April 13th 2015
The niche market of Palace of Versailles knock-offs is not exactly blazing hot, so it comes as no surprise that after four years of trying, Ukrainian fertilizer billionaire Alexander Rovt has not found a buyer for his Versailles-style mansion at 232 East 63rd Street. The Daily News reports that the 12,000-square-foot home will relist for $21.5 million. The pricechop comes with a broker switch, which means that the place no longer comes with a “free” Phantom Rolls Royce. Rovt bought the house in 2008 for $6.96 million and promptly embarked on a renovation fit for King Louis XIV that reportedly cost $18 million.
So what does one get for $18 million? Lots of gold leafing; ornate hand-carved moldings, doors, and banisters; a stained-glass dining room; Brazilian cherry herringbone floors; a billiards room with walls lined with hand-painted silk; a terrace on every floor, plus a rooftop deck and garden; and a basement spa with a pool and hot tub, all lined in hand-glazed glass tiles. The broker says, “This was a global pursuit to find materials and artisans who could do this work. Everything is hand-picked and custom made.”
There are also intense security measures. According to the News, “There’s a high-tech security system with hidden cameras throughout the house and retractable bulletproof metal shades for the rear windows.”
Rovt first listed in 2011 for $27 million, and a year later, he slashed the price to $21 million before taking it off the market in early 2013. The opulent house returned later that year for $22 million, then inexplicably raised the price by another $1 million before de-listing yet again. It came back to market last year with yet another price hike, asking $25 million, but even the addition of a Rolls Royce couldn’t nab a buyer.
But Rovt never even experienced all that custom work; he has never lived here. He bought the Sloane Mansion on East 68th Street in 2011, and is outfitting that in a “similarly ostentatious” way.