The first week of trading has seen a drop in the valuation of Facebook stock compared to the IPO prices. However, the IPO has created an estimated 1,000 young ultra rich techies. The price fixed for the IPO pushed the valuation of Facebook to $104 billion. The early insiders and investors in the social network suddenly turned into millionaires and even some billionaires. Their new found wealth has brought them into the market and the real estate sector could be a direct beneficiary. According to reports an unnamed West Coast based Facebook tycoon has shown interest in buying the TriBeCa’s 144 Duane Street property, an expensive Manhattan estate.
It is a sprawling townhouse which hat hit the market with an original asking price of $45 million and bucking the trend the listing price was revised upwards to $49.5 million. The property dates back to 1862 but is rather well preserved for its age. The limestone building with a total of 23,000 square feet of space has unique features like a basement basket ball court and a landscaped roof deck. The sleek designs of the staircase give the house a very contemporary look. The property could be described as a trophy home and one of the most spectacular home to hit the market in Downtown. The townhouse has undergone a comprehensive renovation to regain its original character.
Studio Rivelli Architects have been responsible for the redesign and renovation of the building which was a shoe store and a warehouse. The process which started in 2001 saw the building transformed into an elegant residence on the scale of a renaissance palazzo. The redesign was an elaborate affair and even entailed creating a new 6th floor after lifting the roof. The result has been a three floor residence with two levels of terraces. The ground floor is a commercial space. The 2nd and 3rd floor feature a rental apartment each that was earlier rented for as much as $19,500 per month. The 4th, 5th and 6th floor has been designed as the main triplex for the owner with a total of 10,000 square feet including 2,775 sq. ft of outdoor space with direct access to the basketball court in the basement and a private gym.
The brief given by the client to Studio Rivelli Architects was clear – a clean contemporary aesthetic within the interior while maintaining as much of the original detailing as possible. The sixth floor that was added to the building was pulled back in the front to leave the original brick and stone detailing on the front façade exposed. It has also resulted in double height space over the kitchen and dining room areas. The kitchen has been outfitted with latest high-tech fixtures. The listing is being handled by Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The listing has created a buzz in the industry as everyone is trying to guess who is the Facebook billionaire wanting to buy the Manhattan townhouse. However, this much is certain that the Facebook IPO has come as a boon for the real estate industry as a whole. The new Facebook millionaires are expected to invest in the Bay area and the prices there have already seen a jump. Hopefully the trend will continue.