A Big Deal Goes Down at NYC's Lordly 834 Fifth Avenue

In the late 80s, Columbus, OH-based billionaire businessman Leslie Wexner bought a palatial 21,000 square foot townhouse on the Upper East Side of New York City. In 1996 or '07 he sold the East 71st Street townhouse, complete with a secret lead-lined bathroom with closed-circuit television, to the lavish living prostie lovin' financier and philanthropist Jeffrey Epstein whose prurient affinity for very young woman landed him in the clink in 2008.

About the time he was selling his titanic townhouse to Jeffrey Epstein, Mister Wexner reportedly paid a wealthy Italian lady somewhere in the neighborhood of nine million clams for a 16-room fixer-upper duplex at the high-nosed 834 Fifth Avenue. The apartment, with only two rooms that face Central Park, was previously owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch who hauled his heiny up a few flights when he famously paid a heart-stopping $44,000,000 for the triplex penthouse at 834. Your Mama has been told a number of times by a number of Upper East Side types who tend to know about these things that Mister Wexner and his wife Abigail had their five bedroom crib at 834 worked over by autocratic French architect Thierry Despont.

Shortly after news broke in late December 2009 that the Wexner's had snatched up a 3,480 square foot condo at 15 Central Park West for $13,100,000, the folks at the New York Observer snitched that Mister and Missus Wexner had quietly floated their duplex at 834 Fifth Avenue on the market with a mind-numbing $60,000,000 asking price. In early December of 2010 it was revealed, also in the New York Observer, that the asking price had dropped dramatically to $34,000,000 and sold to an unknown buyer.

A couple weeks late the buyer was identified in the NY Post as commercial real estate magnate Lazarus "Larry" Heyman who, it may surprise the children to know, is not yet forty years old.

This week The Real Deal announced that the Wexner actually sold his duplex digs at 834 for $36,000,000, a number that would indicate that there may have been a second interested party that drove the final sale price up to two million above the reported asking price.

Mister Heyman and his wife Kim, formerly of Sutton Place, now have uppity neighbors who include Bing Crosby's son Harry, philanthropist, haute couture queen and high society doyenne Carroll McDaniel Portago Carey-Hughes Pistell Petrie who once lived on the 5th floor and now lives in Pauline Pitt designed digs on the 10th floor and famously fat living former "King of Wall Street" John Gutfreund and his very social wife Susan whose live primarily in a plush Parisian apartment they put up for sale in 2010 but still maintain an opulent Henri Samuel designed 16-room apartment at 834 Fifth Avenue that measures in at a hefty hefty hefty 12,000 square feet.

photos: The Office of Thierry Despont