CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Thursday, August 14, 2014

'Forget a panic room - lets do an entire HOUSE! Futuristic Los Angeles mansion:Furze Croft is a newly-built classical mansion

 

 

 

 

The house so luxurious it bankrupted its owner: Futuristic Los Angeles mansion Silvertop goes on the market for $7.5 million

  • Inventor Kenneth Reiner started building the home in the 1950s but was eventually bankrupted after holding back no expense for its gadgets
  • He had anticipated the home would cost around $75,000 but the total soared to more than $1 million
  • It was eventually bought by another family who are now selling
  • The house appeared in 1987 movie Less Than Zero

Inventor Kenneth Reiner's ideas for his Los Angeles mansion may have been massive - but unfortunately his wallet wasn't big enough to match them.

The stunning, futuristic home, which has since featured in movies and music videos, has gone on the market for $7.5 million - five decades after it helped bankrupt Reiner.

The industrialist, who made a small fortune designing self-locking aircraft nuts and women's hair grips in the mid-20th century, set no budget for the 4,720 sq ft property, known as 'Silvertop'.

But while he anticipated it would cost him around $75,000 to build, the actual total topped $1 million.

Stunning: 'Silvertop' was built between 1957 and 1976 and is now on the market for $7.5 million

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Stunning: 'Silvertop' was built between 1957 and 1976 and is now on the market for $7.5 million

Futuristic: In 1960, the Evening Post called it 'the darnedest house ever seen around Southern California'

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Futuristic: In 1960, the Evening Post called it 'the darnedest house ever seen around Southern California'

Picturesque: The mansion, which overlooks the Silver Lake Reservoir, had the first ever infinity pool

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Picturesque: The mansion, which overlooks the Silver Lake Reservoir, had the first ever infinity pool

Breathtaking: The pool was the work of original owner, inventor Kenneth Reiner, and designer John Lautner

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Breathtaking: The pool was the work of original owner, inventor Kenneth Reiner, and designer John Lautner

Today, beneath its curved roof, sit three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a library, study, carport and darkroom, as well as a guest house, tennis court, gardens and the first-ever infinity pool.

Patios and gardens give views over the San Gabriel Mountains, Silver Lake, Downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign in the Santa Monica Mountains and West to the Ocean, according to the listing with Crosby Doe Associates.

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Reiner also called for gadgets straight out of a Bond movie, including a dining table with a hydraulic pedestal that was lowered for cocktails and elevated for meals, his L.A. Times obituary said.

Among other gadgets and quirky designs - invented by Reiner or architect John Lautner - was a cantilevered driveway that the city feared would not safely hold a car.

Interior: The 4,720 square foot home has three bedrooms and four bathrooms amid a sleek design

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Interior: The 4,720 square foot home has three bedrooms and four bathrooms amid a sleek design

Futuristic: In the 50s, Reiner asked for designs including hidden buttons in the wall and moving furniture

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Futuristic: In the 50s, Reiner asked for designs including hidden buttons in the wall and moving furniture

Smart: Reiner placed no budget on his designs, including these walls that open to reveal the view

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Smart: Reiner placed no budget on his designs, including these walls that open to reveal the view

Simple: After Reiner hit money troubles it sat empty for years until new owners bought it in 1974

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Simple: After Reiner hit money troubles it sat empty for years until new owners bought it in 1974

Spacious: The guest house has an open plan living and dining area, as well as one bedroom and bathroom

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Spacious: The guest house has an open plan living and dining area, as well as one bedroom and bathroom

Light: In 1974, a new family took over the property and worked with the same designer to finish it

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Light: In 1974, a new family took over the property and worked with the same designer to finish it

Publications at the time also expressed awe at the swimming pool, which was 'spookily engineered so there seems to be no rim, just water to the edge,' according to Life magazine in 1962.

In 1960, the Saturday Evening Post called Silvertop 'the darnedest house ever seen around Southern California', Yahoo! Homes reported.

