Imagine living in the same house that your favorite actor lived in, walking along the same corridors and tending to the same gardens. It is usually not a farfetched dream because many celebrity homes are always for sale, and if your pockets run deep, you can get yourself one. Robert De Niro’s $25 million penthouse in West Village, NY (listed for $25.5 million), was up for grabs since 2014, and it took four years for it to find a buyer at a much discounted price of $18 million. Check out the amenities it offers and why Robert De Niro ended up living there for two years.
How He Came to Live in the Penthouse
Robert De Niro and his wife, Grace, lived on the fifth floor of the 88 Central Park West building, and while they were out of the country, the fourth floor caught fire. It was reported to have been caused by a lint buildup in the clothes dryer, and the flames were so tall, going as high as 12 feet, thus gave the firefighters a hard time. They took an hour to put out the fire, and luckily, there were no fatalities or injuries.
The actor had planned on renovating the house, but the damage resulted in the house being deemed uninhabitable, leaving Robert and his wife homeless. According to Mail Online, they had landed a deal to rent an apartment on the 64th floor of the Park Imperial. The agreement was to pay $100,000 per month, but Robert alleged that there was misrepresentation; hence he got out of the lease resulting in the apartment going back in the market. On the other hand, Grace was hoping they would get a five-bedroom apartment with plenty of closet space, and her wish came true with the West Village penthouse.
Details about the West Village Penthouse
The spacious penthouse covers 11,000 square feet, 5,200 of which are the private outdoor space according to City Realty. The building dates back to 1911 when the Premier West Village building was used as a manufacturing plant for maraschino cherries. It occupies two floors and has floor-ceiling windows that provide a magnificent 360-degree view of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River. The glass floors and landscaped terraces encompassing the central city park complete the luxurious look and feel.
On the first floor, the penthouse has an eat-in chef’s kitchen equipped with subzero refrigerators, a large walk-in pantry, a barbecue grill, and a separate prep kitchen. The living room has a fireplace, and it opens up to a large terrace. A library with a fireplace, a formal dining room, and a media room off the central atrium, are also on the first floor. The second floor boasts of a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom coupled with a steam room. The couple’s private room also has a fireplace, two walk-in-closets per Grace’s wishes, and private access to the outdoor space. The penthouse would not be complete without a private parking space; hence it has a 7-car garage measuring 3,000 square feet.
However, although it is speculated that Robert was forking out $80,000 per month for the two years he lived there, he still moved out in 2014 to a more expensive house. According to 6sqft, the actor and his wife moved to 15 Central Park West, also a five-bedroom apartment covering 6,000 square feet. They stayed in the condo paying $125,000 per month, and it was worth it considering that it also provided lots of closet space, had a grand living room, and other amenities similar to the West Village penthouse.
It Has Been the Subject of Several Lawsuits
In October 2016, Bethenny Frankel was caught checking out Robert De Niro’s $25 million penthouse in West Village, NY. It had formerly been listed for $40 million in 2015 and later for $30 million. However, before being listed for sale, the penthouse was for renting purposes; Robert had to pay $80,000, but as soon as he moved out, the monthly rent was increased to $95,000. Rumor had it that Bethenny wanted her boyfriend Dennis Shields to pay the asking price while others reported she was most likely looking for a house for a new show she was developing. Whatever the case, Bethenny did not settle for it.
The owner was not lucky in finding a suitable buyer, and he blamed it on the co-op that owns the building. According to New York Daily News, William Monaghan added 300-square feet rooftop bedroom to the penthouse in 1985. However, the co-op did not charge him for the extra bedroom until 2015, when they wanted him to pay $2.7 million in back maintenance. To William, it was a violation of the by-laws, and the co-op insisted on adding the amount to the $20 million asking price. Therefore even when William received an $18.2 million offer on the apartment, the prospective buyer was put off by the extra amount making William’s attorney say that co-op was holding the ability to sell the house hostage. As a result, William’s sued the coop.
However, that was not the end of William’s inability to sell the penthouse. In 2018, the penthouse was still the subject of another lawsuit, with William as the plaintiff again. As per New York Post, on July 28, 2017, Cole agreed to buy the penthouse and put down a deposit of $1.8 million. Few months passed with William convinced he had landed himself a buyer only for Cole to turn down the offer on December 20, 2017. Consequently, William sued Cole and wanted the court to ask him to forfeit the $1.8 million deposit for breach of contract. On the other hand, Cole argued that he was not interested because the agreement would only be binding upon him after closing. Fortunately for William, he was finally able to sell the penthouse for $18 million in July 2018 to the FG&N Trust.