Financially imprudent New Jersey fashion mogul Marc Eckō, founder of Eckō Unltd. (think the rhinoceros logo) and Complex magazine, has put the estate he spent a reported $21.8M renovating up for sale. Dubbed "Stronghold," the approximately 30,000-square-foot Bernardsville mansion was built by Prudential Insurance founder and U.S. Senator John F. Dryden in 1899. Now listed for $18M, it's caught somewhere between stately baronial splendor and the poppy, "street style"-infused look that is Eckō's trademark. Some of the damage looks pretty easily reversible, though.
Marc bought the home for $7.4M back in 2005, and it has since embroiled him in a number of legal battles, according to a 2009 piece in the New York Post, involving millions in unpaid construction costs. A source told the Post the estate is "such a white elephant. Normally, the builders would stick around and try to make money by selling the place. But in a perfect market, they couldn't sell it for years." There's a detached indoor basketball court included, which might help a bit.
Around that time, the sharp retail recession saw Eckō selling a controlling stake in his company for $109M, after cancelling plans for a Times Square flagship store and putting his ridiculous 270,000-square-foot Chelsea headquarters up for rent, which sure made the time he spent $750K on a souvenir baseball seem rather foolhardy.
In 2009, he and his designer wife listed the colonial they owned on an adjacent property for $1.3M, which they have since found a buyer for, according to Coldwell Banker agent Vincenza Montrone. On October 1st, 2013, Ecko released his first book, titled "Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out."
· Fashion Mogul Marc Ecko Lists NJ Estate For $18M [Homes of the Rich]