Despite the money he poured in to the structure, Reiner and his family never got to live in it.

'In the end... the extravagance of Silvertop was Reiner's undoing,' his obituary read.

He had hoped to spend $75,000 on it, but he didn't put any limitations on Lautner and costs soared.

Reiner and a business partner formed a corporation to support Lautner's office so he could work full time on the house - but the partner eventually sued Reiner, and he lost the home in bankruptcy.

Passageways: The spacious home also has a library inside, as well as a study and darkroom

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Passageways: The spacious home also has a library inside, as well as a study and darkroom

Views: The home looks over the San Gabriel Mountains, the Hollywood Sign and West to the Ocean

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Views: The home looks over the San Gabriel Mountains, the Hollywood Sign and West to the Ocean

Privacy: Pictured, the glass facade and terrace of Silvertop, which also has a carport and tennis court

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Privacy: Pictured, the glass facade and terrace of Silvertop, which also has a carport and tennis court

On top of the world: The stunning views include the Hollywood sign  in the Santa Monica Mountains

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On top of the world: The stunning views include the Hollywood sign in the Santa Monica Mountains

'I thought he would be devastated,' Guy Zebert, the original project architect, told the L.A. Times. 'But he didn't show it too much. He just kept on moving.'

 

 
 

 

'Forget a panic room - lets do an entire HOUSE!' See inside the nuke-proof doomsday bunker built to look like an average family home

  • The 4,200-square-foot compound is in Yellow Jacket, Colorado and has just been listed

  • The bunker comes with a 100-foot radio tower and helicopter pad

  • Reinforced concrete and steel walls make it 'nuclear-rated'

  • It has a seven-stage water filtration system and four separate power systems

When it comes to living a life of solitude, it doesn't get much more self-sufficient than this.

A 4,200-square-foot compound in Yellow Jacket, a desert town in Montezuma County, Colorado, has been built with disaster-ready architecture, essentially allowing it to withstand anything the world can throw at it.

The walls are made of reinforced concrete and lined with steel.

The structure is so strong it has been deemed 'nuclear rated', according to Curbed.

Just your average house ... with a 100-foot radio tower: This Colorado bunker, which has been deemed disaster-proof, is on the market for $11.5 million

Just your average house ... with a 100-foot radio tower: This Colorado bunker, which has been deemed disaster-proof, is on the market for $11.5 million

The compound, in Yellow Jacket, Colorado, is on the market for $11.5 million or can be rented for $19,500 a month per person

The compound, in Yellow Jacket, Colorado, is on the market for $11.5 million or can be rented for $19,500 a month per person

Cosy: The interior has a homely feel, save for the metal air ducts on the roof, which are designed to close in the event of any air contamination, such as a nuclear meltdown

Cosy: The interior has a homely feel, save for the metal air ducts on the roof, which are designed to close in the event of any air contamination, such as a nuclear meltdown

The bunker has four different power sources and has never experienced a drop in the 10 years since it was built

The bunker has four different power sources and has never experienced a drop in the 10 years since it was built

The house is far from any other properties, allowing for uninterrupted privacy

The house is far from any other properties, allowing for uninterrupted privacy

The bunker comes with a 100-foot radio tower and a helicopter pad.

Built into it is a seven-stage water filtration system and four separate power systems.

Among the latter is an array of solar and wind turbine set-ups, as well as propane and gas generators that are used as a last resort. According to the sales listing, in the 10 years the house has been there, it has never experienced a power drop.

However it's surprisingly easy to forget the military-like features of the bunker because the interior is so friendly.

In the absence of a nuclear disaster, the well-manicured grounds seem a nice place to relax

In the absence of a nuclear disaster, the well-manicured grounds seem a nice place to relax

We could think of worse ways to see out the end of the world ...

We could think of worse ways to see out the end of the world ...

Dinner will be served in the dining room

Dinner will be served in the dining room

The compound has no windows and relies on artificial light

The compound has no windows and relies on artificial light

Inside the only giveaways to the house's power are the metal air ducts that can be seen overhead.

