Bloomberg's Pad Puts Murdoch's to Shame

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has luxurious digs at his Upper East Side townhouse, but he's stealthily been spreading out.

Bloomberg’s zest for acquisition in the area has been a decades-long story. Bloomberg moved into the limestone building at 17 East 79th Street in 1986. Three years later, he bought the first floor of the neighboring co-op. Now he claims four of the six apartments at 19 East 79th Street in addition to the townhouse he originally purchased next door, according to the New York Times.

“He’ll own the whole thing soon,” the superintendent of the two buildings told the paper.

Indeed. Bloomberg knocked down walls, combined floors and folded it all into his home – an enterprise that has brought his property to a whopping 12,500 square feet worth about $30 million, according to the Times.

Townhouse? What townhouse? The massive reconstruction has turned the home into a veritable mansion, an Upper East Side broker said.

Bloomberg’s digs are bigger than those of News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch, whose Fifth Avenue property is about 8,000 square feet. Only five 10,000-plus square foot townhouse properties were sold in Manhattan last year – three on the Upper East Side – with an average asking price of $32 million, according to the Times.  

Bloomberg doesn’t like to talk about his real-estate ventures, however. His spokesman told the Times, “We don’t tell you why and we don’t discuss it,” when asked about the mayor’s appetite for expansion.

No. 19 is listed as a co-op but Bloomberg isn’t on the board and there are no formal meetings. And those who live in the building don’t seem to mind having Bloomberg around.  

“He’s a great neighbor,” top-floor resident Pamela Jenrette said, “and of course, we get the benefit of 24-hour security.”

Bloomberg owns a swath of properties apart from those on the Upper East Side, including spots in Bermuda, London, Vail and in New York City and suburbs. He paid nearly $2 million for the first two floors of the 79th street co-op. It's not clear how much the other floors -- or the construction -- cost him, but you can bet it was more than a pretty penny.

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