Meet The Tycoons Who Live At 740 Park Ave., New York's Billionaire Hive

740 park avenueREUTERS/Eduardo MunozPeople pass by the 740 Park Avenue building in New York, April 10, 2014.

740 Park Avenue is a legendary address, at one time considered (and still thought to be by some) the most luxurious and powerful residential building in New York City.

The co-op, on the corner of 71st Street and Park Avenue, has an impressive past.

Built in 1929 by the grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — who lived there as a child — 740 Park has just 31 residences that have commanded some of the highest real estate prices in New York history. John D. Rockefeller, financier Saul Steinberg, and Blackstone founder Steve Schwarzman have all called the building (and in fact, the same opulent apartment) home.

While many of New York’s rich and powerful people have decamped to 15 Central Park West and the shiny condos rising along the new “Billionaire’s Row” on 57th Street, that won’t diminish classic co-ops of the Upper East Side, and 740 Park in particular, says Michael Gross. Gross is the author of “House of Outrageous Fortune” about 15 Central Park West and “740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building.”

“I think in the current condo era, [740 Park] represents a previous generation of Manhattan wealth,” Gross told Business Insider. “But I think that the cyclical nature of real estate makes it a very good bet that co-ops will have a comeback, and the east side will have a comeback.”

740 Park opened its doors in October 1930, in the heart of the depression. It remained a 'financial sinkhole' until the 1980s, when apartment prices rose astronomically.

These days, only the wealthiest types are even considered for admission to the co-op. Applicants must be able to show a liquid net worth of $US100 million.

But wealth isn't the only factor. Barbra Streisand, Neil Sedaka, junk bond tycoon Nelson Peltz, and Russian billionaire Leo Blavatnik have reportedly been rejected by the co-op board.

Barbra Streisand, Neil Sedaka

Source: '740 Park: The Story Of The World's Richest Apartment Building' by Michael Gross

Residents must also be willing to shell out vast sums. Maintenance fees can run $US10,000 a month. And in 1990, residents paid an average of $US250,000 each to repair the building's facade.

People pass by the 740 Park Avenue building in New York, April 10, 2014. The French government, which earlier this week unveiled sweeping spending cuts, is selling the luxurious New York residence of its envoy to the United Nations, an 18-room duplex apartment featuring five fireplaces and a view of Park Avenue. The French Foreign Affairs Ministry is looking for $US48 million for the apartment, located in a ritzy Manhattan building that has been home to famous and wealthy Americans, among whom were the late Jackie Kennedy and American financier John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Source: '740 Park: The Story Of The World's Richest Apartment Building' by Michael Gross

The co-op isn't without it's fair share of controversy. Occupy Wall Street protesters converged on the building, home to numerous titans of finance, in 2011. And more than a few residents have been the subjects of tabloid scandals.

Who calls 740 Park home? Billionaire Blackstone founder Steve Schwarzman lives in what's considered to be the best triplex in the building. Once owned by John D. Rockefeller, Schwarzman bought it for around $US30 million in 2000. It's worth an estimated $US120 million today.

Israel 'Izzy' Englander, billionaire founder of the hedge fund Millennium Partners, bought a duplex from France (yes, the country) in June 2014. After a bidding war, he paid $US70 million, $US22 million over the asking price. It's worth an estimated $US95 million today.

In 2003, oil heir David Koch paid $US17 million for an 18-room duplex; he spent a year renovating the place before moving in.

Source: '740 Park: The Story Of The World's Richest Apartment Building' by Michael Gross

Photo is of a home recently listed at 740 Park; not owner's actual residence.

Oaktree Capital co-founder Howard Marks bought two adjoining duplexes in May 2012 for $US52.5 million, setting the record for the most expensive co-op ever sold in New York at the time. The apartment has 30 rooms, a private elevator, and two libraries. It's worth about $US66 million today.

Jonathan Sobel, an investor and former partner at Goldman Sachs, paid $US19.25 million for his duplex apartment in October 2012.

Photo is of a home recently listed at 740 Park; not owner's actual residence

Ex-Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain also resides at 740 Park. He bought his duplex from the late philanthropist Enid Haupt in 2006 for $US27.5 million.

Photo is of a home recently listed at 740 Park; not owner's actual residence

740 Park was once home to one of the world's largest private collections of Mark Rothko works. The former owner -- alleged Madoff middleman and ex-financier J. Ezra Merkin -- still lives there, but the paintings were sold during the scandal.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Photo is of a home recently listed at 740 Park; not owner's actual residence

Hedge-fund manager David Ganek paid $US19 million for his duplex, famously the childhood home of Jackie O., in 2005. The apartment, which has a marble gallery, a library, a media room, just hit the market again for $US44 million.

Hedge fund billionaire Charles Stevenson paid $US9 million for his apartment and has served as the president of the building's co-op board.

Source: New York Times

Photo is of a home recently listed at 740 Park; not owner's actual residence

Not all residents are in finance. Fashion designer Vera Wang paid $US23.1 million for her father's residence at 740 Park in 2007, shortly after he died.

Source: New York Observer

Photo is of a home recently listed at 740 Park; not owner's actual residence

In 2011, Bank of America tried to foreclose on real estate mogul Kent Swig and his now ex-wife, saying they had not made payments on their 16-room apartment in two years. The home was listed for $US32.5 million in early 2014, though it's no longer on the market.

Source: Business Insider

Photo is of a home recently listed at 740 Park; not owner's actual residence

And William Lie Zeckendorf, a developer behind rival billionaire nest 15 Central Park West, paid $US27 million for a 17th story apartment at 740 Park in November 2011.

Source: Bloomberg

Photo is of a home recently listed at 740 Park; not owner's actual residence

Where else do finance tycoons live?

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