What a difference a year can make. Back in the glorious days of prosperity, Julian Schnabel was able to list his Manhattan triplex penthouse for $32 million without getting laughed out of the city. But in 2009, even the most enviable of world billionaires have considered reevaluating their bank accounts. On Friday reports indicated that the disco-decade artist closed on his New York property for $10.5 million, a figure that New York Observer was kind enough to calculate for us as “less than a third of its original tag.”
Familiar with the name William J. Brady, the managing director of Credit Suisse, based in Palo Alto, California? Those living in the vicinity of Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi on West 11th Street probably are, as Friday’s closing was Brady’s second purchase from Schnabel in the same building.
Rumors have swirled around the Mary Kay-colored pink palazzo since it was first envisioned by the part-time Hamptons resident. The 17-story structure with 12-foot doors was said to have been created by Schnabel, a member of New York’s Haute 100, as an exclusive enclave for his own version of hand-picked elite residents, including Bono and Richard Gere, though neither celebrities actually ended up living there. And instead serving as a symbol of Schnabel’s architectural genius, some now view Palazzo Chupi as the physical representation of the bursting of the real estate bubble.