Here’s How The ‘Only Murders’ Characters Can Afford The Arconia
Only Murders In The Building has everything: A star-studded cast, amazing coats, and perhaps the most luxurious apartment building in Manhattan. The Arconia, aka the Belnord on West 86th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, boasts a timeless facade and perfectly manicured courtyard with spacious apartments anyone would kill for. Audiences have likely looked up how much it would be to live there after seeing the bare walls of Mabel Mora’s (Selena Gomez) apartment, the blue decor of Charles Savage’s (Steve Martin) digs, or the eccentric Broadway memorabilia strewn about Oliver Putnam’s (Martin Short) place.
The condominium residences (which range from two- to six-bedroom apartments) start at $4 million to purchase. You can also rent, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars a month, according to StreetEasy. Now that Only Murders is airing its third season on Hulu, fans may wonder how exactly Charles, Oliver, and Mabel can afford to live there.
Sure, it’s mentioned early on that Charles was an actor with a successful television series in the ’90s, and you could assume Oliver’s work on Broadway was profitable at one point. They both note early on that they bought their co-ops when “the Arconia was affordable.” The Belnord was once rent-controlled, and in 1994, it was reported that the average rent was $459.65 for a six-room apartment. As for Mabel, she is staying there while renovating it for her aunt and offers very few details about her financial situation.
Here’s a deeper look at how the infamous podcasters can afford their gratuitous digs.
Charles purchased his co-op in the ’90s and likely got a good deal. He was the star of the fictitious crime series Brazzos, and if it is anything like what actor Sam Waterson made in Law & Order, Charles could have earned about $65,000 per episode. However, at the start of Only Murders, Charles isn’t working and doesn’t land an acting gig until Season 2, when he joins a Brazzos reboot. Although he doesn’t reprise his role on his own terms, it’s more cash in his pocket. He also claims his song “Angel In Flip-Flops” gets $200,000 in residuals annually for being sampled by artists such as Post Malone and Missy Elliott — and that’s not counting what he likely earns from residuals for any Brazzos reruns.
So, it’s no surprise that Charles can maintain the price and meticulous decor of his lavish $9.72 million home.
Unlike Charles, the unsuccessful Broadway director’s finances are not as tidy. According to ZipRecruiter, Broadway directors can take home as much as $138,000 a year. That said, the average salary is closer to $60,000. In the pilot, Oliver is strapped for cash when he asks his son to borrow some money. He had used his son’s college fund to pay for a stage musical version of the movie Splash, which, unfortunately, was a failure. He cannot keep up with his maintenance fees but somehow remains in his colorful home. (Maybe Oliver’s penchant for food dips as meals makes sense from a monetary standpoint.)
Oliver receives a check of $50,000 from Teddy in Season 1, which appears to solve his financial woes (or at least continues to fund the podcast). In Season 2, Amy Schumer makes him an offer to buy the rights to his podcast with Charles and Mabel and turn it into a streaming series. Oliver declines — good for him for not selling out! He finally returns to Broadway in Season 3 to direct. Whether his latest show, Death Rattle, can turn a profit amid its star dying in the Arconia elevator remains to be seen.
PureWow estimates that his four-bedroom apartment is close to $13 million today. Fingers crossed for some Death Rattle Tony noms.
Mabel doesn’t seem to work or have a job. She stays in her aunt’s home and renovates it. Despite living through a renovation (in an apartment, no less), free rent in New York isn’t a bad deal. That is, until Season 3 when it’s revealed in the premiere episode that her aunt had sold the apartment and she has four weeks to find a new place— and a way to pay for it. A few episodes later, Mabel is approached by Cinda Canning (Tina Fey) about monetizing her podcast persona and offers her an undisclosed amount of money. Despite being strapped for cash, Mabel declines the offer.
According to Parade, the apartment Mabel stayed in could sell for at least $4.2 million, though PureWow puts it closer to $11 million. Either way, it sounds like Mabel’s aunt probably got a good deal.