Koons Creates Manhattan Mega-Mansion
Art star Jeff Koons triumphantly opened a massive retrospective at the Whitney this week, the museum’s last before it moves downtown.
But less than 10 blocks away, he’s undertaking another huge project that’s been years in the making: combining two Upper East Side mansions into one of the city’s biggest homes.
Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network are always impressed with the commercial wizardry of Koons.
The artist bought the houses at 11 and 13 E. 67th St., across from Bob Guccione’s former mansion now owned by Philip Falcone, in separate deals back in 2009.
He was in contract on one of the houses for two years before that, and unsuccessfully attempted to purchase 9 E. 67th St. from Janna Bullock before getting No. 13 from the estate of Barbara Rockefeller.
But his 2010 application with the Department of Buildings to gut the houses and create a mega-mansion with a pool, gym and maids quarters was rejected.
A revised plan was approved last year, records show, and a permit for the full renovation was issued on April 9, Page Six has found. The job is estimated to cost $4.85 million.
However, not everyone’s thrilled now that construction has begun. “They’re always blocking the street with no regard for the neighbors.
It’s reckless,” huffed a denizen of the block. “At first we all rolled our eyes. Now we’re practically ready to organize neighborhood protests.”
A local renter added, “It must be nice to not only be an artist but to be your own Medici.” Koons’ office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The homes currently total 21,726 of interior square footage, records show, and Koons’ approved plan will bring that down to 19,325 square feet. Peter Pennoyer is listed as architect.
He fittingly once worked on Keith Haring’s Soho Pop Shop and the Warhol Factory.
The architect on the 2010 plan was reportedly listed as Richard Olcott of Ennead Architects, who worked on the Yale University Art Gallery and Carnegie Hall.
Koons holds the record for getting the highest price for a work by any living artist: His “Balloon Dog (Orange)” went for $58.4 million last year.
His prices are expected to spike further with his popular Whitney show.