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Megamansions: The New Trend Captivating NYC's Mega-Rich

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The latest trend for wealthy New Yorkers (or real estate investors) who want tons of space? The personalized megamansion, in which buyers stitch together different properties to create their absurd dream homes. The New York Post took a look at some of these luxury projects, including Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's proposed combo of three contiguous homes on East 75th Street, pictured above.

The Post revealed details for Abramovich's ambitious project, which will combine three townhouses at 11, 13 and 15 East 75th Street. Plans call for a total of 18,225 square feet across a 55-foot-wide lot, including a 30-foot rear yard and a pool in the cellar. He's already spent $78 million on the properties and hasn't started building yet—but when he does, it could become one of the largest private homes in the city. The work is estimated to cost $6 million, but given the challenges of the project—according to a tipster, the three townhouses don't align and it's going to be difficult to level the properties—the price tag will likely be much higher.

Luxury broker Mickey Conlon (who works for Douglas Elliman) states the obvious when it comes to these projects: "It's a very specific buyer with a very specific need." But it's looking like a more and more attractive plan to the ultra-wealthy, considering the lack of space and air rights in NYC to build big.

Many of these over-the-top houses are combinations of older properties. Madonna created a 13-bedroom manse out of three historic UES townhouses at 152-156 East 81st Street. (There was enough space for a dance studio, multiple dining rooms, a 3,000-square-foot garden, two garages, an elevator, and a private gym.) Even Brooklyn is getting in on the action: The former Low Mansion in Brooklyn Heights, named after onetime owner A.A. Low, is now broken into eight apartments, which will be delivered vacant for a buyer who wants to restore it to a luxurious single-family.

To avoid the hassle, time and costs of combining historic properties, there's always the option of securing an extravagant mega-home in a new development. Billionaire hedge funder Kenneth Griffin locked down three floors of 220 Central Park South to create a 18,000-square-foot mansion, which could cost as much as $200 million.

Unsurprisingly, these outrageous, customized properties can be difficult to pass onto a new buyer. As Curbed contributor Jonathan Miller told the Post, "Just because you slap two properties together doesn't mean there's a buyer." Case in point: a three-unit, 15,434-square-foot mega-penthouse on the top two floors of the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park was sitting on the market this year for $118.5 million; now it's down to two units and $75 million.
· The hidden kingdoms of New York City's ultra-rich [NY Post]
· All Roman Abramovich coverage [Curbed]
· All 220 Central Park South coverage [Curbed]

152 East 81st Street

152 East 81st Street, New York, NY 10028