Penthouse was party central for fundraisers

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 21, 2012 - 1:34 PM

You can have it for: $2.29 million

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Rice Park 25th floor Penthouse for sale in St. Paul.

Many of St. Paul's movers and shakers have gazed out the walls of glass inside Cay and Lowell Hellervik's 25th-floor rooftop condo.

The philanthropic couple have held scores of arts, political and charitable fundraisers since 1994 in their home at Landmark Towers across from Rice Park.

The main attraction at every party, according to Cay, was the 360-degree view of the State Capitol, St. Paul Cathedral, Mississippi River and even the Minneapolis skyline in the distance.

"The Capitol and cathedral look like little dollhouses that you can reach out and pick up with your hand," she said. "At night, the city's lights are beautiful." At a St. Patrick's Day party, she provided green knitted gloves so guests could hold a cold drink on the outdoor terrace.

As chairman and co-founder of Personnel Decisions International, Lowell often entertained business associates. The parties were all memorable, said Cay, but she'll never forget a political fundraiser they hosted for Sen. John McCain in 2007, when more than 100 people showed up instead of the expected 50.

"I told them I only had china for 50," she said. "But the guests kept coming."

In the early 1980s, Gene "Geno" Rancone developed the Landmark Towers and designed the 4,000-plus-square-foot penthouse for himself and his family. They lived there until the Hellerviks bought it.

"When we moved in, it looked very Italian -- rosy pink with heavy drapery," said Cay, who removed the draperies from the windows to open up the view and gave the condo's interiors a more eclectic look.

The ornate grand rotunda with a crystal chandelier is still intact and repeats many of the European-style architectural details from the building lobby.

"It's a beautiful place to welcome guests and serve them drinks," said Cay.

But after 17 years of penthouse soirees, the Hellerviks are ready to downsize and move permanently to their year-round home in Florida.

"We continued the philanthropic tradition that Geno started here," said Cay. "It's a legacy we want to pass on to younger people. We hope the new owners will continue to use it to help the city and state."

Other features:

• The condo has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

• Two sets of double doors open from the living room to a large terrace, reminiscent of an Italian palazzo, said Cay Hellervik. There are two additional terraces, for a total of 4,500 square feet, plus gardens and a fountain.

• The sleek, clean-lined kitchen features Poggenpohl cabinets, two dishwashers, Gaggenau stove, granite countertops and two sinks. "It's a wonderful catering kitchen," said Cay. "One night we had five chefs and their assistants in there for a University of Minnesota fundraiser."

• The sunken living room has a cherrywood floor and marble-surround gas fireplace.

• The master-suite bathroom has wall-to-wall cream and peach onyx tile and provides a terrace view.

• The condo building is connected to the St. Paul Hotel, and tenants can use its concierge service.

• Private elevator entry with a grand foyer.

• Amenities include three garage stalls.

• Location, location, location. The building is within walking distance of such attractions as the Ordway Center, Science Museum and restaurants.

Amy Sperling of Hoffman Parkin Urban Realty has the listing; 651-253-2525.

Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619

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