BUYERS: Fredrik Eklund and Derek Kaplan
LOCATION: Roxbury, CT
PRICE: $3,500,000 (last asking)
SIZE: 5,144 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Top Manhattan real estate broker and “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Fredrik Eklund sells so much high-end real estate in the Big Apple — and in his native Stockholm — he’s able to maintain a property portfolio that likely rivals many of his multi-millionaire clients. Last summer the high-strung high-kicker and his handsome husband, Zimbabwe born and South Africa reared abstract painter Derek Kaplan, agreed to pay an unknown but no doubt considerable amount of dough for an investment/vacation condo at the not-yet-completed Renzo Piano-designed Eighty Seven Park complex in Miami Beach. Now comes word via Mister Eklund’s own Instagram account the comely couple have not-so-quietly snatched up a scenically sited spread in Connecticut’s historic and picturesquely pastoral Litchfield County that was last listed on the open market at $3.5 million.
Listing details, property records, and other online resources we turned up show the stately, “classic Georgian” residence was “reimagined by a top NY designer” — that would be John Michael Murphy — who acquired the property in August 2014 for $1.325 million and, as designers tend to do, refurbished the place to his own quite traditional specifications and tastes. The country estate, about 90 miles outside of but worlds away from Manhattan, spans 8.26 partly wooded acres on a quiet country lane just outside the itty-bitty community of Roxbury where a few other high-profile homeowners include Dustin Hoffman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denis Leary, Stephen Sondheim, and Vanity Fair publisher Graydon Carter.
The 5,144-square-foot residence’s center hall entry leads to ample but still comfortably cozy living and dining rooms plus a den, all with hardwood floorboards and fireplaces. The freshly renovated kitchen is outfitted with stone counter tops and white subway tile back splashes that extend all the way to the ceiling and somewhat curiously appear to wrap around the walls of the adjoining breakfast area. A screening room, which may or may not be in the basement, offers built-in media equipment and a wet bar. There are four bedrooms and four bathrooms including an upper floor master suite that Mister Eklund wrote on his Instagram announcement made him misty-eyed “the first time he entered it” and comprises, per listing details, a large bedroom with fireplace plus a “luxury bath and step down dressing area with two huge walk in closets” perfect for all of Mister Eklund’s designer suits and Mister Kaplan’s painting smocks. Set nobly high on the property to take advantage of panoramic vistas that sweep over the tree tops of thickly forested hills, the house opens to a sizable and partly covered and boxwood ringed stone terrace and overlooks rolling lawns, “ancient stone walls,” an infinity edge swimming pool, a postcard-ready pond stocked with fish.
Given Mister Eklund’s screaming professional success and resulting pecuniary firepower, it’s not too much of a surprise that in addition to buying a couple of multi-million dollar weekend places the Eklund-Kaplans have also recently upgraded their Manhattan living situation. In late 2012, the year before they were married, Mister Eklund paid $1.65 million for a loft-style condo in the Flatiron District that was sold in May 2015 for $3.125 million, a fair amount above its final asking price of $2.995 million. Around the time of that sale we heard through the real estate gossip grapevine — and circumstantial digital evidence we turned up certainly suggests — the couple moved to a high-floor rental at the supermodel skinny One Madison tower, the same swank complex where Rupert Murdoch owns a triplex penthouse he has on the market at a mind-freezing $72 million. Whether they did or did not pay through the nose to lease a luxury spread at One Madison, property records are quite clear that in February of this year (2016) the couple shelled out $5,426,000 for a Hudson River-facing three-bedroom and 3.5 bathroom condo in a newly built boutique building tucked into the coveted northern tip of the terrifically trendy and tremendously expensive Tribeca neighborhood. Presumably they’ll set up camp there until such time they’re ready for another upgrade.