SAC Capital founder Steve Cohen wins.
Previously: Area Man Threatens To Out-Toilet Stevie Cohen.
Also: Greenwich’s Outrageous Fortunes, Greenwich: The New Newport, Only Tackier & Nerdier.
P&Z rejects Simmons Lane mansion plan [Greenwich Time]
SAC Capital founder Steve Cohen wins.
Trouble in hedge fund land. Greenwich residents are terrified that would-be new neighbor, Russian millionaire Valery Kogan, will make them look bad (read: poor) by building a proposed 54,000 square foot mansion with two wings, “extensive” subterranean space, and room for up to 300 guests, which will clearly dwarf their own homes, relative shacks compared to the behemoth.
Though they claim their protests are merely matters of (a) taste (“`It looks like they want to duplicate the Winter Palace here in Greenwich,” said Leslie McElwreath. “It’ll be an eyesore.”), (b) safety (“This is a road where our kids learn to ride bikes, rollerblade, and people take walks,” said Morris Sachs, a trader at Brevan Howard.) and (c) not being summarily drowned while taking part in a pissing contest (“This is going to be a palace on a postage stamp,” Charles Lee said. “It’s too much.”), those intimately familiar with the gastrointestinal habits of SAC Capital Founder Steve Cohen know better.
Though never stated outright, the real problem with Kogan’s house is that it is slated to contain 26 toilets. And though it has many, many WC’s, Steve Cohen’s home does not have 26. Were Kogan to start building without making some edits first, he would not only be embarrassing Cohen in his own domain, he would be breaking a law, which the residents quoted by Bloomberg are trying to uphold. Section 182, clause 17 of the Greenwich town code clearly states that “no home shall exceed the number of waste-removal stations as are found at Casa Cohen.”
Interestingly enough, Cohen, who is not cited in the article, is said to have zero problem with any other aspect of Kogan’s dream home. “He could build a domicile three times the size of Stevie’s, with 40 master bedrooms to Steve’s 2, 16 refrigerators to Steve’s 12, and 2 ice rink’s to Steve’s 1,” a friend of a friend of a friend told DealBreaker. “It’s the toilets he cares about. Just the toilets.”
Empathizing with the big guy, CNBC on-air editor Charlie Gasparino commented that he “fully understands where Cohen’s coming from.” Pausing momentarily to enjoy a paper-thin slice of salami he’d cut moments earlier on the deli meat slicer he’d won in a bet with his local butcher, Gasparino added, “Bathrooms are extremely important to me. I live in a studio, but it’s got 4 cans. And I think that because so much of my identity is tied to my obsession with being ‘regular,’ I’d probably feel threatened if the guy next door had 5. I know it sounds crazy, but it’d be like I was less of a man or something.”
Worth watching just for the clothes.
The Independent’s Chris Walker spent a day out in the hedge fund wonderland of Greenwich, Connecticut. It reminds him of Newport, Rhode Island circa the early days of the last century. Only with less culture, worse taste and more geeks.
A new gilded age? I spent this 4 July in the various palatial Vanderbilt family homes in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport was Greenwich’s predecessor 100 years ago, with some 300 mansions at its peak. True, whereas the Vanderbilts spoke French at table and dined in white ties, today’s financiers are more often T-shirted geeks who studied physics at college. On the other hand, the building mania that is gripping Greenwich is creating a new Newport. The average price paid for a house in Greenwich last year was $2.5m, but 16 went for over $10m. Many more are built from scratch for even more.
The gilded cages of the hedge-fund Vanderbilts [The Independent]
More from Nina Munk’s Greenwich piece in the July issue of Vanity Fair (on newsstands next week). The setup:
With its undisturbed views of Long Island Sound and a comfortable commute to Manhattan, Greenwich has long attracted men with brand-new money. A few months ago, one of the main pieces of the original Simmons estate changed hands yet again, this time for $18.5 million. The buyer’s identity remains a mystery. Rumor in Greenwich has it he’s either a Russian mobster or, more likely, a hedge-fund manager.
But as demonstrated below, the two are not always mutually exclusive**:
To the left is a picture of the man identified by Vanity Fair as the Patient Zero of hedge fund violence against Greenwich architecture.
The first hedge-fund manager to build a big house in Greenwich may have been Paul Tudor Jones II. In 1988, when he was only 33, The Wall Street Journal dedicated a front-page story to Jones, calling him “the most-watched, most-talked-about man on Wall Street.” The previous year, with estimated earnings of $80 million to $100 million, Jones was said to have made more money than anyone else on Wall Street, even more than Henry Kravis (who earned an estimated $70 million) and Michael Milken ($60 million). It wasn’t long before Town & Country named Jones one of New York’s most “eligible and exciting” bachelors.
More after the jump.