J. Carey Smith is in contract to purchase the longtime home of the late chairman and editor in chief of Forbes magazine.
BY KATHERINE CLARKE | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MARCH 22, 2019 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
J. Carey Smith, the entrepreneur who made his name with ‘Big Ass Fans’ and ‘Big Ass Lights’, has agreed to pay roughly $20 million for the Manhattan townhouse owned for decades by the family of Malcolm Forbes, the late chairman and editor in chief of Forbes magazine.EVAN JOSEPH/COMPASS
A Manhattan townhouse owned for decades by the family of Malcolm Forbes, the late chairman and editor in chief of Forbes magazine, is in contract to sell to a Texas entrepreneur who made his name with “Big Ass Fans” and “Big Ass Lights.”
J. Carey Smith agreed to pay roughly $20 million for the 1847 Greek Revival townhouse, which had been on the market since April 2018 and was initially asking $28.5 million. The sellers, developers Todd Cohen and Terrence Lowenberg of Icon Realty Management, purchased the property for $7.25 million in 2012 and completed a massive renovation.
Mr. Forbes, who was known for hosting lavish parties at the home, purchased it in the 1960s from MacMillan Publishing.ZUMA PRESS
Mr. Smith said he renamed his company Big Ass because customers were calling and asking for “those big ass fans.” He wound up selling his firm Big Ass Solutions for an estimated $500 million in 2017, and the following year bought Lance Armstrong’s former home in Austin, Texas; that property dates back to 1924 and had been listed for $7.5 million.
Mr. Smith said he and his wife have been spending more time in New York, where they have investments, and decided to establish a base there. He scoped out homes all over town, including in various new developments, which he found “pretty boring.” Ultimately, they settled on the Forbes house for its character and outdoor space, he said. A self-described bagel aficionado, he added the home is within perfect walking distance of his favorite bagel joint, “Bagel Bobs.”
Mr. Smith said he and his wife settled on the Forbes house for its character and outdoor space. He added the home is within perfect walking distance of his favorite bagel joint, ‘Bagel Bobs.’EVAN JOSEPH/Compass
The roughly 9,000-square-foot home has five bedrooms, a double-height great room with a wet bar, two kitchens and an 800-bottle wine room. Mr. Forbes’s onetime wine cellar on the lower level has been turned into a soundproof home theater and a gym. There is also a garage and a garden.
Mr. Forbes, who was known for hosting lavish parties at the home, purchased it in the 1960s from MacMillan Publishing, which was formerly run by Harold MacMillan, the late prime minister of Great Britain. Mr. Forbes died in 1990.
Mr. Smith was represented by Mark David Fromm of the Saez+Fromm Team at the Corcoran Group. The sellers were represented by Kyle Blackmon and Leonard Steinberg of Compass.