During all the recent hubbub surrounding the historic townhouse at 436 West 20th Street?the celebrity renters, the butler, the divorcées seeking advice?you may have noticed that the whole shebang, all five gloriously renovated units, has also been on the market for $21 million. No longer, as of late last week. The house's co-owner/broker Michael Bolla tells us the plan to sell what he's dubbed Chelsea Mansion is off for good, and that goes for when the market bounces back to full strength, as well.
Bolla says the high-end furnished rentals route has been such a success (only one apartment is left: the $15k/month garden level), that he plans to keep the house operating as rentals?maybe taking one or two floors for his own use in the future. "We didn't have a predestined plan to do rentals when we bought the house," Bolla says, "but I was seeing $30,000-per-month properties furnished with Crate & Barrel. It didn't make any sense, and the idea was always in the back of my mind." Bolla adds that he's "developed a brand and concept" with the Chelsea Mansion, and as we all know, a good concept just cannot be contained.
Bolla says he's working on acquiring other properties that will get the full-on Chelsea Mansion makeover, a delicate process that includes custom-made furnishings by English designer George Smith. Are we talkin' more celebrity townhouses? Probably. Bolla hinted that he's looking at other houses in the Chelsea neighborhood, and also something equal in size to 436 West 20th Street but located a bit more downtown. And now for the $64,000 (per month) question: Will each Bolla mansion have a butler? "They'll all have services and be fully staffed," he says, without explicitly confirming that he's raising a bow-tied army. If Bolla gets his way, soon more rental seekers will be able to fulfill every little girl's dream: Living like Courtney Love.
· 436 West 20th Street [Official Site]
· 436 West 20th Street coverage [Curbed]