These are designed to close off in the case of extremities, such as contaminated air from a biological hit, gas leak, etc.

The home can also be rented for 19.5K a month - but that is per head.

So in the case of any future, pre-planned natural or nuclear disasters, you and your kin can book in and be totally safe.

The compound, believed to have been built in 2003, is on the market for the first time with an asking price of $11.5 million

The compound, believed to have been built in 2003, is on the market for the first time with an asking price of $11.5 million

The interior features were fashioned to suit the Montezuma County area

The interior features were fashioned to suit the Montezuma County area

The house is located in Yellow Jacket, Colorado. It is not know what motivated the owner to build it

The house is located in Yellow Jacket, Colorado. It is not know what motivated the owner to build it

 

 

 

Real life panic rooms for the rich and famous: hidden chambers behind fireplaces, bookcases and even inside a Narnia like wardrobe

Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart huddled inside a security chamber in the 2002 film, Panic Room, and the concept has sparked massive demand among wealthy homeowners looking to hide valuables and prepare a secure location for themselves in case of a break-in or emergency.

Creative Home Engineering, a custom manufacturer based in Gilbert, Ariz., offers hidden doors to secret passages, safe houses for security and also for chambers to hide out during intense weather.

The company says they have installed the systems at 'ultra-luxury estates and royal palaces across the globe,' according to their website.

The doors are engineered to seamlessly blend into the interior of a room so that they cannot be spotted by a visitor.

'They contain hidden cavities with steel structural support members to keep the door strong and rigid, along with our patented custom hinges, and numerous other technical innovations that have set us apart as the leader in the secret door industry.'

Deceptive

Deceptive: The shelves in this Billiard rooms can open up to allow a resident to move about the home

Peek-a-boo:

Peek-a-boo: The everyday person would walk by this bookcase (right) but it hides the entrance to a secret chamber hidden beneath the array of books

Valuables

Valuables: What appears to be a chest of drawers is actually a hidden compartment to store a safe (right)

Narnia awaits

Narnia awaits: This engraved armoire looks like it could be straight out of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, with a door that opens at the back...possibly to enter another world

Security

Security: This wooden bookshelf is a front for secure opening to a safe house

Most chamber include some kind of communication system that alerts authorities in case of an emergency.

Basic projects cost start at $6,500 and take around 8 weeks to construct.

A homeowner sends measurements and a photo of a closet, bedroom or storage room that they would like to convert into a secret room and the company can construct the installation.

They boast that the passageways can be installed in minutes, as they arrive pre-hung in their own door frames so they can slide into the door openings in a person's home.

In the 2002 thriller starring Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart, the actors play a mother-daughter duo who get stuck inside a panic room in their Upper West Side brownstone.

Now you see it

Now you see it: The secret passages are priced starting at around $6,500 and the custom doors take around 8 weeks to manufacture

Hidden

Hidden: This ornate bookshelf conceals the entrance to a hidden gun room

Collectables

Collectables: Beneath this decorative stone wall is an entrance to a secret wine cellar

Unexpected

Unexpected: This closet opens up to reveal a secret safe hidden behind

Custom made

Custom made: A secret door beneath this modern staircase can be fitted for this unusually sized closet

Secret

Secret: It appears to be a wall but a middle opening reveals a hidden passageway to another room

Concealed

Concealed: For this modern home, the wall can be pushed back to reveal a secret staircase

Hollywood

Hollywood: In the 2002 thriller starring Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart, the actors play a mother-daughter duo who get stuck inside a panic room in their Upper West Side brownstone

     

It has eight bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool and a private cinema, making it the family home of anyone's dreams - but only if you have £17.5m to spare.

Furze Croft is a newly-built classical mansion in Weybridge, Surrey, and comes with 1.74 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, huge living spaces and a 1,700-bottle wine cellar.

The developers say it 'has been designed to be a real family home', but it certainly goes far beyond what most of us are used to in our day-to-day lives.

