I HAVE ALREADY ADMITTED to a queasy fascination with the Novogratzes, ever since that unforgettable New York Times article last spring about their 7th child’s christening, filmed for a reality show that will debut next month on Bravo.
They’re the preternaturally good-looking, made-for-TV couple who parlayed a condemned $400,000 Chelsea row house, bought in 1996, into multiple properties and many millions, along with a Ford modeling contract for the entire family and a slew of branding opportunities. They also have a new decorating book, Downtown Chic, from Rizzoli.
Since that first gut reno, they’ve done 11 more and formed a firm called Sixx Design. I admire the risks they’ve taken (not always successful – some of the properties they hoped to flip are now rented out) and their willingness to invest in fringe areas. Their current home, built on a vacant lot, is a rather strange-looking modern townhouse overlooking the West Side Highway; it’s been on the market since last June for $25 million.
One of their latest design projects, here in Amagansett, is featured in the current issue of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens magazine. The stark, cold look of it doesn’t appeal to me at all, but I am intrigued by how they took on this “poorly built ranch,” ripping out all the interior partitions, replacing sliding doors with French doors, creating a new staircase, and more. And they did it all in two months. on a low budget, using chandeliers from Home Depot and kitchen cabinets from IKEA. You can read the whole article here.
Meanwhile, I was glancing through the table of recent real estate transactions in the East Hampton Press the other day, and top of the list is a property on Lazy Point Road in Amagansett, sold last month for $2.3million to a “J. Novogratz.” The golden couple’s names are Cortney and Robert, and I haven’t seen the coverage such a celebrity sale would surely generate on sites like Curbed Hamptons. It could be someone else altogether, but there’s that Amagansett connection. I wonder…could the Novogratz powerhouse be coming to the East End?
Photos: Matthew Williams