What Happens If the Obamas Move to the Upper East Side?

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New York City could soon have some new high-profile residents in Barack and Michelle Obama. The former first couple are reportedly eyeing a duplex on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, per a report from Page Six that relies on several anonymous sources.

The Obamas are reportedly looking at 10 Gracie Square, which is near New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s residence, Gracie Mansion. It makes sense that 44 might be setting his sights on this part of town; the building has been home to plenty of bold-face names, including Gloria Vanderbilt, and New Yorker critic Alexander Woollcott, and even the former First Lady of China. It also has 15 floors and 43 apartments, meaning several lucky New Yorkers could have some presidential neighbors sometime soon.

The duplex went into contract last week for $10 million and was designed by architect Daniel Romualdez. The space boasts five bedrooms, four baths, a library with a wood-burning fireplace, and views of the East River. Though this Manhattan pad might go for a big price, it’s one that the Obamas, who moved into their $8.1 million Washington, D.C., home earlier this year, can surely swing.

Since they moved out of the White House in January, the couple has been a hot commodity. As The Guardian noted in May, the president’s speaking fees are a pretty $400,000. To add to that, in March the Obamas landed a joint book deal with a reported $65 million advance.

The former Chicago residents might be new to New York, but they have spent quite a lot of time in the city since January. Late this winter they joined Bono for lunch in Manhattan, which as all New Yorkers know, is a completely normal afternoon activity. What other power lunches might they indulge in while living just blocks from Le Cirque? If it does happen, be certain that every New York tabloid will be all over it.

Vanity Fair has reached out to a representative for the Obamas for comment.


JANUARY 21, 2017

At the inauguration in January, Obama ended her tenure as she began it: in Jason Wu.

Left, by Jim Watson; Right, by Rob Carr, both from AFP/Getty Images.