Art and Design Writer Sue Hostetler Lists High In Alphabet City
LOCATION: New York City, NY (East Village)
SIZE: 6,500 (or so) square feet, 3-4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: As we have uncountable times in the five years since we began our little online endeavor, today Your Mama brings y'all a discussion about a New York City residence first brought to our attention by dear, sweet Hot Chocolate, one of our unofficial (and unpaid) aide de camps who frequently sends along links to interesting properties—mainly in New York City—that sometimes turn out to be owned by a celebrity, socialite, big business baron or some other sort of deep-pocketed and residentially blessed, high-profile person.
Today we're gonna peep and poke around a substantial, contemporary, townhouse-type condominium in Manhattan's once burned out and drug infested now boho-chic and family friendly East Village. The residence in question, boldly listed at $8,500,000, takes up the first four floors a nearly-new, six-story, two-unit building custom-designed and -built for its current owners writer/editrix extraordinaire Sue Hostetler and husband Jon Diamond, described in at least one print publication as a bi-coastal media CEO and entrepreneur.
Property records show Miz Hostetler and Mister Diamond acquired the downtown property in May 2008 for $3,500,000. At the time of their purchase, the narrow Alphabet City parcel, just a couple doors down from the still-kinda-grungy but terribly-trendy Avenue B, was commercially zoned and occupied by a single story warehouse-type building that housed a construction company.
Miz Hostetler and Mister Diamond did whatever one does in New York City to get the property re-zoned for residential use and quickly erected a two-family structure with a nearly featureless façade and—Huzzah, huzzah, hoo-ray!—a much coveted, private 1-car garage. The lower four floors comprise a townhouse-type residence for Miz H. and Mister D's own use and the upper two floors contain a duplex penthouse reportedly designed by developer/designers Bob and Cortney Novogratz.
The duplex penthouse, with direct elevator access on the sixth floor and 1,200 square foot Ipe wood roof deck, spans (approximately) 2,700 square feet according to listing information from the time of the sale. The penthouse was first put on the open market in March 2010 for $3,750,000 and sold fairly quickly in August of the same year for, according to property records we peeped, $3,027,375. The buyers were Oscar Proust and Colleen Goujjane, owners of famed, candle lit West Village eatery One If By Land, Two If By Sea, frequently referred to in the medias one the most romantic restaurants in New York City.
On the 19th of April, Miz Gould Keil at the New York Post reported in her Gimme Shelter column that house hunting celebrity couple Rachel Weisz and Danial Craig toured Miz Hostetler's four-floor townhouse unit and—lo and behold—the very next day the vertically-oriented condo was officially listed on the open market with its current eye-popping $8,500,000 price tag.
A half flight of stairs descends from the two-chamber, ground floor foyer with its adjacent half pooper into a cavernous, semi-subterranean, 1,000-plus square foot "great room" with Italian Renaissance-style wood-burning fireplace and poured and epoxied concrete floors. The lofty 18-foot ceiling has a coffered wood ceiling adds a vital hint of patina and was custom crafted, according to listing information, by the very same artisan responsible for the mill work at the Gramercy Hotel's celebrity-stocked Rose Bar. Ain't that fain-cee!
A central switchback staircase connects all four floors and divides the parlor floor living spaces in to a street-facing dining room with sleek fireplace and a spacious eat-in kitchen with stainless steel cabinetry, poured concrete slab counter tops, and top-grade integrated appliances including a cappuccino maker. A full wall of floor-to-ceiling wood-framed windows in the kitchen fold back accordion-like to a nearly 1,000 square foot back yard with, according to the floor plan, an outdoor fireplace.
The master suite spreads luxuriously across the entire third floor with entry vestibule, full-width bedroom with tree-top view, and his and her walk-in closets/dressing rooms. The over-sized, spa-style bathroom with sassy, geometric Moroccan tile flooring has dual sinks, soaking tub, over-sized steam shower and separate cubicle for the crapper hidden, as per marketing materials, behind Parisian Art-Deco privacy glass, whatever that is.
