The fourth installment of LLNYC’s series on Manhattan’s most prestigious cooperative apartment buildings is a look inside 960 Fifth Avenue.
The 1928 building, which uses 3 East 77th Street as an alternate address, was designed by Rosario Candela with architecture firm Warren & Wetmore. And all the requisite Candela “good building” details and flourishes are there – wood burning fireplaces in common rooms, varying ceiling heights that stretch to 18 feet in some units and staircases that enable hostesses to make a grand entrance in the duplexes. The building has a gym with outdoor space on an upper floor.
The building also boasts an old school amenity on the ground floor, The Georgian Suite, a multi-room restaurant where residents can host parties, fundraisers or simply have a meal. The facility also offers catering services for lunch and dinner, with meals delivered to residents’ units upstairs.
This building’s demographics skew heavily in favor of inherited wealth. Many of the residents behind this particular limestone curtain are scions of families who made money in concrete, construction, toys, sugar and textiles. Several of the resident also have ties to the South — particularly Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee.
Here’s a detailed look at the residents of 960 Fifth Avenue:
(Source: Property Shark, Acris, and published news articles)
Nassef Sawiris and Sherine Magar
Unit price: $70,000,000
Nassef Sawiris is an Egyptian construction tycoon and a scion of the Sawiris family, whose members hold stakes in telecommunications and real estate in Egypt.
He is the chief executive of Orascom Construction Industries. Sawiris and his wife, Sherine Magar, have four children. They divide their time between New York and Cairo.
Sawiris set a record for the highest price ever paid for a co-op in New York with the purchase of the five-bedroom, eight-bathroom apartment of the late Edgar Bronfman.
Charles Lazarus and Joan Regenbogen
Unit price: $4,800,000
Charles Lazarus is the founder of Toys “R” Us. Since 1995, he has been married to Joan Regenbogen, an interior designer. He was married to Helen Singer Kaplan, a sex therapist, from 1979 until she died in 1995.
According to public records, Lazarus owns multiple units in the building. In 2013, he sold one of his units for $21 million to Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor, the heir to a Peruvian banking fortune.
John Sullivan Jr. and Nonie Sullivan
Unit price: $4,200,000
John Sullivan Jr. is a scion of the Sullivan-Gerli family whose members made their fortune in the silk and velvet textile business. He serves as chairman and chief executive of Gerli & Co., the parent company of American Silk Mills in north-eastern Pennsylvania.
Sullivan is the grandson of Paolino Gerli, who established the family’s silk business in the early 1900s.
Eleanor (Nonie) Clay Ford Bourke Sullivan is a scion of the Ford family (as in Ford motors). Her first marriage to Frederic Bourke Jr., of leather goods maker Dooney & Bourke, ended in divorce.
Unit price: $2,932,500
David Mackie is a venture capitalist, a consultant for the natural gas industry and a lawyer by training. He serves as an independent director at AltaGas.
His career includes stints at El Paso Natural Gas Co. and Transco Energy Co.
Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani
Unit price: $15,000,000
Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani is a philanthropist, author, wealth manager and a partner at Goldman Sachs. As of 2016, she worked as the chief investment officer of the Private Wealth Management Group at the Wall Street investment bank. She joined Goldman in 1993.
Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani is a philanthropist and an oil and gas executive. He serves as chairman and chief executive officer of RAK Petroleum in the United Arab Emirates and executive chairman of Norway’s DNO International. He is the founder of Houston-based Apache International. Princeton University’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies was made possible by a $10 million donation by the couple.
Emilia and José (Pepe) Fanjul
Unit price: $1,900,000
José Fanjul, who goes by Pepe, is one of the Fanjul brothers of Cuba, who jointly own Fanjul Corp, a conglomerate with holdings in the sugar industry and in real estate in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. His brother are Alfonso (Alfy), Alexander and Andrés.
The Fanjul family has been involved in the sugar business for 150 years and have been involved in American, Cuban and Dominican politics. Jose Fanjul received an MBA from New York University (NYU) and a BA from Villanova University.
Emilia May Fanjul is a philanthropist. She serves as a trustee of Glades Academy, a public charter elementary school in Florida. She received an undergraduate degree from Columbia University’s Barnard College.
Mathew and Ann Wolf
Unit price: $2,500,000
Mathew Davis Wolf is a rancher, the son of oil tycoon Erving Wolf, a trained lawyer and an oil man in his own right. He received a JD from the University of Houston Law School and an undergraduate degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He is an alumnus of Brooks, a private school in the town of North Andover in Massachusetts.
