Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Fallen Financier and Politico Jon Corzine Lists Hoboken Penthouse at a Loss
LOCATION: Hoboken, NJ
SIZE: 2,400 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Shaggy bearded and publicly beleaguered Wall Street financier cum New Jersey politico Jon Corzine, the much in the news subject of a recent profile in Vanity Fair, married for the second time in late 2010 to Sharon Elghanayan, a 60-something year old twice-divorced New York City-based psychotherapist (and "avid kickboxer") who happens to be the wealthy ex-wife of Thomas Elghanayan, scion to a serious New York City real estate fortune. Mister Corzine and Miz Elghanayan wed, according to a November 2010 announcement in the New York Times, in a small ceremony in Mister Corzine's Hoboken apartment, the very same penthouse it turns out he put on the market this week with a $2,900,000 asking price.
Mister Corzine hails from a farm in Illinois but his out sized and unfettered ambitions pushed him up through the ranks to eventually become the Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs before he was unceremoniously ousted in 1999 by long-time rival Hank Paulson, who himself went on to become the controversial 74th Secretary of the Treasury who presided over the credit crisis and subsequent economic bailout in 2008 brought about by the implosion of the sub-prime mortgage business. But we digress. After leaving Goldman Sachs Mister Corzine, a long-time resident of New Jersey, quickly shifted gears from Wall Street to Capital Hill. He famously spent tens of millions of his own dollars to snag a seat as a senator for The Garden State. He served five of his six year term before he resigned to make a successful run at the governorship of New Jersey in 2006, a hard-fought election that cost him several more tens of millions of his own substantial (if diminishing) fortune.
Mister Corzine wasn't the most popular governor and was defeated in his (brutally expensive) 2009 bid for re-election. Much to the surprise of many who follow the financial markets he returned bullish and bulldog-like to his Wall Street roots in March 2010 as the CEO and Chairman of MF Global, a struggling financial services concern that went belly up in October 2011. Mister Corzine resigned a month later and reportedly declined his twelve million dollar-plus severance package. That expression of largesse—or whatever it was—may or may not soften the sharp edge of reality that over a billion dollars of MF Global clients' money remains unaccounted for and was determined in late 2011 by a committee convened by the U.S. Gubbamint to be unrecoverable. Ouch.
Mister Corzine may be in the dog house both professionally and in the eyes of the public but he's also a fat cat with nine lives and Your Mama expects we haven't seen or heard the last of Mister Corzine's topsy-turvy adventures through the sometimes cruel arenas of politics and high finance.
Fascinatin' as it all is, kittens, Mister Corzine's roller coaster professional life isn't exactly what bring us here together today but rather his recent residential real estate activities. For years Mister Corzine lived relatively modestly—at least modestly for a man of his monetary means—in and around the upscale New York City bedroom community of Summit, NJ. At some point he and his first wife Joanna, who together have 3 grown children, purchased a mansion on more than six ocean front acres in the impossibly pricey, farm-glam enclave of Sagaponack in the Hamptons. A bit more on that beach house later.
Property records indicate Mister Corzine owns (or owned) a large ski condo near Telluride, CO and in early 1998 he and his then-wife Joanne paid around $15,000,000 for a spacious duplex condominium (plus a small storage space and a private wine cellar) at the 43-story pre-war minded post-war tower at 515 Park Avenue. The quickly caught a case of The Real Estate Fickle and flipped the 4,897 square foot duplex back on the market and sold it (and a small storage space and a private wine cellar) in August 2001 for $18,800,000 to music industry mogul Alan Meltzer who also quickly flipped the condo (and the wine cellar and the storage space) four months later at an $550,000 loss, not counting real estate fees and carrying costs.
We're not sure where exactly Mister Corzine decamped after he divorced First Missuss Corzine (at great expense) in 2003 but there are scads of reports of him living in a rental apartment in the same Hoboken, NJ building as a woman named Carla Katz who would eventually become his live-in lady-pal and who would eventually receive a reported six million dollar-plus settlement after they split up in 2004.
Property records show that in November 2008, in the middle of his tenure as the governor of New Jersey, Mister Corzine coughed up $3,263,581 to acquire a penthouse condo in Hoboken, NJ, the one currently listed at $2,900,000 and occupying a prime, south and east facing corner atop the massive, multi-building Maxwell Place on the Hudson complex on the shore of the Hudson River.