The flexi-use fourth floor has a large, full-width bedroom at the front used by the occupant, according to listing information, as an office/den with black and white horizontal striped wall treatment. A sensational suite at the back of the fourth floor encompasses a private corridor, full-width bedroom, separate play room, walk-in closet, and private bathroom sheathed in Bisazza glass tiles. The play room could be converted to a separate bedroom and listing information—the "brokerbabble" as the kids at Curbed call it—states the good-sized laundry room adjacent to the bedroom/office/den could "easily become and additional full bathroom if so desired!"
While Your Mama's opinion ain't nuthin' but hot air, we find the townhouse condo's featured day-core a mite stale and surprisingly flat despite the thick vein of—dare we say—Novogratzian high-glitz whimsy that runs throughout (see dining room and master bathroom).
Then again, what do we know compared to owner Sue Hostetler, an unquestionably beaver busy gal on the professional go with an eye for art, day-core and other pretty and pricey things. She currently sits atop the editorial masthead of the high-gloss Art Basel Miami Beach magazine and she doubles down with a monthly column called The Aesthete for pan-Arab (English language) luxury lifestyle magazine Bespoke. Previously she was the National Shelter & Design Editor of Niche Media (Gotham, LA Confidential, Hamptons, Ocean Drive, at etc.) where she wrote (and wrote and wrote) glowing house porn articles about the glittering homes of the rich and famous. For a brief moment late in the last decade Miz Hostetler hosted a show on Plum Television which showcased extraordinary residences the country and she's authored a trio of coffee table-type books (Majestic Metropolitan Living, Hip Hollywood Homes and Oceans). Is this beotch tryin' to make Your Mama feel inadequate?
Anyhoodles poodles, previous to building the East Village two-family Miz Hostetler and hubby lived in a 3,000 square foot loft in a classic cast-iron building in the heart of SoHo they bought in May 2006 for $3,750,000. They engaged the services of Los Angeles turned New York City- and Paris-based designer Valerie Pasquiou who had previously worked over the L.A. homes of Showbizzers like Lisa Kudrow, Sharon Stone, film producer Mary Parent, motion picture literary agent Bob Bookman, and k.d. lang.
The 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom Hostetler-Diamond loft was photographed in 2007 for the defunct shelter publication Metropolitan Home, now archived with Elle Decor. This was just about the very same time they flipped the newly decorated SoHo loft back on the market with an asking price of $5,100,000. Over the course of a year, the asking price slipped in small increments to $4,750,000. Property records show the loft sold in May 2008 for its full asking price to John Wotowicz, an investment manager or something, and Virginia Lebermann, known in the art world as the co-founder of Texas-based contemporary arts foundation Ballroom Marfa.
We're not sure why Miz Hostetler and Mister Diamond have opted to sell their custom-created townhouse condo in the East Village nor do we know how their enormously successful team of Real Estates arrived at the eight and a half million dollar asking price that puts it at the apex of the East Village real estate food chain. It is, by a double-wide $2,000,000 margin according to our research on Streeteasy, the most expensive East Village residence of any type (condo, co-op, townhouse, multi-family) currently on the open market with the exception of a pair of side-by-side (but not yet joined), mid-19th century era townhouses on East 10th Street that combined come to almost 8,500 square feet and are listed together for $12,950,000.
With that in mind, Your Mama imagines—but does not predict—Miz Hostetler's townhouse condo in still-rough-around-the-edges Alphabet City may (or may not) be a tough sell at the sky-high price of $8,500,000 even with the private one car garage for which Your Mama imagines most street-parking Manhattanites would probably do the most unspeakable things. Trust Your Mama on that, children. We parked and hopscotched an old but trusty Saab 900S on the streets of the East Village for more years than we can count and we know of what we speak about the absolute desirability and value of that-there garage.
listing photos and floor plan: Town Real Estate