In addition to having his mega-media company News Corp. invest heavily in the online real estate game, mogul Rupert Murdoch continues to cycle through lavish residences here in Manhattan.
One year after buying a three-story penthouse at One Madison for $57.25 million, Murdoch has listed the 7,600-square-foot gem for $72 million.
Can you spell “P-R-O-F-I-T”?
Actually, while Murdoch has listed the unit for $14 million over his purchase price, the Aussie king of 21st Century Fox & News Corp. bought the apartment as raw space and spent a lot more over the past year to have the interior of One Madison designed and built by architect Jose Ramirez. The results are a soaring glass mansion-in-the-sky complete with a two-floor Great Room and open stairs that make it seem as you could walk to straight to heaven.
The listing of One Madison signals that the billionaire octogenarian has hardly slowed down since News Corp. was split into two separate entities at the demand of shareholders — a move Murdoch first resisted.
Murdoch’s home life was also upended following a divorce two years ago from his third wife, Wendi Deng. The split seems to have propelled Murdoch into a series of moves, including the latest relocation to a townhouse in the West Village.
As first reported by Curbed, Murdoch is the buyer at 278 West 11th Street. According to sale documents, Murdoch paid $25 million for the townhouse via Carmel Investments LLC. The building is five stories and was a bed & breakfast called West Eleventh Historic Townhouse Apartments featuring five units decorated after five master artists prior to its sale in 2011.
Since then, the townhouse was transformed by George Agiovlasitis, who paid $8.2 million for the B&B then renovated the historic structure into a sleek, private, 6,500-square-foot home.
Murdoch’s own newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, described 278 West 11th as a 25-foot-wide Greek Revival townhouse built in 1853 that was stripped by Agiovlastis of its purple exterior to reveal the original red brick facade.
“Agiovlasitis rebuilt the stoop to resemble the home’s original entrance,’’ the WSJ reported when the renovated home hit the market in March 2014 for $30 million.
The south-facing walls were also replaced with glass and the property also “boasts a roof deck with Empire State Building views, elevator, a 1,200-bottle wine cellar on the lower level and a gym,’’ Agiovlasitis told the WSJ.
Even at age 85, with homes in Los Angeles and around the globe, Murdoch needs the room in Manhattan, since he said he is often visited by his two younger children from his marriage to Deng. Likewise, Murdoch is investigating relocating the New York headquarters of News Corp. and 21st Century Fox to an 88-story skyscraper at One World Plaza. The Real Deal reported that Murdoch has been negotiating with another Master of the Universe — developer Larry Silverstein — about the mega project.
Meanwhile, Curbed also reports that while Murdoch is selling the One Madison penthouse, he is keeping a 3-bedroom unit on the 57th floor that he also purchased last year and apparently lived in during construction of the penthouse, proving once again that it’s good to be a king, or a fox.