Robert Marc Lieberman and Rafael Novoa already had a farm in Upper Makefield when they bought a condo at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia.
“We wanted the best of both worlds,” Lieberman said. “That being town and country.”
It was the specific floor plan of the unit at the Ritz that appealed to the couple. Not only did it offer more than 2,000 square feet, it included City Hall views and a balcony. They knew they wanted an exterior feature.
“We didn’t want to feel like a monkey stuck up in a tree,” he said.
In addition to personal views of Billy Penn atop City Hall, the home includes hotel-style amenities.
“When you drive in, their motto is ‘welcome home,’” Lieberman said. “The staff are amazing.”
When the couple bought the property five years ago, they made dramatic changes — to the aesthetic and the structure of the unit.
“Both of us are very creative, and we wanted something unique, and we love to entertain,” Lieberman said.
With Novoa in interior design and Lieberman retired from the business, they saw lots of opportunity. The three-bedroom condo with three full baths and a powder room became a two-bedroom condo with two full baths and a powder room.
“It doubled the space for our living room,” Lieberman said. “When friends come over and they turn the corner of the gallery, they immediately see City Hall. Their mouths open up and they’re like, ‘This is stunning.’”
Plus, the connection to the world-renowned Ritz gave them other options for additional guests.
“It’s so easy to put up our friends and family in the hotel next door,” he said.
With more space for entertaining, they were able to focus on decorative elements in the home.
“The biggest thing we love architecturally are the mirrored ceilings,” Lieberman said. The treatment, which he calls mercury paper, runs from the front door, through a hallway and into the living room, kitchen and dining room. He said he got the idea from Elton John’s home in Palm Springs, Calif.
“It makes the ceilings look almost two-story — that’s the illusion we got from that paper,” he said.
Although they love hosting parties and fund-raisers in the expansive living room, Lieberman said, his favorite place in the home is the dining room.
“I just think the small, private little intimate space for dinner parties is wonderful,” he said.
Lieberman said the couple are ready to embark on a new chapter of life and have recently decided to list their condo for sale.
“We want to start a sort of snowbird lifestyle in Palm Beach, Fla.,” he said. “We bought a new-construction deco home, and we’re really excited about that.”
They’re hanging on to their farm, though. And Lieberman said he could see himself one day moving into his favorite neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square.
“My heart belongs to Philly,” he said.
The home is listed with Andy Oei at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach for $1.75 million.