SELLER: Hal and Judith Prince
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 7,375 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 full and 3 half bathrooms (plus a 2,000 square foot basement level with a puny staff suite)
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to the ever intrepid digital machinations of our friend and aide de camp Hot Chocolate Your Mama has learned that 21-time Tony winning Broadway producer and director Hal Prince and his wife Judith have (re-)listed their rather theatrically decorated modern meets vintage New York City townhouse with an aksing price of $21,000,000.
Mister Prince, an octogenarian with a career in The Theatre that spans more than 60 years, produced and/or directed dozens of plays, musicals and operas including but far from limted to The Pajama Game (1955), Cabaret (1966), Company (1970), Sweeney Todd (1979), The Phantom of the Opera (1988), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993), the original and numerous revivals of Fiddler on the Roof (including the most recent one in 2005) and the recently closed revival of Evita that starred Puerto Rican bon-bon shaker Ricky Martin, a musical theater mega-hit originally directed by Mister Prince in 1978.
Property records and various online reports from the time show Mister and Missus Prince purchase their Upper East Side townhouse in December 2009 for $12,500,000. This was several months after he and his missus listed their 4,750 square foot multi-terrace duplex digs at the particularly posh 834 Fifth Avenue with a sky high asking pice of $33,000,000.*
This is not, as it turns out, the first time at this real estate rodeo for Mister and Missus Prince who first listed the six story tall and 20-foot wide Neo-Georgian townhouse back in July 2012 with a slightly higher $22 million asking price.
Some of the notable features of the Princes’ townhouse pad include: A cavernous 44-floot long living room with fireplace, tiny terrace, candy apple red wall to wall carpeting and soaring 20-foot ceilings; A four-story skylit atrium over the main stair case; A fully finished basement level with various mechanical equipment rooms, laundry facility, itty-bitty staff room with equally bantam bathroom, a flexi-use “recreation room” and a sky-lit home gym set.
In addition to the elevator and the nearly hidden staircase in the ground floor foyer, the basement in general and the gym in particular can be accessed via a discrete (and discreet) glass enclosed staircase in the refurbished eat-in kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, it’s located on the ground floor behind the candy-cane inspired formal dining room. Your Mama most assuredly appreciates the size of the kitchen and the fact that it opens to the rear garden but we’re more than a little betwixt and befuddled by the pill-shaped center island that’s set disturbingly at an askew to the room and surmounted by a rather elaborate, industrial and lethal-looking pot rack.
There’s a single bedroom space on the third floor that does not, according to the floor plan (above) have direct access to a full bathroom except by traipsing through one of the two other bedrooms on the fourth floor that each have built-in cabinetry and small but private attached bathrooms.
The fifth floor master suite is, unfortunately, composed of two separate spaces bisected by the stair hall and atrium. At the south end there’s a dressing hall, large bathroom that looks over the tub into the atrium and a decent sized bedroom with a full wall of windows that probably effectively harness any available light but don’t do much for privacy from the surrounding townhouse and apartment buildings. At the street-facing north end a bedroom (with private attached bathroom) has been converted into a custom-fitted dressing room.
Other creature comforts and luxurious amenities of the fully renovated townhouse include a complete Crestron home automation system throughout, all new systems and mechanicals throughout and an elevator that serves all floors including the basement but excluding the sixth floor penthouse level solarium that Mister and Missus Prince use as Pilates studio and that opens through a wall of windows to a south-facing roof terrace whimsically carpeted with faux grass.
*In early 2010 the price for Mister Prince’s duplex at 834 Fifth Avenue dropped to $29,500,00. In mid 2010 it plummeted another two million to $27,500,000 and finally in November 2010 the price was chopped to $24,900,000 before it was removed from the market just before the comsumer-driven Christian holidays in December (2010). The apartment finally sold in the late spring of 2011 for its full final asking price of $24,900,000 to Blackstone president and COO Hamilton “Tony” James and his wife Amabel. The apartment has three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms (plus two staff rooms and bathrooms), a fully paneled solarium, a 550-square foot formal living room, a formal dining room that does double duty as a library and roomy kitchen with massive butler’s pantry and walk-in pantry.
Other residents in the low-key but super swank Roasrio Candela-designed pre-war edifice at 834 Fifth Avenue include Laurie Tisch, Levi’s widow and hieress Miriam Haas, Charles (and Helen) Schwab, financier John Gutfreund and his internationally social wife Susan, couture clad high society fixture Carole Petrie, Bing Crosby’s son Harry, Greek shipping tycoon George Livanos and Rupert Murdoch who owns the titanic triplex penthouse. One of the newest residents of 834 is high earning hedge hog Phillipe Laffont who last October (2012) paid $24 million for a low floor 15-room duplex with extensive staff quarters that include more than half a dozen staff rooms. In early 2012 multi-billionaire Robert Bass and wife Anne dropped $42,000,000 for the 12th floor sprawler sold by financier Damon Mezzacappa. For a more complete list of residents (as of late 2010) see here.
listing photos and floor plan: Fox Residential and Brown Harris Stevens