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Coming in at a whopping £17.5m, Furze Croft, in Weybridge, Surrey, is a new build in a classical design. It has eight bedrooms, a private cinema and an indoor pool

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Coming in at a whopping £17.5m, Furze Croft, in Weybridge, Surrey, is a new build in a classical design. It has eight bedrooms, a private cinema and an indoor pool

The main drawing room area comes off the entrance hall and is centred around a large fireplace and has French windows which open out into the garden

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The main drawing room area comes off the entrance hall and is centred around a large fireplace and has French windows which open out into the garden

The master bedroom has its own private balcony, as well as twin walk-in dressing rooms and ensuite bathrooms. It is one of six bedroom suites

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The master bedroom has its own private balcony, as well as twin walk-in dressing rooms and ensuite bathrooms. It is one of six bedroom suites

The beautiful mansion has two wings and nearly two acres of landscaped gardens. Its developers say it was designed to be a 'real family home'

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The beautiful mansion has two wings and nearly two acres of landscaped gardens. Its developers say it was designed to be a 'real family home'

Once you've made it through the grand gates and up the gravel driveway, complete with feature landscaped turning circle, you open the front door onto a huge double volume entrance hall, with a sweeping staircase and glass roof cupola.

From the entrance hall you can reach the 18-seater dining room, plush double drawing room and the kitchen and breakfast room, which open right out onto the flagstone paved terrace and back garden through French windows. Furze Croft has also been designed for entertaining on an extra large scale. One wing contains a large VIP entertaining suite consisting of a custom-made bar and drinks lounge. Folding glass doors can be opened to merge this space with the outside terrace,which creates a space big enough to entertain 200 guests - more than most people are used to on their average weekend.

The large, open entrance hall has a marble floor and opens out into the double drawing room, 18-seater dining room and kitchen and breakfast room

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The large, open entrance hall has a marble floor and opens out into the double drawing room, 18-seater dining room and kitchen and breakfast room

 

The dining room is directly in front of you as you come through the main doors of the house The bright entrance hall features a sweeping staircase and glass roof cupola, giving a suitably dramatic first impression of the house The winding staircase leads you up to the house's eight bedrooms

The bright entrance hall features a sweeping staircase and glass roof cupola, giving a suitably dramatic first impression of the house

The light-filled breakfast room is attached to the kitchen, has a breakfast bar and backs onto the huge expanse of gardens

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The light-filled breakfast room is attached to the kitchen, has a breakfast bar and backs onto the huge expanse of gardens

There is an indoor swimming pool and hot tub for when it's time to relax, with space for loungers at pool-side and huge doors opening up to the garden

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There is an indoor swimming pool and hot tub for when it's time to relax, with space for loungers at pool-side and huge doors opening up to the garden

The house is located on East Road in St George's Hill estate, where former residents include Elton John, Tom Jones and a host of footballers including Frank Lampard and John Terry.

As well as the indoor swimming pool, complete with pool-side loungers, it boats a hot tub, while the bathrooms have super-deep baths and giant power showers.

Steve Glover, founding director of developers Consero London said: 'Despite its size, Furze Croft has been designed to be a real family home that pleases and impresses its occupants and visitors. We have carefully balanced its large entertaining rooms with cosy and intimate informal spaces where the family can relax and interact.  

 

Furze Croft has been designed for large-scale entertaining, with a reception area that can open up to hold more than 200 people 

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Furze Croft has been designed for large-scale entertaining, with a reception area that can open up to hold more than 200 people 

The kitchen is fitted out with top-of-the-range modern appliances and has a built-in island area and kitchen table, as well as French windows

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The kitchen is fitted out with top-of-the-range modern appliances and has a built-in island area and kitchen table, as well as French windows

Ornate gates and a gravel driveway provide the opening to Furze Croft

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The dining room seats 18 people and is perfect for dinner parties

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When you walk through the grand gates and the entrance hall you reach the 18-seater dining room, perfect for dinner parties

'The local housing market is lacking brand-new 21st century mansions of this quality and advanced specification. St George's Hill is one of the finest private estates outside of central London, making Furze Croft both a good turn-key investment as well an outstanding country retreat close to the capital.' 

