overwhelmed.
At about 8,300 square feet, the 24-foot-wide building is configured with five bedrooms and five full bathrooms and two half-baths. There’s also a very-large-by-Manhattan-standards eat-in kitchen, a fitness/spa suite down in the basement that’s complete with steam shower and dry sauna, and roof terrace with views of the Hudson River.
Despite all that deluxe luxury, another factor that might give a deep-pocketed buyer pause is the unconventional layout, with social rooms — living room, dining room and eat-in kitchen — placed on the uppermost floors. Thankfully, an elevator will carry passengers, groceries and other cumbersome items from the street-level foyer to the fourth floor, where the kitchen and dining are situated, but it does not, however, ascend to the fifth floor where the massive, 1,500-square-foot living room has 12-foot-high ceilings and windows at opposite ends of its 50-plus-foot length.
With public rooms up top, bedrooms are tucked away on the lower levels. There’s a staff bedroom and bath nipped behind the laundry room in the basement, each of the two guest bedrooms on the third floor has a roomy walk-in wardrobe and a private bath, while the main suite, with its three walk-ins and 21-foot-long bathroom, occupies the entire second floor. As nice and spacious and the main suite sounds, another potential drawback for buyers, especially those with a $30 million budget, is that in order to get from the bedroom to the bathroom, where the suite’s one toilet is located, one must leave the bedroom and cross the stair landing before entering the bathroom.
Still, it’s coveted location on a cobblestone street two short blocks from Hudson River Park and a short stroll to Tribeca Grill, a neighborhood mainstay owned by Robert DeNiro, just might make up for some of its shortcomings.
Drexler is no stranger to the property gossip columns thanks to his frequent buying and selling. Just this summer, the retail tycoon paid $16.5 million for a home on Miami Beach’s tony North Bay Road. The property is adjacent to two other parcels he purchased in 2017 for $26 million. Now he owns about 1.3 acres on Biscayne Bay. As he’s beefed up his Miami portfolio he’s shed property across the country. About a year ago he sold his mountain getaway in Ketchum, Idaho, for $11 million; In 2018 he took in $19 million on the sale of a technicolor apartment in Tribeca; And, famously, back in 2015, Drexler sold the former Andy Warhol compound, Eothen, in Montauk, N.Y., for $50 million to art collector Adam Lindemann.