Ann Weltchek Wolf received an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University. She is an alumna of St. Mark’s, a private school in Southboro, Massachusetts, class of 1979. The Wolf’s married in 1990 and have three children, Daisy, Henry and Benjamin.
Unit price: $18,875,000
Benjamin Steinbruch is a Brazilian ex-billionaire and industrialist whose family made its fortune in textiles and steel.
Steinbruch serves as chairman and chief executive of CSN. The Steinbruchs have suffered a dramatic reversal of fortune precipitated by a slump in global commodities prices. In 1993, the family came to own CSN, a formerly government-owned steel company, by using their textile business, Vicunha Textile, and a large amount of debt in the acquisition, which occurred during Brazil’s privatization drive.
Gail Auchincloss Gilbert and her son, S. Parker Gilbert, Jr.
Unit price: $1,500,000
Gail Auchincloss Gilbert is a wealthy widow and member of old New York society. For 55 years she was married to Seymour Parker Gilbert III, with whom she had three children, S. Parker Gilbert Jr, David, and Lynn Tudor.
Her husband led the investment bank Morgan Stanley, with which his family had multiple ties. He oversaw its initial public offering in 1986 and continued to influence the bank’s management in retirement. Her grandfather was a New Jersey congressman.
Parker Gilbert, Jr. is one of Gail Auchincloss Gilbert’s sons. His brother David wrote a novel, “& Sons,” set in the privileged New York milieu in which they grew up.
James Krugman and Connie Simmons
Unit price: Undisclosed
James Krugman is a corporate executive and a lawyer by training. His career includes stints as chief executive of several companies: Insituform of North America Inc., Memphis, a wastewater pipeline reconstruction company, Meadox Medicals, a medical prosthetics and devices manufacturer that was acquired by Boston Scientific in 1995, and Hayward Industries, a manufacturer of valves and filters.
From 1972 to 1978, Krugman was senior partner at Krugman, Chapnick & Grimshaw, a law firm based in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
Connie Simmons is an artist, a lawyer by training and a producer of public television programming about the visual arts. She established and runs her namesake company, SimmonsArt Inc. Simmons produced, directed and edited a PBS series, “Landscapes through Time with David Dunlop” that was nominated for two Emmys in 2009.
Her career includes stints at Columbia Tri Star and working as an entertainment lawyer in private practice. Her clients included New Line Cinema and Miramax. Simmons received a JD from Columbia University’s Law School and a BA from the University of Texas at Austin.
James Coleman Jr.
Unit price: $795,000
James Coleman Jr. is Louisiana businessman and a lawyer. He is the former chairman of International Matex Tank Terminals, a company that handles, stores and transports crude oil, vegetable oils and liquid fertilizers and that was established by his father.
The Coleman family’s interest in IMTT was bought out in two phases in 2006 and 2014. He serves as managing partner of the New Orleans law firm Coleman, Johnson, Artigues & Jurisich. Coleman received a JD from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1968 and a BA from Princeton University in 1963.
James and Marie Marlas
Unit price: $7,100,000 (the couple own multiple units in the building)
James Marlas is a buy-out tycoon and a lawyer by training. He is the co-founder and chairman of Union Capital Corporation, a private equity firm he established in 1968. His career also includes a stint working as an associate at law firm Baker & McKenzie.
He received a JD from the University of Chicago Law School in 1963, an MA in jurisprudence from Oxford University in 1961, and a BA from Harvard University in 1959.
Marie Nugent-Head Marlas is a philanthropist and a former actress. She played a doctor in the 1992 movie “Lorenzo’s Oil.” She is a recipient of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, given in recognition of accomplishments and service to France. She and her husband acquired and renovated a 18th-century castle in France.
Henri and Marsha Wedell
Unit price: $4,800,000
Henri Wedell is a retired businessman, investor and philanthropist. He invests in private prisons. From the 1970s to 1999, Wedel worked at investment bank The Robinson Humphrey Company (now SunTrust Robinson Humphrey). He received an MBA from the Tulane University School of Business.
Marsha Wedell is a historian, author and philanthropist. She received a PhD in history and is an alumna of the Louise S. McGehee School, an all-girls private school in New Orleans, class of 1959. The Wedells donated $1 million to the school in 2013.
They split their time between Manhattan, Memphis, Tenn., and Florida.
