I guess it REALLY pays to be an employee at 15 Central Park West, so says author Michael Gross in House of Outrageous Fortune, his new book about the billion dollar behemoth condo building. Apparently, in 2011 the average worker there made $22,500 in tips during the holiday season. (Generous designer Elie Tahari handed out $300 cash and a fancy shirt to each building employee) The resident manager makes $600,000 a year — before tips! Not too shabby for tending to a tower full of pampered millionaires, plenty of whom have made Fifteen — its nickname — their power home base. I’m sure it’s not an easy job (but it’s not digging a ditch either) Gross says there were plenty of worker bees willing to spill the dirt.
Other choice tidbits from the juicy book:
• The developers were nearly one-upped by a stubborn tenant. Herbert Sukenik, longtime resident of the Mayflower Hotel, that once stood on the spot where 15 CPW is now, is described in the book as a Ph.D. who was “hugely intelligent” and “too smart for his own good,” and became a multi-millionaire after digging in his heels and refusing to move, – even after demolition began. The Zeckendorfs paid him $17 million to vacate and put him up in an Essex Hotel condo for a fee of just $1 a month. (Wonder if he’s still the there?)
• Denzel Washington agent supposedly demanded to pay less than the asking price and “in exchange … developers were given permission to publicize his purchase.” His agent, of course, refutes this account, however, but supposedly the famous actor, “didn’t care.”
• Alex Rodriguez rented there for $30,000 a month and according to some chatty 15 CPW insiders, he didn’t deserve Cameron Diaz, who he was dating at the time. One thought she “was way too nice for A-Rod,” who was considered “a narcissist” by another source. While there, A-Rod supposedly dated Madonna, Kate Hudson, and Diaz (who, btw, all famously get around THEMSELVES.) One staffer says while he was dating all three, he had visits from hookers – an allegation that A-Rod’s spokesperson told the Daily News was “defamatory.”
• After paying $26.5 million for his duplex, Sting remodeled his apartment, including removing private elevator to his unit. Who takes out an elevator? Was it for security? What do you need the space for – a broom closet? Honestly, that’s the weirdest thing I’ve heard about this place, so far. (via New York Magazine)