Hedge funder Randall Smith has put his Park Avenue triplex penthouse on the market for $17.5 million. In a gracious 1950s co-operative apartment house, the apartment boasts gorgeous views of Manhattan and Central Park from its multiple terraces. The unit is repped by Tal Alexander at Douglas Elliman.
The building is an old-school white brick apartment house designed by Sylvan Bien in 1954. Residents pay huge fees — in the case of Smith’s spread, more than $22,000 per month — to cover a laundry list of amenities that include an attended lobby, a private garden, a fitness center, a garage, a bike room, and extra storage.
The triplex’s main floor offers a vast living room, a spacious dining room, a library, and a by-New-York-standards enormous eat-in kitchen, all surrounded by roomy terraces with incredible views that include the swords of Manhattan, the cluster of super-tall towers that define the Midtown skyline. On the main level is just one incredibly lavish bedroom suite for the owners. The multi-room space comprises a separate sitting room easily converted to another bedroom, a small gym, and a home office. There are also two bathrooms, one of them standard sized and the other huge, and numerous walk-in closets along with a large dressing room.
As for the lower floor, it could easily be reconfigured as a separate two-bedroom apartment, as it includes a full kitchen, along with a wet bar and a room for entertaining. The penthouse solarium features marble flooring along with a wet bar. In fine weather, the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors can be opened to another wrap-around terrace for dining or entertaining.
Randy Smith, who owns the flat along with wife Barbara, became well known as a partner at Bear Sterns, where he focused on investing in distressed assets. This is known as vulture capitalism — the opposite of venture capitalism, where investors buy distressed companies that can later be resold at a profit.
Smith started his own investment firm at home in the late 1960s, by investing $20,000 he and first wife Kathryn won on a game show called Dream House. (That’s about $150,000 today.) In 2007, he founded Alden Global Capital, which is now the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States. Alden has a reputation for cutting costs by laying off the journalists working on its newspapers. Vanity Fair called Alden the “grim reaper of American newspapers”, and Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for The Washington Post, called Alden “one of the most ruthless of the corporate strip-miners seemingly intent on destroying local journalism.”
The Smiths will hardly be homeless after this sale. They own another apartment in the same building and an estate in Southampton, N.Y., as well as a number of Palm Beach-area condos they use as investments.