William and Sherry Cherry
Unit price: $1,640,000
William Edward Cherry is a local politician and civil servant in upstate New York. He serves as budget director/treasurer of Schoharie Country, which is located west of Albany. Cherry’s first term as treasurer began in 1995.
Before being elected treasurer, he served as village trustee and town supervisor. He and his wife, Sherry, live in the village of Cobleskill.
Peter and Laura Grauer
Unit price: $2,400,000
Peter Grauer is a private equity executive and a former investment banker who led Bloomberg LP, the financial data and news provider, as chief executive immediately after the company’s founder, Michael Bloomberg, stepped down.
In 2016, Grauer joined the board of directors of private equity firm The Blackstone Group. He served as chief executive of Bloomberg from 2002 to 2008 and continues to serve as chairman. His career also includes stints at Credit Suisse, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (an investment bank acquired by Credit Suisse) and Citibank. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1975 and a BA from University of North Carolina in 1968. He is an alumnus of Hotchkiss, a boarding school in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Laura Grauer, who goes by Laurie, is a philanthropist.
Mary Lawrence Porter
Unit price: $3,000,000
No information immediately available.
Joseph and Mary Jane Platt
Unit price: $2,300,000
Joseph Platt, Jr. is an insurance industry executive and philanthropist. He is a founding principal at Thorn Partners, an investment firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
From 1971 to 1997, he worked at Johnson & Higgins, an insurance broker and employee benefits advisory firm, until it acquired by Marsh & McLennan in 1997. Platt received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1983, a JD from Fordham University Law School in 1971 and an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in 1968.
Mary Jane Platt is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based philanthropist.
James and Stephania McClennen
Unit price: $1,100,000
James McClennen is a co-owner, with his wife Stephania, of the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. The couple acquired the Cape Cod property in 1977.
Unit price: $21,000,000
Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor is a businessman, philanthropist and an heir to a Peruvian banking fortune. His father served as Peru’s central bank chief. Rodriguez-Pastor (the son) parlayed their fortune and experience into a financial services and retail conglomerate, Intercorp, and a private equity firm, Nexus Group.
From 1993 to 1994, he co-founded and ran a New York City-based hedge fun at Banco Santander with Hari Hariharan and Manuel Balbontín (who lives at River House), before returning to Peru. Rodriguez-Pastor’s first job out of business school was at Citibank, on the emerging markets trading desk. He worked as a Wells Fargo bank teller while attending college.
In 1988, Rodriguez-Pastor received an MBA from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business in Hanover, New Hampshire. In 1983, he received a bachelor degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He grew up in Lafayette, a town on the outskirts of San Francisco, after his family fled Peru under threat of persecution following a coup d’état.
Gabriela Perez Rocchietti is a philanthropist. The couple, who divide their time between Manhattan and Lima, Peru, have two sons, Martin and Franco.
Rodriguez-Pastor purchased his apartment at 960 Fifth from Charles Lazarus, the founder of Toys “R” Us.
Andrew Atterbury and Gwyn Prentice
Unit price: $3,650,000
Andrew Atterbury is a Kansas City, Missouri-based oil-and-gas industry executive. He is the co-founder and president of Bowood Capital Advisors, an asset management firm.
From 2002 to 2011, Atterbury worked as a senior vice president in charge of corporate development at Inergy, a firm that buys, sells, transports and stores natural gas products like propane. Crestwood Equity Partners, a rival that operates in the shale gas and shale oil sector, acquired the firm in 2013. From 1999 to 2011, Atterbury worked in a similar position at Houston, Texas-based Kinder Morgan, a logistics and storage behemoth that handles crude oil, natural gas and coal.
From 1996 to 1998, he worked in the real estate finance group at Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that collapsed in 2008. Atterbury received a MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Gwyn Prentice is a Kansas City, Missouri-based fashion designer. She is the founder of Helen Jon Swimwear. Prentice received a BA from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1996.
Their three-bedroom unit (11CD), which the couple acquired in 2013, was listed for $5,495,000 as of early April 2016, according to Streeteasy.
Coleman and Susan Burke
Unit price: $4,700,000
Susan Payson Burke is a philanthropist, an avid gardener and a former public relations director at Bergdorf Goodman.
She serves on the board of the New York Botanical Garden, on the horticulture committee at Wave Hill public garden in the Bronx and on the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Burke is also a member of the Bedford Garden Club and a founding member of the Garden Club of America.
