This one’s not an easy sell. Sure, the location is A+, atop a prewar white-glove building just off Fifth Avenue on New York’s exclusive Upper East Side. And not only does this triplex penthouse span a commodious 6,200 square feet of internal space, but it has another 2,600 square feet of private wraparound terraces, while all the finishes and fixtures are exceedingly high end and the craftsmanship is undeniable. But, there is just so darn much book-matched black marble! Everywhere is black, black, blackety black. It’s on the floors, on the walls, and on the fireplaces. It’s all kind of cool in a bachelor-pad way but maybe not what most people imagine for a family home.
The condo belongs to Ziel Feldman, the beleaguered head of HFZ Capital, a prolific New York real estate developer, which is struggling with debt payments, foreclosures, and a cooling demand for their high-end condos. No doubt looking to scare up cash and reduce overhead, Feldman has been shedding luxury homes left and right. Last year, his Bridgehampton place sold for $50 million and, before that, a large chateau in Englewood, N.J., went for $7 million.
Feldman and his wife Helene have not, however, been able to unload their plush penthouse on the top floors of the Marquand, a 1913 Beaux Arts Revival building that HFZ Capital converted into condominiums in 2013. The original asking price was $46 million but rather than sell it, the Feldmans moved in with their family. (Turns out, all this black marble is some peoples’ idea of a family home!)
Later, in 2019, a $19.8 million mortgage was secured against the condo and in 2020 the Feldmans put the triplex up for sale, asking $39 million. With no takers, the price for the 5-bedroom, four-full-and-two-half-bathroom abode has now been chopped to $35 million. Taxes and common charges total almost $30,000 per month, according to listings held by Douglas Elliman’s Madeline Hult Elghanayan and Sabrina Saltiel.
Thankfully, there’s an elevator for those prone to tripping on slippery marble, but the sculptural black marble staircase that winds up through all three floors beneath a skylight, and underpins the entire apartment is certainly attractive. But, as alluded earlier, all the decoration in this penthouse is quite specific. Meaning, if someone doesn’t like black marble — whoops, we mean “African Saint Laurent marble”— as well as high-gloss exotic wood they’re going to have to spend considerable time and money removing and replacing all of it.
On the main level, both the formal living and dining rooms stretch to about 30 feet with black marble flooring. There’s a wet bar in the dining room, while the living room has a fireplace clad in, yep, black marble. The kitchen features, for a change, white marble countertops, along with custom metal cabinets and a retractable wall that can be closed for more formal entertaining, which is a nice feature. There are two home offices easily converted to bedrooms, along with a media room, two ensuite bedrooms, a laundry room, and a staff bathroom.
A large entertainment space on the second floor spills out to a vast terrace with a summer kitchen, and an outdoor fireplace clad in — wait for it — black marble separates the terrace into dining and lounging areas, both with spectacular views. And what are the dining table and lounge chairs made from? You got it, folks, black marble. The main bedroom, unsurprisingly a strictly black-and-white affair, boasts a private planted terrace, two dressing rooms, a spa-style bathroom sheathed in book-matched black and white panda marble. The third floor includes a sunroom/gym, a powder room, and another terrace with great views.
Unlike the Feldmans’ monochromatic taste in marble, their taste in art is much more varied. Indeed, artwork scattered around the condo includes works by Antony Gormley, Ugo Rondinone, and John Chamberlain.
No question it’s a great condo. But only if you love black marble.