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$200,000 kitchen for Kofi Annan December 6, 2006

Posted by farshadf in NYC.
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The United Nations plans to gut the super-luxe East Side townhouse that’s home to the secretary general and give it a multimillion-dollar renovation – complete with a $200,000 kitchen.

“That’s a fantastic budget. It’d be a hell of a thing,” said Stefan Boublil, owner of swanky SoHo design firm The Apartment. “It’s an expensive kitchen.”

The pricey kitchen upgrade is only a small part of a $4.3 million overhaul of the four-story Sutton Place manse where Kofi Annan has lived rent-free for a decade.

And that’s not the whole cost.

Ban Ki Moon, the South Korean diplomat due to succeed Annan on Jan. 1, will spend his first nine months in a Manhattan hotel at an additional cost of $202,500 so workers can tackle the job.

The UN General Assembly adopted the renovation plan last week.

Despite its handsome brick exterior and posh riverfront location, the home hasn’t had any serious work done since 1950 and has deteriorated into a crumbling firetrap, according to documents obtained by the Daily News.

The plumbing is leaking, the plaster walls are falling apart and the electrical system keeps overloading – costing $60,000 a year in emergency fixes, Annan complained recently.

The massive upgrade includes a $2.1 million heating and cooling system, $650,000 security improvements and even $100,000 in landscaping.

The cost of the heating and cooling system “sounds extraordinarily high to me,” said Sean Dineen of Dineen Construction Co. in Brooklyn.

“I’m doing a renovation of an entire brownstone in Park Slope for $1.7 million,” he added.

But one contractor who does lots of work in the Sutton Place neighborhood said the renovation sounded like a relative bargain.

Grand Renovation President John Buchbinder said certain work – like fixing the townhouse’s elevator – can start at $400,000.

Buchbinder also said the bill for the heating and cooling system sounded reasonable for an especially energy-efficient setup.

The 14,000-square-foot townhouse was built for Anne Morgan, daughter of financier J.P. Morgan, in 1921.

The UN received the home as a gift in 1972.

The repair bill comes on top of the UN’s plan to overhaul its East Side headquarters over the next eight years at a projected cost of $1.9 billion.

200G in the pot, you can cook a little

What kind of kitchen does $200,000 buy? The best of the best – and then some.

Stefan Boublil, owner of the SoHo design firm The Apartment, recommended decorating in honor of the United Nations’ international flavor: high-class touches from around the world.

For starters, he suggested getting a $35,000 custom-made stove from the French company La Cornue, which can “cook anything in five minutes.”

The UN could add a couple of $750 under-the-counter dishwashers from the New Zealand company Fisher & Paykel, or a $52,000 Texas-made Traulsen refrigerator.

For countertops, Boublil’s favorite is the elegant white Corian quartz counter because “it takes abuse wonderfully. After a while, you can sand it down – it’s like new.”

Henry Gimenez of Hudson Finishes in Manhattan said $200,000 would buy custom cabinets, marble countertops and a stone floor.

On the other end, Gimenez added, “Using stock cabinetry, and depending on your choice of appliances, you could pull something off for $75,000.”

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