Her career has included stints working as an advertising director at Frances Denny and as a marketing and public relations executive for Moët & Chandon. She and her husband, Coleman Burke, divide their time between Manhattan, an 1805 farmhouse in Bedford, New York, and houses on Nantucket Island, in Massachusetts and in Florida.
Coleman Burke is a real estate investor, lawyer by training, philanthropist and an amateur paleontologist. He is the founder and managing partner of Waterfront Properties, a firm that invests in office buildings and retail and storage properties in New York, Maine, Massachusetts and Colorado.
Burke serves on the board of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Forest Foundation and on the science committee of the New York Botanical Garden. He is a member of the Leadership Council of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale’s Peabody Museum.
Before going into the real estate industry, Burke was a partner at law firm Burke & Burke (now Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke). As a hobby, Burke digs for dinosaur bones, including in Wyoming and Patagonia, a rugged grassland region on the southern tip of South America.
Elizabeth Ballantine and Paul Leavitt
Unit price: $2,400,000
Elizabeth Ballantine is a scion of the multi-branched Ballantine-Cowles family of newspaper publishers, a former investment advisor, an activist for women’s reproductive rights, scholar of Russian history and lawyer by training. She works in the family business and serves and sits on the board of directors of Sacramento, California-based McClatchy Newspapers.
From 1993 to 1998, she worked in a similar position at Cowles Media Company. From 1993 to 1999, Ballantine worked as an international trade lawyer Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky, a Washington, DC-based law firm that shuttered in 2016. From 1990 to 1993, she worked as a private advisory to individuals interested in investing abroad.
Her career also includes stints working as an attorney from the Central Intelligence Agency and as a reporter in the 1970s and 1980s for two of her family’s daily newspapers, The Durango Herald in Colorado, which her parents bought in 1952, and The Des Moines Register in Iowa, which her great-grandfather bought in 1903.
Ballantine serves as a trustee of Grinnell College in Iowa, as chairwoman of the board of the National Cathedral School, a private all-girls school in Washington, DC, as a trustee of the Gardner and Florence Cowles Foundation, and as an advisor to Planned Parenthood. She received a PhD in Russian history from Yale University in 1986, a JD from American University’s Washington College of Law and a BA from Yale in 1971.
Paul William Leavitt is a retired newsman who married into a multi-branched Midwestern publishing family. From 1997 until his retirement, he worked as the Washington DC news editor for USA Today, the national daily he joined in 1985.
He spent the previous decade working as a reporter and editor for The Des Moines Register, a daily newspaper in Iowa owned by the family of the woman who would become his wife, Elizabeth Ballantine. He began his career as a broadcaster reporter.
Leavitt and Ballantine live in McLean, Virginia, and have a son, William, who works as a lawyer in New York City and sits on the board of the family business, Ballantine Communications. From 1982 to 1983, Leavitt attended Moscow State University in the USSR (now Russia). He received a journalism degree from Drake University in Des Moines in 1972. He grew up in Natick, a town in Massachusetts.
Gustavo and Patty Cisneros
Unit price: undisclosed
Gustavo Cisneros (Gustavo A. Cisneros Rendiles) is a Caracas, Venezuela-born media mogul, hospitality tycoon, and philanthropist. His father, Diego, made his fortune by securing the concession to sell Pepsi in Venezuela and parlaying that into investments into television. As of 2014, Cisneros (the son) had a net worth $4 billion, according to Forbes.
His privately-held holding company also owns Venezuelan baseball team Leones del Caracas (Caracas Lions) and the Miss Venezuela beauty pageant. He received a BA from Babson College in Massachusetts in 1968 and is an alumnus of Suffield Academy (class of 1963), a private prep school in Connecticut. He appears to hold multiple citizenships including those of Venezuela, Spain, and the Dominican Republic, and is of Cuban ancestry.
Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, who goes by Patty, is an art collector and art patron, a philanthropist, and a scion of a Venezuelan-American family of ornithologists, coffee tycoons, and media moguls. The couple have three children, Guillermo Cisneros,
Carolina Cisneros de Rodríguez, Adriana Phelps Cisneros de Griffin.
Adriana is a principal in the privately-held family business. Patty Phelps sits on the board the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where her focus is Latin American and Caribbean art, and she is the founding principal of her private art collection, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. In 1969, she received a BA from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
The couple divide their time between Manhattan and the Dominican Republic, where Cisneros is developing a Four Seasons-branded resort.
Check out the other buildings in our series here: