(NEW YORK) -- While the will he or won’t he speculation continues around whether Mitt Romney will appear at a Thursday fundraiser with Donald Trump, he is expected appear at one later that evening at the same location: the penthouse at the Pierre in New York City.
The private home in the tony hotel belongs to stock investor and financial analyst Martin Zweig and his wife Barbara. The Zweigs put it on the market in 2004 for $70 million, making it the most expensive private home in the country at the time.
Coming off Romney’s weekend toasting his high-dollar donors, the $50,000-a-head event at the palatial residence of 16 rooms including five master bedrooms and seven full baths, according to the luxury website Luxist (now called Styleist), will do nothing to shed the Democrats claim that Romney is out of touch.
The society magazine Avenue Insider had an interview with Zweig just this month and reported the couple bought the apartment in 1999 for $20 million, a record setter at the time as well. "I thought it was underpriced," Zweig told the magazine.
Explaining why they put their home on the market in the mid 2000s, Zweig said it was because they “bought a boat,” but they changed their mind taking it off the market.
“I love our apartment and don’t want to leave,” Zweig said.
Another 2004 Luxist article describes the living room with 23 foot high ceilings as, “the most magnificent privately owned room in the world,” quoting the 2004 listing.
Just as Romney’s top dollar donors -- as well as Donald Trump will get to Thursday -- serious bidders were lucky enough to get a look at the 11,000-square-foot home on floors 41, 42 and 43 of the Pierre in 2004.
At the time, the apartment had a $48,000-a-month maintenance fee, which included maid and room service.
A Forbes article describing Zweig’s talent at stock picking in the 1980s and 1990s describes his lifestyle as both “eccentric and lavish,” collecting items like a “$52,000 pool table, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls rookie jersey and Buddy Holly’s guitar.” In 1997 he published a guide to his financial success called Martin Zweig’s Winning on Wall Street.
The home is no longer the country’s most expensive, eclipsed by several jaw-dropping manses, including the former Beverly Hills home of Aaron Spelling, which sold last year to Petra Ecclestone, the 22-year-old daughter of Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone for $85 million.
As Gov. Romney passes the hat, President Obama has appeared at a pair of fundraisers this week; one for well-heeled donors in Miami Beach which featured a Marc Anthony concert, and another in Boston; according to totals tallied by CBS News, Obama's campaign has staged more than 160 fundraisers for his 2012 re-election run to date.
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