Christie’s $197 million auctions of Gerald Fineberg’s art collection were actually just a cherry atop a much larger fortune. In addition to the trove of paintings, sculptures and photographs spanning a century, the real estate mogul, who died in December, left behind pricey digs in Boston and West Palm Beach, Fla.
Together, the two properties are listed at almost $70 million—each a near-record asking price for its respective market.
Born in Portland, Maine, Fineberg made Boston his home after serving in the U.S. Navy. In 1961, he launched a real estate business, The Fineberg Companies, that specializes in residential and commercial properties in the greater Boston area.
Fineberg’s 8,360-square-foot residence at the Mandarin Oriental Boston was listed at $29 million by Campion and Company in April. It has four bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, and two private balconies with 360-degree views of Back Bay. The promotional photos feature artworks, many of which have since been sold at Christie’s in May. Others, including Warhol’s shoes, are yet to be offered.
“The apartments were designed to display art,” said a person, who knew Fineberg. “It wasn’t cozy. You were living in a gallery.”
Fineberg and his second wife, Sandra, moved into their Mandarin spread soon after the luxury building was completed in 2008, combining three units into a sprawling apartment outfitted “for a consummate collector,” according to the listing. Prior to that, they lived in a townhouse in the tony Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, which they sold along with a Frank Stella painting too large to be moved out, according to the person who knew Fineberg.
The Mandarin property features museum quality lighting and “singular innovations for art exhibition including sliding walls to accommodate rotating collections for smaller pieces, floating walls lit from above and below, and grand, double-wide hallways for premier viewing,” per the listing.
The asking price makes it the second most expensive residence for sale in Boston, according to Campion and Company. Another condo in Boston is currently offered at $38 million. In 2016, a penthouse at the city’s Millennium Tower sold for $35 million, according to public records.
In recent years, Fineberg has come under criticism, as his tenants repeatedly protested allegedly squalid conditions and steep rent hikes at the scion’s buildings, dubbing Fineberg, who was on the board of the Rose Museum and a patron of ICA Boston, “Slumlord of the Board,” according to a HyperAllergic report.
Meanwhile, Fineberg’s estate is asking $39.95 million for a 9,232-square-foot penthouse in the luxury building known as the Bristol in West Palm Beach. It has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and wraparound balconies with unobstructed ocean views.
The apartment was purchased for $17.6 million in 2019 when the building was completed, according to property records. The building holds the record for the most expensive residential sale in West Palm Beach by value, for a $42.56 million unit sold in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal. Another Bristol condo is currently listed for sale at $23.9 million.
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