Rich people buying multimillion-dollar Manhattan pieds-à-terre they rarely, if ever, set one pied in: there exist few phenomena more indicative of the state of Manhattan in the year 2014. Despite the widely accepted wisdom that apartments there and in growing swaths of Brooklyn are for investment, not actual use, the New York Daily news is suddenly incensed about this trend, or at least bothered enough to devote a bit of highly concentrated incredulity to it last week, driven on by the disappointing fact that Bruce Willis does it, too. Presented below in their raw, unfiltered form are the most telling takeaways from this account of business as usual in the Big Apple:
7. "It's like they want to own their own five-star hotel, but have one room set aside for them forever. As a result, some of the most spectacular Manhattan homes are going completely to waste." It's worth noting here the very high level of cognitive dissonance involved in thinking of $119M apartments as things that can be "wasted."
6. According to Daniel Hedaya, broker of many "extravagant and unused pieds-à-terre in the city," the ultimate luxury is "to travel the world and always feel like you're at home." As the saying goes, home is where you hang your pile of Ai Weiwei seeds.
5. "They like to be able to reference in conversation their home in New York, their home in Paris and their home in London," says high-end broker Frances Katzen. "How many people can really live like this? Not many. It's obscene." If you're Leonardo DiCaprio, it can also be very new age-y and restorative.
4. "Bruce Willis and his lingerie model wife Emma Heming Willis are very rarely seen at their plush apartment at the El Dorado on the Upper West Side, for instance, but have never listed the apartment for rent." Honestly, Bruce, gotta up your Airbnb game.
3. "Hedaya said one of his clients, whom he declined to name, has five global homes all with the same finishes, the same furniture, the same linens, the same clothing, the same toothbrush, the same gym equipment and even the same coffee mugs. Each pair of jeans he buys, he buys enough for all his homes." Which is absurd, because correcting for altitude/local street style is like international jeans-wearing 101.
2. Alex Birkenstock, of the sandals, is apparently "one such 'apartment hoarder.'" After spending $4M renovating his apartment (↑), he visited it but once and "hasn't rented it out. Not even once." A truly egregious waste when one considers the New Yorkers that would have been lining up around the block to rent a $12,995,000 pad in the Financial District.
1. "These kinds of homes are decked out with very expensive artworks, opulent fabrics and light floors," says Katzen. "They don't want people in there and, frankly, they don't need it." Yes, but will someone please think of the tri-level, $118.5M penthouses?
· No one is home at some of Manhattan's most luxurious apartments [New York Daily News]
· Here Are the 25 Most Expensive Homes in New York City [Curbed NY]