A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that even if Mister Corzine's Real Estates manage to pull a real estate rabbit out of a hat and snag a full price sale, the former governor still stands to lose a whopping $363,581 not counting real estate fees, improvement expenses, and carrying costs that include just over $38,000 a year in taxes and another $1,700 per month—$20,400 per year according to our calculations—in common charges.
The Maxwell Place complex, just north of Hoboken's main (and cute) commercial drag Washington Street, offers residents access to a grassy riverfront park and walkway, a landscaped roof top terrace with Manhattan view, swimming pool and spa, extensive fitness facilities, 24-hour concierge services, a free shuttle to the PATH station, and a private resident's only club with game room, screening room, business center and lounge with plasma tee-vee and fireplace.
Listing information shows Mister Corzine's Hoboken crib spans about 2,400 square feet and as it's currently configured contains 2 bedrooms—one of which appears to be wee and windowless—and 3.5 bathrooms.
The main living/dining room has delish, dark stained walnut floors, 10-foot ceilings, pale creamy beige walls, two long walls of floor-to-ceiling windows with wide river and New York City views, and a Manhattan-side balcony just big enough for an Hibachi, a lawn chair or two, and a cocktail table. What was probably once a bedroom is now a fully-outfitted if compact media room with built-in entertainment center/system with bar, a full wall of south-facing windows, and a slippery-looking brown leather sectional sofa. The smaller, windowless room next door does have (an also windowless) attached bathroom and makes, we imagine, a not a particularly gracious guest bedroom.
The butch-y galley-style kitchen, situated just behind the living/dining room with direct access from the breakfast area and entrance hall, has dark espresso-colored full-height Shaker-style cabinets, manly brown (or black) marble counter tops, fancy fixtures, and a complete suite of stainless steel Viking brand appliances.
What was once a guest/family bedroom with en-suite bathroom was incorporated by Mister Corzine into the master suite and utilized, as per listing photos, as large office/den with head on Empire State Building view and direct access to both the bedroom and the closet-lined dressing hall that in turn provides access to a pair of small but luxuriously fitted bathrooms with more espresso-colored cabinetry and black marble counter tops.
Some of the penthouse's extra added amenities, according to listing information, include a stacked stainless steel washer/dryer set, one deeded parking space in the building's indoor garage, and Lutron dimmer switches and a pre-installed Bose sound system throughout.
We, of course, don't know a bell pepper from a police raid, but Mister Corzine's decision to sell his Hoboken bachelor pad may have something to do with his new wife Sharon Elghanayan's rather impressive real estate portfolio. In addition to a full-floor apartment on New York City's fancy-pants Fifth Avenue—located, coincidentally, just downstairs from financier turned hot shot art dealer Bob Mnuchin who, back in the day, was one of Mister Corzine's mentors Goldman Sachs—property records show in August 2006 New Missus Corzine dropped $7,000,000 to buy a 1.72 acre estate with swimming pool and tennis court on the same scenic seaside lane in East Hampton, NY where a number of other high profile high flyers own houses including the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Candice Bergen, Starbucks honcho Howard Schultz, billionaire Mort Zuckerman, financier Carl Icahn, and domestic diva turned media mogul Martha Stewart, just to name just a few.
Anyhoo, their divorce settlement granted ex-Missus Corzine deed and title to the lavish and gated estate that then encompassed 6.64 landscaped acres and included a 6,165 square foot main house with 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, separate guest house, tennis court and beach side swimming pool.
Ex-Missus Corzine famously (and with much publicity) leased the estate from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2009 for a stroke inducing $900,000 to billionaire Henry Silverman and sold the property in a private deal the following June (2010) to billionaire Wall Streeter David A. Tepper who shelled out $43,500,000 for the property. Mister Tepper, bless his heart, felt the view from the lower level of the house was not adequate so proceeded to knock down every stick of the various structures and dig up almost every inch of landscaping except for the high hedges and shrubbery that rings the perimeter of the property in order to replace it with a custom-built 15,000 square foot cedar-shingled two-story Georgian beach house with sunken tennis court and better views. If we've said it once we've said it 89 times: Such are the gravy train real estate ways of the super-rich.
listing photos and floor plan: Halliburton Homes