Billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. finally got into River House


This story is for everyone who was ever rejected from a club or social group or lunch table. The co-op board of The River House, an Art Deco building off the East River on 52nd Street once rejected the billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. in the mid-1990s from buying an apartment. Now, he’s back for revenge and has just purchased a beleaguered apartment in the building with his wife Hilary Geary for $7.8 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The apartment was the home for 46-years of Arlene Farkas, who was engaged in a nasty battle for it for 18 years with her ex-husband (the heir to the Alexander department store chain, Bruce Farkas). She listed the home in 2008 for $15 million, but the co-op board kept rejecting everyone who put a bid on it. Finally, she had to declare bankruptcy in February, allowing Ross to swoop in and buy the place for almost half of the original asking price.






The 5,000 square foot apartment has five bedrooms, a “semi-private” elevator, two wood-burning fireplaces, a library, a gallery and a chef’s kitchen. The building has nice perks also, including the opportunity for all co-op owners to join the exclusive River Club, which has two tennis courts, a pool, a squash court and a new gym.

All amenities we’re sure Geary and Ross will use frequently. As a friend of the couple put it to the Times in their Vows column, “I thought they’d have a tremendous amount in common… New York. Palm Beach. Southampton. Both love going out every night.”