Board approved: Who calls 834 Fifth Avenue home?
LLNYC continues its look at the individuals who call Manhattan’s most prestigious cooperative apartment buildings home with 834 Fifth Avenue, located on the corner of East 64th Street, across from the Central Park Zoo.
Built in 1931, 834 Fifth was designed by Rosario Candela and features high ceilings, oversized windows, spacious layouts, a limestone façade, Art Deco details, a courtyard garden, a canopied entrance, terraces on the setbacks and a Rockefeller connection.
Conservationist, businessman and third-generation Rockefeller, Laurance Rockefeller called a penthouse in the building home. Today that unit is owned by Wendi Murdoch, the ex-wife of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. But she isn’t the building’s only prominent resident.
Other notables in the building include an oligarch, a Broadway producer, the co-owner of the New York Giants, two Blackstone executives, a hedge fund manager, the former CEO AllianceBernstein, Charles Schwab Jr. and the estranged wife of an heir to a Swiss money printing fortune.
Beside their address these masters of the universe have something else in common: they all paid cash for their units. Like most of New York’s top co-op buildings, 834 Fifth does not allow financing.
Below is the full list and biographies of the prestigious property owners.
(Source: Property Shark and published news articles)
Unit price: $34,000,000
Wendi Murdoch is a Chinese-born, American businesswoman and one of the ex-wives of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
She was Murdoch’s third wife and he was her second husband. Their marriage lasted from 1999 to 2013 and produced two daughters, Grace and Chloe, who will be heirs to Murdoch’s media empire.
Judith and Harold Prince
Unit price: $24,900,000
Harold Prince is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer. He and his wife Judith, née Chaplin, married in 1962 and have two adult children.
Prince has won twenty-one Tony Awards in total — more than any other individual.
Prince has also directed operas including “Ashmedai,” “Willie Stark,” “Madame Butterfly,” and a revival of “Candide.”
Unit price: Undisclosed
Susan Gutfreund is the widow of John Gutfreund, “the king of Wall Street,” a one-time chief executive of Salomon Brothers, an investment bank, who died in early March 2016.
He was 86. She was his second wife. Her previous marriage, to John Roby Penn, whose family owned real estate in Texas, ended in divorce in 1976. Before she married Penn, she worked as a flight attendant for Pan Am. Her husband, who led Salomon until 1991, including during its initial public offering, personified the ascendancy and excess of 1980s Wall Street milieu. Before Salomon started the trend of going public, investment banks in New York were all private partnerships.
In late April 2016, she listed the 20-room, 12,000 square foot apartment for $120 million after finding it too large to live in alone, the Wall Street Journal reported. The duplex, which combines units 7 and 8A, includes three adjacent staff rooms, a fourth non-contiguous staff room on the second floor, a wine cellar, and a basement storage space. A double-height entrance gallery opens onto a marble staircase and a 50-foot-long living room with views of Central Park.
Four brokers are sharing the listing, John Burger and Richard Ziegelasch at Brown Harris Stevens and A. Laurance Kaiser IV and Craig Dix at Key-Ventures.
Philippe and Ana Laffont
Unit(s) price: $30,000,000*
Philippe Laffont is a hedge fund manager. He established Coatue Management in 1999 and serves as the fund’s chief investment officer. From 1996 to 1999, he worked as a research analyst at Tiger Management, a hedge fund known for inspiring its employee alumni to go on to found hedge funds of their own.
From 1992 to 1994, Laffont worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Laffont received an MS and a BA in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991.
Ana Laffont, née Ana Luisa Diez de Rivera, is a Spanish-born lawyer and the chairwoman of Mary’s Meals, an organization that provides food to poor children. The couple have six children. She received a JD in European Union Law from CEU San Pablo University in Madrid, an LLM in law and computer science from Complutense University, and an LLM in comparative jurisprudence from New York University (NYU) School of Law.
*The couple owns three units in the building on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 10th floors for which they spent a total of $30 million.
Hamilton and Amabel James
Unit price: $24,900,000
Hamilton James, who goes by Tony, is an executive at The Blackstone Group and a philanthropist. He serves as the president, chief operating officer and board member of the private equity firm.
He also serves as a commissioner of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
Before joining Blackstone, James was a member of the executive board of Credit Suisse. Starting in 1975, he worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, until the investment bank was acquired by Credit Suisse in 2000. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1975 and a BA from Harvard College in 1973. James is an alumnus of Choate, the boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Amabel James, née, Boyce, is an economist. The couple have three children.
Tom and Janine Hill
Unit price: $30,500,000
James Tomilson Hill III, who goes by Tom, is a private equity industry executive, an art collector and native New Yorker. He serves as vice chairman of private equity firm The Blackstone Group. He joined Blackstone in 1993. His career history includes stints at Lehman Brothers, Smith Barney and First Boston. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Harvard College. Hill is an alumnus of The Buckley School, a private all-boys school at the Upper East Side and Milton Academy, a boarding school in Massachusetts.
Janine Hill is a director at the Council on Foreign Relations and a lawyer by training.
The couple have two adult daughters, Margot Hill Kirby and Astrid Hill Dattilo. Before joining CFR in 2002, Hill worked at the Center for Preventive Action, Salomon Brothers, Time In
c. and law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.
She received a JD from Harvard Law School and an international law and economics degree from the University of Paris. Hill grew up in France, Belgium, and St. Louis, Missouri.
Dave and Reba Williams
Unit price: Undisclosed
Dave Williams is a banking executive, art collector and philanthropist. For 20 years, he led Alliance Capital Management (now AllianceBernstein), an asset management firm, as chief executive. His career also included a stint at Mitchell, Hutchins, Inc.
