It was the breakup heard around the world (or more accurately, across the internet): Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson and pop star Ariana Grande called it quits on their engagement this weekend, following a whirlwind six-month courtship. In addition to gifting us the concept of "Big Dick Energy," their romance gave way to matching tattoos, over-the-top public declarations of love and attraction, and a $16 million apartment in New York City.
Ah, yes. The apartment. Given that the relationship appears to have dissolved quite recently, it's hard to say at this stage what will happen to the incredible piece of real estate, which is located in a Zaha Hadid-designed high-rise in Chelsea and reportedly includes amenities like a juice bar, a skylit pool, an IMAX theatre, and something called a "wellness floor" within the building.
It's long been understood, though, that Grande, who is worth an estimated $50 million, was the financial backer in the relationship. Davidson has copped to as much, saying on SNL that all he did was "stock the fridge." He also told GQ in August that Grande alone had purchased the apartment and that it did, indeed, cost $16 million, putting to rest any speculation that the pair were merely renting. "She's really sweet. She's like, 'This is our house,' and I'm like, 'You're very nice for saying that. Thank you for letting me stay here," he told the magazine.
But now that the romance is over, it's highly likely Davidson will have to ship out. Like, ASAP. "Most wealthy celebrity clients that I’ve worked with have a team of financial advisors who try to protect them," luxury real estate agent Rosemary McCready told Refinery29 via email. "Most advisors would insist on a bullet proof prenuptial agreement and other legal agreements to protect her in a break up."
Since Davidson and Grande never made it down the aisle, he likely has even less claim to any "shared" assets than he otherwise might. "There’s such a disparity between her wealth and Pete’s. I’m sure she is controlling the occupancy of the Chelsea apartment," McCready continued. Here's to hoping Pete has some good friends on the SNL set that might let him crash on their couch for a few days.
But what will become of the place in the long term? While it's possible Grande could decide to keep the apartment for herself, it would also be understandable if she didn't want to. Since it was purchased for her and Pete to live in jointly, she might feel strange there by herself, even if it is does technically belong to her alone. She could rent it out, of course, but should she choose to sell, McCready speculates she won't have a difficult time doing so, even with the eye-popping price tag.
"I think it will sell quickly if she decides to flip it and offer it on the market," she says. "It’s a hot market and location. Sting and his wife Trudie Styler are renting in the same building as Ariana. The attention surrounding Ariana and Pete’s break up will probably increase buyer interest for her condo, and may cause the price to increase."
But Ashley Murphy, director of public relations at New York-based luxury real estate firm Stribling & Associates, says that regardless of the good publicity, "Flipping a $16 million apartment – let alone finding a buyer for one – is often not a quick process, especially in the current Manhattan housing climate, where apartments spend about 137 days on the market on average. Fortunately, the space in question is a condo, and not a co-op, so that increases the pool of qualified buyers since there is no intensive board approval process."
Unfortunately, because real estate deals involving the rich and famous are often done anonymously or off-market, we may never know what becomes of Pete and Ariana's short-lived love nest. Then again, it's also always possible that the breakup won't take. Or that it's not even real to begin with. Oh, if only those $16 million walls could talk.