The house took two years to build and is set over lower ground, ground and first floors. The developers are expecting interest from Russian and Middle Eastern millionaires. 

It has six bedroom suites, consisting of a master bedroom with a private terrace overlooking the gardens, twin walk-in dressing rooms and twin ensuite bathrooms. Four have walk-in dressing rooms and ensuites and the other also has an ensuite.  

The house's interior oozes wealth, and developers are hoping it gets snapped up by wealthy Russian or Middle Eastern buyers

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The house's interior oozes wealth, and developers are hoping it gets snapped up by wealthy Russian or Middle Eastern buyers

 

There is an extra-large garage big enough for four cars There is an extra-large garage big enough for four cars

There is an extra-large garage big enough for four limousines or large saloon cars, with access to the house via a side lobby

The massive walk-in dressing rooms mean you will never again have trouble digging out your favourite shirt

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The massive walk-in dressing rooms mean you will never again have trouble digging out your favourite shirt

 

The super-deep baths and power showers mean the spacious bathrooms are pure luxury The super-deep baths and power showers mean the spacious bathrooms are pure luxury

The top-of-the-range super-deep baths and power showers mean the spacious bathrooms are pure luxury

On the first floor of one wing there is also a two-bedroom staff apartment with self-contained kitchen and sitting room, which could alternatively serve as an annex.

The other wing houses the 11-metre long, 2.1-metre deep pool, a gym, sauna and changing/toilet facilities. Folding glass doors in the pool room can be opened onto the garden, creating a large inside-outside leisure area.

When you descend to the lower ground floor you find the private cinema, complete with customised wall panelling and tiered platform flooring just like the real thing. 

This floor also has a wine display suite with a glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled wine room capable of holding a whopping 1,700 bottles of fine wines and spirits.

The mansion has been built using some of the finest materials and craftsmen from around the world. Botticino Fiorito marble flooring has been used across the house, while the design theme is evident in every room. 

The wine cellar is big enough for an incredible 1,700 bottles, meaning this family home is not short of entertainment facilities

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The wine cellar is big enough for an incredible 1,700 bottles, meaning this family home is not short of entertainment facilities

The house, off East Road on the prestigious St George's Hill estate, took two years to build. The trees and plants were specially imported from Tuscany

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The house, off East Road on the prestigious St George's Hill estate, took two years to build. The trees and plants were specially imported from Tuscany

The garage can accommodate up to four limousines or large saloon cars, with direct access to the house via a side lobby, while the grounds feature trees and plants specially hand selected and imported from Tuscany. 

Robert Osborn, Founding Director of Consero London said: 'Furze Croft sets a new benchmark for quality and luxury in the St George's Hill housing market. It is defined by its exceptional quality; architectural integrity and fine attention to detail. The house has involved hundreds of man-hours and a team of skilled artisans providing the very best of British, French and Italian craftsmanship amongst various other countries. 

'Using centuries old techniques, stone carving, guilding, marquetry and cabinetry has been combined with state-of-the-art communications, entertainment and security technology. The result is an extremely special and unique residence of outstanding value.'

The exclusive St George's Hill estate is a celebrity-spotting hotspot. It has golf and tennis clubs nearby, large water features and an abundance of manicured green spaces.

  • France's national debt expected to hit almost €2trillion by the end of the year
  • Seven-floor, 16,000 sq ft apartment block in New York once used by diplomatic staff goes on market for $32.5million
  • It follows sale of ambassador's residence overlooking Central Park which sold for $70million earlier this year
  • French Government has an estimated €190billion worth of state-owned property in Europe
  • 2,150 state-owned properties currently being sold on government website

France is resorting to selling off many of its most prestigious and valuable properties in a desperate bid to raise funds and keep its national debt under control.

