Apartment Building o' Billionaires Still Reeling From Fire Caused By Not Knowing Sauna = Bad Place To Store Books

The residents of 740 Park are also suffering from the sight of scaffolding.
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740 Park is a luxury co-op building on the Upper East Side where if your net worth is only in the many millions, you're considered poor. It's home to Stephen Schwarzman ($10.9 billion), Izzy Englander ($4.8 billion), Ronald Lauder ($3.5 billion), and David Koch ($44.5 billion). Unfortunately, the number of zeros and commas in one's bank account do not always correlate to brain cells, which would explain why at least one resident thought, "You know what would be a great place to stash highly flammable items? No, not the stove..."

On April 6, 2016, 740’s worst day began when a household staffer switched on Ezra Merkin’s sauna, where clothes and books were stored, starting a fire. Residents of apartments on the corner of Park and 71st were deluged with water from hoses below — affecting real-estate big Andrew Stone and the Kochs — and smoke from the fire above (the Tisches and designer Vera Wang). Smoke also traveled laterally, stinking up the homes of the Ganeks, Italian construction heiress Giovanna Bongiasca and banker Thomas Strauss and his wife Bonnie. “People had to scramble,” one finance-pro tenant says. David Koch’s wife, Julia, shoved paintings into Hefty bags and fled to the street to watch the FDNY fight the fire. Fashionista Wang was already living elsewhere due to her ongoing renovation, which is now further delayed. The Ganeks, forced out twice previously due to leaks, left again briefly, and are back in 740. But, a source says, they’d already thrown in the towel and are juggling competing offers for their apartment.

Meanwhile, many denizens of 740P apparently need a refresher on what that brass thing on the end of the keychain is used for.

Financier Ganek and his novelist wife, Danielle, were hit first [in a string of robberies], losing $100,000 worth of watches and jewelry; followed by hedge-funder Englander and wife Caryl, who lost a $7,500 gold watch; the elderly widow of financier Charles Dyson (an $82,000 diamond bracelet); and, finally, Merkin and wife Lauren (jewelry worth more than $50,000)...a former manager and a resident called the thefts no-brainers, since few residents locked their doors.

But in all seriousness, this is not a time to mock these people, currently living in, quite frankly, unimaginable bordering on uninhabitable conditions.

Adding insult to injury, the elegant 740 has now been scaffolded for repairs to its crumbling limestone façade, a process begun years ago.

Keep them in your prayers.

Inside the scandals of 740 Park, the world’s richest building [NYP]

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