Julian Schnabel’s Pepto Bismol-hued Palazzo Chupi building in the West Village evokes some seriously cavalier spending — his original asking price for the triplex penthouse was $32 million. Well, what do you expect from the artist/director turned real estate developer who pairs his giant ego with yellow-tinted sunglasses, and flaunts a big hairy chest in pajama tops at black-tie events? Palazzo Chupi isn’t just a big pink palace; it’s a space so transformative that you almost feel a life along the Grand Canal in Venice. In New York, it’s considered an eyesore for the uptight, while fans delight in Schnabel’s far-out taste. Fun designs have their limitations though, especially when a space not even 4,000 square feet is priced that high.
So now, finally after 21 months of looming empty over Schnabel like an Annie Leibovitz debt collection agency, last week a banker (surprise!) bought the unit for a dramatically slashed $10.5 million.
What will Bill Brady of Credit Suisse enjoy? There’s the charming Moorish-style balconies. Inside what Schnabel says is more accurately a “Pompeii Red” colored tower, are stone fireplaces. The basement has a 44-foot swimming pool. The triplex is just 3,845 square feet — a tiny dent in the total 50,000 square feet for the whole kit and ka-Chupi.
– Shira Levine is a freelance writer living in New York City.
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