With France's total debt expected to hit almost €2trillion ($2.7trillion) by the end of the year and President Francois Hollande's government hoping to save around €50billion ($67billion) over the next three years, state-owned properties across the world are having to be offered up for sale.

The latest property to go on the market is 1143 Fifth Avenue in New York - a stunning seven-floor, red brick and limestone block in central Manhattan once home to many of France's top U.S. diplomats.

Up for grabs: This seven-floor apartment block in Manhattan, New York, which was once used to house  French diplomatic staff is being offered for sale for $32.5million

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Up for grabs: This seven-floor apartment block in Manhattan, New York, which was once used to house French diplomatic staff is being offered for sale for $32.5million

Covering 16,000 sq ft, the imposing block was built in 1923 and has an asking price of $32.5million (€24million). It consists of five apartments each boasting an impressive 1690 sq ft as well as a stunning eight-room duplex offering a huge 2712 sq ft.

Viewings are understood to have started in April and it is believed that a buyer has already been found as the official authorisation for the sale was granted last week by France's Office Journal, the Daily Telegraph reports. It follows the sale earlier this year of the luxurious 18-room French ambassador’s residence at 740 Park Avenue which was reportedly snapped up by an American financier for a cool $70 million (€52 million).

Once dubbed the world's 'richest apartment building' the block was once home to Jacqueline Kennedy and John D Rockerfeller. The 18-room, 7-1/2 bath duplex apartment featured five fireplaces was reportedly used to host parties on an almost daily basis.

Its sale resulted in some embarrassment for France's new ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre who is yet to find a new place to live after his plan to buy a a palatial 14-room Art Deco flat overlooking the East River were blocked by one of the current residents.

New York City socialite Elizabeth Kabler reportedly upended the sale because she didn't like the idea of a French ambassador moving in and throwing too many parties.

Fearful of too many guests, constant entertaining and of a neighbor who fancies himself above the law, Kabler waged a biter campaign to urge her fellow stakeholders to block the sale of the 14-room co-op to French , or any foreign emissaries.

Sold: An 18-room apartment at 740 Park Avenue, overlooking Central Park, previously used as the French  ambassador's residence was reportedly snapped up by an American financier for a cool $70 million earlier this year

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Sold: An 18-room apartment at 740 Park Avenue, overlooking Central Park, previously used as the French ambassador's residence was reportedly snapped up by an American financier for a cool $70 million earlier this year

Famous residents: Once dubbed the world's 'richest apartment building' the block was once home to Jacqueline Kennedy and John D Rockerfeller

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Famous residents: Once dubbed the world's 'richest apartment building' the block was once home to Jacqueline Kennedy and John D Rockerfeller

 

740 Park Avenue in New York 740 Park Avenue      

Homeless: The sale of the apartment at 740 Park Avenue means France's new ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre s yet to find a new place to live

In a letter sent to fellow residents she wrote: 'It is not in the interests of the residents of River House to cohabit with foreign emissaries who are, to a large extent, beyond the reach of the law.'

France has an estimated €190billion worth of state-owned property in Europe, more than any other country. A government website is currently listing some 2150 properties that are currently up for sale or in the process of being sold, indicating the scale of the sell-off.

Among the prestigious properties that have already been offered for sale are Louis XV's hunting lodge at La Muette outside Paris and Chateau Thonon-les-Bains  by Lake Geneva in the French Alps.

France is not the the only country looking to cash in on state-owned properties. London in particular has seen scores of embassies or diplomacy related buildings sold or considered for sale in recent months.

The trend was started by the US government which sold its embassy in grosvenor Square to the Qatari royal family — for an estimated £500 million.

Canada recently sold its Mayfair embassy for £306milion - more than six times the value placed on it just 14 years ago.

The Brazilian embassy, on Green Street, Mayfair, fetched £40 million, with one agent describing the diplomatic market as a 'goldmine'.

 

 

 

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