SELLER: Richard Hall, otherwise known as Moby
LOCATION: New York City, N.Y.
SIZE: 950 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Richard Hall — a man much more well known to world as the uni-monikered musician/songwriter/DJ Moby — sold his lower Manhattan pied-a-terre for $2,050,000. And, listen to Your Mama when we tell, this isn’t any home for a person who suffers with vertigo, acrophobia and/or an irrational fear of ladders.
It appears the buyer, a corporate entity Your Mama digitally connected to a wealthy and politically active auto dealership owner in Florida, may have faced some competition for Mister Moby’s ladder-filled downtown digs that, interestingly enough, were last listed for $1.95 million, a hundred grand less than the recorded sale price.
The 950-ish square foot multi-level mini-loft sits on the top floor of humble but historic and well-maintained mid-19th century building that was once used as a Civil War armory and later housed an ice cream factory. The building now sits on a stylish and tree-lined über-urban street in the heart of the NoLiTa ‘hood and online marketing materials show Mister Moby’s fifth floor mini-loft was configured at the time of its sale with just one, entirely windowless, cave-like bedroom plus at least two or three additional nooks and crannies that can, although in a not particularly private manner, accommodate a futon, air mattresses or even a proper mattress. The single bathroom, like the bedroom, is window-free and is smartly tucked discretely (and discreetly) away from the main living spaces.
A small but proper entrance vestibule opens to the right to a corridor that passes at an angle through an open, sky-lit space labeled on the floorplan as a home office but seen in listing photos as a compact sleeping space filled almost entirely with a bed. The corridor continues on into the not terribly large but decidedly lofty main living space with worn concrete floors, exposed brick walls painted gallery white, and an impressively high ceiling.
Three east-facing windows fill the space with morning light and a trio of sizable glass block skylights assures ambient natural light filters and flutters into the main living room throughout much of the day. A ladder that looks far too precarious and steep for this boozy property gossip to navigate with any grace or success accesses a tiny, triangular loft space that, among other potential utilities, might make for a cozy reading nook, an elevated meditation lounge or an all-purpose storage area.
Loads of built-in cubbies and shelves provide storage for Mister Moby’s extensive record collection as well as a slew of music-making and enhancing electronic equipment. The open-plan kitchen area is pretty tight with butcher block countertops, flat-fronted wood cabinetry and — somewhat surprisingly, basic, rental-grade appliances. It’s hardly the most minuscule kitchen Your Mama has ever seen (or lived with) in lower Manhattan but its unfortunate dearth of storage suggests it’s probably a kitchen best suited to a person for whom re-heating last night’s takeout Chinese and whipping up a home made dinner are pretty much the same thing.
As far as Your Mama can surmise from our careful perusal of the floor plan included with online marketing materials, Mister Moby would appear to be a man of slender sartorial needs and desires. His (now former) custom-fitted mini-loft has just three equally puny closets, two in the brief hall that leads to the bathroom and a third in the home office/sleeping nook between the bedroom and the kitchen.
A second and also seriously steep, ladder-like staircase climbs from the home office/sleeping nook space to a liberally sky-lit sleep-loft mezzanine where an even steeper and even more ladder-like half flight of stairs lead up and out a vaulted dormer to a private, 870-square foot roof terrace. The terrace, most if not all of it lined with by an urban/industrial-edged corrugated metal privacy fence, has relatively open and essentially wrap around if not exactly spine-tingling over-the-rooftop city views.
Mister Moby, who primarily lives in Los Angeles nowadays, is a dedicated architecture aficionado who maintains a spritely and delightfully quirky L.A.-based architecture blog and possesses an autodidact’s keen eye for idiosyncratic (and increasingly expensive) living spaces all done up and dressed down with an organically-minded sort of arty-farty minimalism.
In New York City, in addition to the downtown mini-loft he just sold, he briefly owned a kooky quadruplex in the southern of the twin towers that top the legendary Eldorado building on the Upper West Side. He purchased the oddball aerie in 2005 for $4.5 million and spent another load of dough on renovations before he figured out he didn’t really want to live in that particular apartment in that specific location. He flipped it back on the market in 2007 for $7.5 million and, after at least one buyer was rejected by the board, sold it in August 2008 for $6.7 million. He previously owned a 33-acre spread in rural Carmel, NY, about 60 or so miles due north of midtown Manhattan, that he bought in 2003 for about a million bucks and sold in July 2006 for $2,050,000.
On the Left Coast, Mister Moby used to co-own — with Alice + Olivia fashion clothing designer Stacey Bendet — a Regency-style residence in the Hollywood Hills originally designed by acclaimed Los Angeles architect/designer John Elgin Woolf and once owned by inimitable shade-thrower Paul Lynde. The platonic pair purchased the property in February 2008 for $2.95 million and, after first listing it in June 2010 for $3.495 million, finally sold in June 2013 for $2.85 million. Mister Moby currently owns and resides in Wolf’s Lair, a fabled and fantastically fantastical, castle-like hilltop compound on a gated ridge above Beachwood Canyon and the Hollywood Reservoir. He bought the storied compound in March 2010 for $3,925,000. The sellers were now-divorced television presenter Debbie Matenopoulos and music industry exec Jay Faire.
For photos of this property, click here.
listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran