Earlier this year, we wrote about a commendable initiative at Pace Law School called New Directions. It’s a program devoted to helping lawyers who have left the profession, many of them stay-at-home mothers, get back into the world of practice.
The New York Times profiled a few of the program’s graduates. One of them, Jeannette Rossoff, graduated from Boston University School of Law, worked at Shearman & Sterling for a few years, then left the workforce for twenty years to raise four children. After her children were grown, she completed the New Directions program, interned for the New York State attorney general’s office, then landed an in-house job with a nonprofit.
It’s nice that Mrs. Rossoff is back to practicing law, but it certainly wasn’t necessary. If you can afford to live in a $12 million apartment with monthly maintenance charges of almost $7,000, “work” is optional….
Jeannette Rossoff and her husband — Mack Rossoff, who’s an investment banker (of course) — live in 101 Central Park West, or “101 CPW” for short. As noted in its Wikipedia entry, current and former residents include Harrison Ford and Rick Moranis (and a Wachtell Lipton partner I used to work for who bears a resemblance to Rick Moranis). Oh, and Georgina Bloomberg, the equestrian daughter of our billionaire ruler, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Rossoffs have put their palatial pad on the market, as recently reported by the New York Times:
A gracefully renovated Upper West Side duplex that retains its homey prewar charms — original beamed ceilings and crown moldings — while providing an elegant palette for entertaining, thanks to an exacting makeover by the architect Annabelle Selldorf and the interior designer Victoria Hagan, is poised to enter the market for the first time in more than two decades.
The asking price for the four-bedroom residence, No. 9/10G at 101 Central Park West, a white-glove co-op between 70th and 71st Streets, is $12.25 million; the monthly maintenance is $6,702. The 10-room, 5-bath apartment occupies the rear northwest corner of the building, a 1930 limestone and brick behemoth designed by Schwartz & Gross; the structure is distinguished by a grand marble lobby a block long.
Annabelle Selldorf is one of the hottest architects working today. She’s known for her modern aesthetic, so it’s interesting that she undertook the renovation of an apartment in a prewar co-op. But as noted in the Times article, Selldorf picked up this project earlier in her career. The Rossoffs hired her on the recommendation of Harrison Ford’s architect, whom they bumped into in the elevator.
Why are they leaving such a wonderful apartment? This empty nest is just too large for them:
The couple chose the duplex after a lengthy search. Their objective was to find a roomy apartment that felt like a real home and provided sufficient nooks and crannies to afford a growing family, along with a live-in nanny, adequate personal space and privacy. Its proximity to the park, and its west-facing terrace off the kitchen and dining room, were the ultimate persuaders. “Nothing else even came close to this,” Mr. Rossoff said.
Ms. Rossoff, a lawyer who is the in-house counsel for the New York Health Collaborative, noted that she and her husband “raised four children and two dogs here,” adding, “It’s a big nest and it used to be so full, but now it’s really too much space for just the two of us.”
Of course a 4100-square-foot, four-bedroom duplex is too much space for two people. And downsizing is the trend these days. A Texas lawyer with a family of four is giving up her 2900-square-foot house (and already gave up her Lexus).
Let’s take a look at what the Rossoffs are saying farewell to….