Telecom mogul Michael Hirtenstein became a Curbed household name through his many audacious real estate deals, renting his Time Warner Center penthouse to Jay-Z for $40,000 per month, purchasing a Plaza apartment and gorgeous Gramercy Park South townhouse and attempting to flip them both, etc. -- but his boldest move was his bachelor pad to end all bachelor pads at Tribeca's One York. Hirtenstein famously fell in love with the building when he drove by the sales office and saw the renderings hanging in the window. When he found out the pictures were of different apartments, he bought them all. And kept buying. He agreed to purchase six apartments in the 32-unit building for $25 million. Then, he enlisted the building's architect, Enrique Norten, to design the built-out space, which would cost another $10 million. We got a look at the place when it was under construction, and it was mind-boggling: private pool, private hot tub (above), double-height rooms, etc. Then we spotted Hirtenstein Forest, and we figured, that's it, happy ending, right?
A tipster sent us a note asking if we had heard anything about Hirtenstein walking away from the deal. We didn't, but we didn't have to go far to look. As it turns out, Newsweek, in a story about how the rich are feeling "luxury shame," reported the details at the end of November:
In August 2007, the 45-year-old Hirtenstein, who made his fortune in telecommunications, regaled the New York Post with his plans for a $35 million, glass-enclosed duplex in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood, replete with suede-covered walls, three living rooms and a heated pool with built-in underwater video screen. Alas, the economy ground to a halt, and so did Hirtenstein's conspicuous consumption of real estate. He quietly reneged on the Tribeca duplex, forfeiting a hefty deposit. That isn't to say Hirtenstein is now selling pencils from a tin cup. "I could walk downstairs now and buy a Ferrari," he says from a suite at Wynn Las Vegas, which boasts a dealership. "But all of my friends are hurting. I don't feel like buying random toys."
Such a kind soul. Anyway, now One York developer JANI Real Estate is left with a half-finished mansion-in-a-glass-box in a crap market. Perhaps JANI principal Stan Perlman will attempt to break the place back up into smaller apartments. Perhaps JANI principal Stan Perlman will attempt to break Michael Hirtenstein's face.
-- Luxury Shame [Newsweek]
-- Michael Hirtenstein coverage [Curbed]
-- One York coverage [Curbed]For more stories from Curbed, go to curbed.com.