The gift that keeps on giving


I've been writing about the former Leona Helmsley place at 521 Round Hill Road since 2008, when David Ogilvy first listed it for $125 million. (he didn't get it: it eventually sold, in 2010, for $35 million, and that $90 million mark-down remains the largest miscalculation of the value of Greenwich real estate since the Wiechquaesqueek Munsees sold the entire town for "twenty-five coates" to Elizabeth Feake and her friends ). The whole process occasioned great hilarity here, as have all the subsequent futile attempts to unload it by the saps who bought it.

First they spruced it up a bit (the place was in shambles) and put it back up for sale in 2011  for $42.9, on the apparent assumption that they'd achieved a rare bargain at $35 million. When no one stepped forward to reward them for their investment perspicacity they yanked it from the market, performed a massive renovation/re-do costing millions, and raised its price to $65 million. That proved to be the wrong tactic and a complete waste of money, so the disappointed owners eventually dumped their agent and hired the current trio, who took over in 2016 and set the price at $49.895; which proved to be yet another failure.

Today the price was dropped to $28.995, so we (they) are now ten years older and $6 million poorer, plus, of course, the millions spent on renovations and the carrying costs incurred over the past decade (taxes are $230,000, and God knows what it costs to heat the place, maintain the 40 acres of lawn, and pay an overseer to beat the serfs, but, what, $400,000 for the package? $500,000? Per year.)

Stupid is as stupid does, but they didn't ask my opinion before they bought it in 2008, and I'm sure they won't now.

So I'll never make a commission on this place, but I've certainly enjoyed many a chortle over the whole misguided adventure over the years

 Which is ironic: like Leona herself, I don't have to pay taxes on a good belly laugh.