15 CPW, the world's No 1 address; The apartment block where bankers and shoulders with rock superstars, flats cost up to PS80million,and even the head concierge earns PS400k a year; EXCLUSIVE.
Viewed from across New York's Central Park, the white limestone apartment block looks little different from the buildings alongside it. Even up close, right under the canopy over the relatively modest front door it doesn't seem like anything too special.
But we are standing outside the world's most sought-after address: 15 Central Park West, known to New Yorkers as 15 CPW, is where billionaires and Wall Street bankers share the lift with Hollywood superstars, and presidents pop round for dinner.
Flats can cost up to PS80million. But perhaps the most startling figure is the salary of the head concierge, sorry, "resident manager". Gregg Carlovich is paid a reported PS400,000 a year according to a new book that delves into the secrets of the world's most exclusive block of flats.
There are tales of multi-million pound art theft, illicit affairs and high-class hookers.
"The residents of 15 CPW are our latterday priesthood of power," says Michael Gross, author of House of Outrageous Fortune. "The building has redefined what first class is." Former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill has just sold his apartment there for PS53 million, but is reportedly still trying to offload his maid's quarters. A snip at PS3.3 million.
Current residents include Sting and wife Trudie Styler, who paid PS15.5million then embarked on a Grand Designs-style refurbishment that included a private elevator. Actor Denzel Washington, Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein and former Barclays boss Bob Diamond are among their neighbours.
The visitors book also reads like the pages of Hello! Cameron Diaz was a regular guest while dating baseball star Alex Rodriguez at his PS20,000-amonth home.
Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bundchen have also been regular visitors. But even staff were dazzled during one star-studded week.
First Bill Clinton, Al Gore and actor Alec Baldwin arrived for a fundraising dinner. A few days later Sting threw a birthday party with Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen,Lady Gaga, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Hanks and Jake Gyllenhaal all helping him celebrate.
Gregg Carlovich oversees a small army trained to attend to residents' every whim. There are seven concierges, six doormen, eight white-gloved lobby attendants, three post-room staff, eight porters, a maintenance man, four security guards, 12 part- time engineers and an adminis- trative assistant.
Six people man the lobby by day - two each for the doors, concierge desks and lifts. Their basic salaries are not published. But with New York's tipping culture even the most menial job can prove lucrative. The titans of Wall Street tip particularly well, especially at Christmas.
When Citigroup's Sandy Weill moved in he handed out about PS54,000 in his first year. A Goldman Sachs banker moved in only in December but still handed out thousands of dollars in Christmas tips to everyone.
A typical resident gives PS100-PS350 to each and every staff member, but those "going the extra mile" have been handed ten crisp $100 bills (about PS600).
In return residents expect faultless service and discretion. But things can go wrong.
When Frasier star Kelsey Grammer rented a PS20,000-a-month flat at 15 CPW it was unwittingly revealed he was having an affair.
The then Mrs Grammer, Real Housewives star Camille, had already complained that their 3,500 sq ft apartment (three times the floorspace of an average UK semi) was too small and was at home in LA while he appeared in a play on Broadway. But one day when she called from California she was accidentally told his "wife" was already there.
The couple divorced soon afterwards and the actor later married his "other woman" Kayte Walsh, a British ex-flight attendant.
Completed at a cost of almost a billion dollars in 2008 on the site of the run-down Mayflower Hotel, 15 CPW is two buildings connected by a lavish lobby.
The "House" faces on to Central Park and the "Tower" rises behind it more than 40 storeys tall.
As well as panoramic views, residents pay for huge high-ceilinged rooms, a large underground car park, private 20-seat theatre, 20 wine cellars, 29 staff suites (sold separately), room service, in-house chef, fully stocked library, landscaped gardens and health club with 25-metre pool.
They must also agree to a stringent set of rules. British historian Andrew Roberts, who once rented an apartment, revealed: "One rule was that residents must pay for their own crowd control," he said.
"It was, sadly, never an issue for me during my time there."
Many new owners rip out the lavish fixtures and fittings and spend another fortune installing their own. One had the walls covered with limestone-coloured Venetian plaster and Japanese tamo panelling, and laid custom-crafted zebra wood floors.
With so many rich and famous residents, security is intense. But it is often focused more on the Wall Street moguls than the movie and music celebrities.
The book claims that Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein got 100 hate-mail letters a day during the financial collapse.
Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond had his own security team after moving his family from Britain to a PS22 million apartment.
But he was still had one of his prized paintings stolen even before he moved in. It was found after security staff tracked residents' electronic keys fobs and found the son of a neighbour in the tower had nipped in during a school holiday and took the painting as a prank. No charges were ever brought, but then discretion is key at 15 CPW.
The book accuses Alex Rodriguez of regularly smuggling high-class prostitutes into his apartment two at a time and claims that one one occasion two girls left only minutes before Cameron Diaz came to call. The sports star vigorously denies all the claims.
Today there is one 15 CPW home publicly listed for sale - a 6,000 sq ft apartment owned by steel magnate Leroy Schecter.
He initially wanted PS56 million. But, if you're interested, the price has recently been cut to "just" PS39 million.
Denzel Washington, baseball star Alex Rodriguez with Cameron Diaz, and former Barclay's boss Bob Diamond
PARTY PAIR Trudi Styler and Sting
HIDDEN CHARMS Building looks fairly ordinary from the park
Floor plan of the one flat currently listed for sale the price has been cut from PS56m