Hotelier and socialite André Balazs, known for his funky and fabulous celebrity packed hotels such as The Mercer in New York, Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and The Standard in various locations around the world, plans to check out of his own, longtime Manhattan residence, having listed a chic 4,200-square-foot Soho loft for $12 million. This is, however, hardly the first time the 4-bed and 2.5-bath spread, which Balazs purchased in 2003 for $5.75 million, has come up for sale. It was previously listed in 2007 for $10 million and then again in 2017 for $12 million.
Now that he lives primarily in Europe with his girlfriend, Cosima Vesey, and their three-year-old son, the globe-trotting multimillionaire told the Wall Street Journal that he sees no point in keeping an empty home in New York, describing it as “a library, basically,” — a place to store books, art, and other collectibles. However, the suave hotelier seriously underplayed the urbane elegance and sophistication of the full-floor condo.
A private elevator opens directly into the foyer, where high-gloss mahogany-hued wood floors lead to the massive, 45-foot-long and 20-plus-foot-wide great room, where a fireplace is encased in black Venetian plaster and a 13th-century Florentine fresco hangs from the wood-sheathed ceiling over a raised lounge area next to a glossy black grand piano. Huge, nearly floor-to-ceiling windows frame panoramic views of the Empire State Building, World Trade Center and Hudson River. The gourmet kitchen isn’t all that big, but it is up-to-date with luxury appliances, gleaming white lacquer cabinets and a Rorschach test worthy book-matched marble backsplash that extends all the way to the ceiling behind the sink.
With south facing views and plush chocolate-brown wall-to-wall carpeting, the sprawling master suite offers a plant-filled bathroom with jetted tub, a walk-in closet/dressing room far larger than many studio apartments in lower Manhattan. There’s also a fully-stocked workout room jazzed up with a disco ball and an over-sized steam room lined in hexagonal tiles. Two additional bedrooms with northern views share a full bathroom with a glass walled shower and floating marble sink. The condo also includes a powder room in the foyer, plus a separate laundry room.
Balazs stated that the apartment has had many incarnations in the 17 years he has owned it, firstly to accommodate a young family, then as the home of a bachelor-about-town before he shared the space with several girlfriends, including Uma Thurman — whom he dated from 2004-2007 — and Chelsea Handler, with whom he was coupled from 2011 until 2013.
The swank spread is located in one of Manhattan’s earliest skyscrapers, which dates back to 1895, and was converted to boutique condos in 1996. It was one of the first full-service apartment houses established in Soho, and amenities for its 19 residential units include 24-hour doorman and concierge services, two entrances with two separate elevator banks and a rooftop deck. The boutique building has certainly attracted a fair share of high profile residents: Disgraced (and imprisoned) former film producer Harvey Weinstein sold his unit in 2005 for $6.075 million, a small loss on the $6.2 million he paid the year before, rocker Jon Bon Jovi owned the building’s spectacular duplex penthouse from 2007, when it was acquired for $24 million, until 2015, when it was sold for $34 million, and Arianna Huffington still owns a mid-floor unit she snapped up in late 2012 for $8.15 million.
Once the condo sells, Balazs will still have substantial holdings in New York State; His other properties include a historic manor house in New York’s Duchess County and a bolt hole on Shelter Island, where he also owns Sunset Beach Hotel, currently closed due to Covid-19.