Thursday, April 4, 2013
Arianna Huffington Gets Sued By Former Landlord and Buys Soho Loft
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 4,177 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Many gossip bloggers' fingers were typed to the nubbins this week tapping out tongue wagging reports about the half million dollar lawsuit filed against blogosphere media maven Arianna Huffington by her former Manhattan landlord, movie producer Eric Steel (Julie & Julia, The Bridge, Shaft, Angela's Ashes). Mister Steel's suit alleges the naughty-naughty Miz Huffington repeatedly violated the terms of her lease agreement and trashed her $32,000 per month rental apartment in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood.* ¡Escándolo!
The suit alleges Miz Huffington hosted large parties in the two bedroom and 2.5 bathroom apartment and made and gave keys to others, both violations of the terms of her lease. When Miz Huffington moved out of the West 17th Street loft in January (2013) after about two years in residence, Mister Steel's somewhat salacious suit claims she left the crisply modern fully furnished 4,400 square foot apartment that was custom designed by Mister Steel's late starchitect step-father Robert Gwathmey, in shambles. The extensive lists of damages include (but are not limited to) a gouged and stained walls, scratched and punctured wood floors, a blood soaked mattress (!!), steel window seats ruined by candles and cosmetics, broken kitchen cabinets and a stained bathtub.
Miz Huffington, howevuh, ain't no shrinking violet, hunties, and—natch—the lady released a statement that denies Mister Steel's allegations of property damage. "Eric Steel, who happily renewed the lease twice and visited the apartment multiple times, is holding onto $93,000 in deposits, which he has refused to return. He is," the statement read, "obviously trying to extort more money from me.... It won't work." All this could really get ugly but Your Mama suspects these two will man up and put on their big girl pants and the messy matter will be handled quietly out of the courts with stern stipulations that forbid either party from speaking of the ugly matter on the record.
At any rate, the newest reports out of New York City reveal that Miz Huffington no longer needs to fool with potential future landlord issues in the Big Apple as she's shelled out $8,150,000 for a sprawling, 4,177 square foot loft condo in one of the most exclusive full-service buildings in New York's ever-bustling SoHo 'hood.
Marketing materials Your Mama dug up on the internets shows the full-floor apartment was listed at $8,495,000 and includes three(ish) bedrooms and 2.5 bathroom plus a capacious, 47 foot long and 30 foot wide living/dining room with high ceilings, high-shine wide plank wood floors, a fireplace and six over-sized windows on two walls with over-the rooftop city views. The adjacent, almost entirely stainless steel kitchen includes a super-sized center work island, top grade commercial style appliances, marble counter tops and back splashes and temperature controlled wine storage 'cause y'all know how rich people like to stock up on vino.
The main guest/family bedroom is certainly sizable and has two access points, a wee walk-in closet and (at least the illusion of) cross ventilation with windows on two walls. What it does not have, however, is direct or even convenient access to a bathtub or shower. Sure, there's a powder pooper right next door, off the main key-lock elevator entry but in order to actually perform more than just a whore's bath in the powder room, any occupant of that bedroom needs to scoot around the edge of the main living/dining and go through the den/bedroom.
We're not saying this is an unworkable set up for comfortable living, only that it's not particularly well set up for families and/or overnight guests. Of course, if You're Miz Huffington and can afford to buy and maintain an eight-plus million dollar residence in lower Manhattan as well as a substantial home on the West Coast then you can probably afford to put up pesky wannabe house guests a few blocks up the street at The Mercer, a perennially chic urban inn owned—dontcha know—by another accomplished and wealthy resident of Miz Huffington's new building.
Other luxuries include mahogany framed windows, multi-zoned central heat and air, a large laundry room and a high-tech home automation system that controls the lights, music and window treatments at the mere touch of a button. Monthly taxes and common charges ring up to $6,960, according to online listing details, and the chi-chi boutique building offers residence full service amenities including 24-hour doormen and concierge, a residents only rooftop deck, laundry room and separate storage space.
What the lady property gossip at The Post didn't reveal in her report on the matter earlier today is that Miz Huffington's new SoHo digs are in the same swanky, turn of the 20th century building where middle aged rock star Jon Bon Jovi owns a 7,500 square foot duplex penthouse that he picked up in mid-2007 for $24,000,000 and recently heaved on the open market with an elephantine $42,000,000 price tag.
Other high profile owners in the coveted building include fashion world scion and 4-time Emmy winning television producer Marci Klein (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock); media executive Garth Ancier who owns a low-floor spread he picked up in April 2007 for $3,600,000; and bigwig boutique hotelier Andre Balazs‚ the afore alluded to handsome, taste maker playboy owner of The Mercer—still owns the high-floor spread he picked up in September 2003 for $5,750,000 and unsuccessfully attempted to sell in 2006 and '07 with an asking price of $10,000,000.
Just before Miz Huffington closed on her mid-floor unit, art director extraordinaire Fabien Baron sold his sleek and immodestly minimal full-floor loft-like unit upstairs for $7,250,000 to an unknown and possibly foreign buyer with a Los Angeles attorney. In December 2010 Ponzi putz Bernie Madoff's eldest son Mark hung himself with the family dog's leash with his two year old son asleep in the other room. Utterly and grotesquely gruesome. But we digress...
As far as Your Mama knows and can tell from a thorough perusal of property records, Miz Huffington continues to own her 8,100 square foot home in L.A.'s Brentwood area that she picked up in June 1994 for $2,560,000. Like in her new building in New York City, Miz Huffington also has a slew of famous neighbors in Los Angeles: Maria Shriver—who, apparently and much to the chagrin of some of her well-heeled neighbors, has yet to take down her Christmas lights; the inestimable and sassy nonagenarian actress Betty White; former chat show hostess Ricki Lake; Fleetwood Mac's Lindsay Buckingham; and Spiderman actor Tobey Maguire and his jewelry designer wife, Jennifer Meyer Maguire who spent $10 million in 2008 on a vacant piece of residential property that—as far as Your Mama knows—remains vacant and unimproved.
*For what it's worth to anyone who may care, the folks at Street Easy show the apartment was last on the open market as a rental in April 2011 at $27,000 per month.
listing photos: Halstead (via Street Easy)