The housing problem has spoiled not only Muscovites – New Yorkers also suffer from communal dramas. Right now, such a scandal flares up in an elite area near Central Park, but its protagonist is 55-year-old billionaire and investor Bill Ekman. For someone who follows the celebrity chronicle more than the investment markets, he is also known as the current husband of Brad Pitt's ex-girlfriend Neri Oxman. The couple is already raising a two-year-old daughter.
Bill Ekman and Neri Oxman with their daughter
Obviously, the billionaire took care of the family home, but his neighbors are not moved by his idea. The fact is that Ekman and Ockman purchased a penthouse, finished in pink stucco and stucco, on the roof of a 1927 apartment building at 6-16 West 77th Street. The remarkable building was part of the property of the feminist writer Nancy Friday, who owned four apartments with a total area of 5,000 square meters.
In 2017, a woman died and real estate entered the market – Ekman and Oxman, who is a renowned designer and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's media laboratory, bought these apartments in November 2018 for a total of $ 22.5 million. The costs are small, as Ekman's firm made a profit of $ 2.6 billion last year on a single deal. Ekman's personal fortune is estimated at $ 3.3 billion.
Norman Foster's project
The new owners wanted to refurbish and change everything, and definitely decided to move as far as possible from the original. They decided to turn the penthouse into a real glass aquarium and commissioned the project to Norman Foster – perhaps the world's most famous architect, who is famous for his modern interventions in historic buildings such as the Hearst Tower in New York and the Reichstag building in Berlin.
Many residents were not enthusiastic about this idea, because the house is located in a protected area with historical buildings and everyone had to carry out repairs in accordance with strict regulations.
It looks like a house in Malibu or a waterfront restaurant pavilion. Many of us renovated our apartments when we moved in and were told that when you change the windows, they should be exactly the same as the windows that were there before,
– said one of Ekman's neighbors.
And although wealthy people live in the house, they do not have to compete with Ekman's capital – many suspect that the billionaire used his influence to obtain certain permits.
It seems to me that he took over the building. It is alarming
– shared another tenant.
The original view of the building
However, in the billionaire's house there are also supporters who consider the old pink penthouse a “thorn in the eye” and are not against renewal. The project has also received approval from the Historical Society of New York, although Ekman and Oxman are the main sponsors of the organization and have already invested $ 1 million, promising another 20 million.
The final decision on the project should be made next week.