Williams received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from the University of Texas, where he majored in chemical engineering. He served in the US Navy from 1956 to 1959.
Reba White Williams is an art historian and writer. The couple have been married since 1975.
She received a PhD in art history from City University of New York, an MA in art history from Hunter College, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA in English from Duke University in North Carolina.
Unit price: $15,000,000
Tracey Hejailan-Amon is the soon-to-be ex-wife of Maurice Alain Amon, the scion of a Swiss family that made its fortune in the manufacture of currency printing ink.
The couple’s art collection, over which they are arguing, is estimated to be worth $25 million and includes works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Cy Twombly, Damien Hirst, and Takashi Murakami.
Charles and Helen Schwab
Unit price: $27,700,000
Charles R. Schwab, Jr. is a philanthropist and the founder of the brokerage firm Charles Schwab & Co., based in San Francisco. In 2015, his net worth was estimated at $6.9 billion.
The California native established his eponymous firm in 1971. He received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1961 and a BA from Stanford University in 1959.
The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation aims to assist children with dyslexia.
He and his wife have two children, Michael and Helen. Schwab’s marriage to his first wife Susan ended in divorce. With Susan, Schwab had three children, Charles (Sandy), Carrie, and Virginia.
Helen Schwab, née O’Neill, is a California-based philanthropist. She serves as president of the board of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation and on the boards of other charitable and cultural organizations.
Estate of Dorothy Sahn Siegal
Unit price: Undisclosed
Dorothy Sahn Siegal passed away in 2011. It appears her estate has not sold her unit.
She had two husbands, Arthur Sahn, to whom she was married for 29 years, and Abraham Siegal, to whom she was married for 16 years. She had three sons, Adam, Jonathan, and Eric.
Robert and Anne Bass
Unit price: $42,000,000
Robert Bass is an aerospace and oil-and-gas industry investor, scion of a wealthy Texas family and a philanthropist. He serves as chairman of Reno, Nevada-based aerospace firm Aerion Corporation and as the president of Keystone, Inc.
Bass is the founder of Oak Hill Capital Partners, a family office turned private equity firm.
He and his wife Anne have four children. The couple, who spend a significant amount of their time in California, have donated millions of dollars to Yale University, Stanford University and Duke University. Bass received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Yale.
Anne Bass is a philanthropist. She received a master of liberal arts degree from Stanford University and a BA from Smith College in 1970.
Unit price: $29,000,000
Laurie Tisch is a philanthropist and a scion of the family that made its fortune in Loews movie theaters and now co-owns the New York Giants football team.
She is the ex-wife of hedge-fund manager Donald Sussman, with whom she has two adult daughters, Emily and Carolyn. Her ex-husband is the founder of Paloma Partners.
Tisch serves on the board of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. In 2007, she established a charitable fund aimed at helping poor New Yorkers.
Unit price: $12,500,000
Miriam Haas, who goes by Mimi, is a philanthropist and the widow of Peter Haas, a scion of the Strauss family that made its fortune in Levi jeans. He died in 2005.
She has two adult children, Ari and Daniel, from a previous marriage to Brian Lurie, a rabbi. She serves as a trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Haas received a degree from George Washington University, where she majored in political science.
Unit price: $33,444,500
Mark Rachesky is a financier and a former protégé of corporate raider Carl Icahn, who trained as a doctor but never practiced.
He is the principal of MHR Fund Management, which invests in trucking and energy, and holds a 38 percent stake in California-based Lions Gate Entertainment, the studio that produced “Mad Men” and ‘The Hunger Games.”
From 1990 to 1996, Rachesky worked for Icahn. Early in his career, he worked for Robert Bass, the Texas-born investor who also lives at 834 Fifth Avenue. Rachesky received an MBA and an MD from Stanford University and a BS in biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981.
He grew up in Clifton, New Jersey.
Leonard and Emily Blavatnik
Unit price: $77,500,000
Leonard Blavatnik is an Odessa, Ukraine-born billionaire and philanthropist who made his fortune investing in natural resources and heavy industry in Russia and other ex-Soviet republics during that region’s tumultuous transition to capitalism.
The purchase of his apartment in 834 Fifth Avenue broke the record for the most ever paid for a co-op in Manhattan.
Blavatnik splits his time between New York, London and Tel Aviv.
He founded his firm, Access Industries, in 1986. The conglomerate owns stakes in companies in sectors that include oil-and-gas, metals, chemicals, media, telecommunications, and real estate. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1984, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MA from Columbia University. He attended Moscow State University of Railway Engineering.
Emily Appelson Blavatnik and her husband have four children.
Larry and Kimberly Heyman
Unit price: $36,000,000
Lazarus Samuel Heyman, who goes by Larry, is an executive at Heyman Properties — his family’s Connecticut-based real estate investment firm — and a philanthropist to Jewish religious institutions and schools. His father, the late Samuel Heyman, was an investor who specialized in buying distressed companies using large amounts of debt. Heyman received a JD from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in 1997 and a BA from Duke University in 1994.
Kimberly Heyman, née Ende, is a philanthropist and a former public relations manager. She and her husband have three sons. Heyman received a degree in communications from Boston University in 1997.
The late Clayton Frye Jr.
Unit price: Undisclosed
Clayton Frye Jr. was the senior associate of Laurance Rockefeller for 31 years until Mr. Rockefeller’s death in 2004. Rockefeller called 834 Fifth Avenue’s penthouse home.
Frye then served as executor of his estate. Frye passed away in 2014.
Roughly two months ago, the unit registered to Frye hit the market asking $15 million. It is the only listing in the building.
Check out the other buildings in our series here: