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Strauss-Kahn's Lavish Tribeca Digs Cost $50,000 Per Month

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn spent his first day in his new home in Tribeca on Thursday.

The ex-International Monetary Fund chief is serving house arrest in a $50,000-per-month townhouse.

Even before Strauss-Kahn moved in, 153 Franklin St. was making a splash in the world of elite Manhattan real estate. Many who've seen its 6,800 square feet have had a similar reaction.

"Wow, plain and simple -- the sense of space, the quality of the finishes, it's impressive," real estate expert Jonathan Miller told CBS 2's Tony Aiello. "If you're going to be stuck inside your house, it's a pretty good place to be stuck. Sixty-eight hundred square feet is large by any standard, and for a person to not feel confined, I think that would help."

Miller said Strauss-Kahn's $50,000-per-month rental puts him in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of homes in the city.

Everything about it whispers high end luxury.

The built-in coffee maker in the kitchen costs $3,000. Touches like that add up.

"A kitchen like that, you could be spending upwards of $1 million to get that kind of kitchen," Miller said.

Outside, the house looks old due to historic district design restrictions, but inside it's completely new --- from spa bathrooms to a full gym to a home theatre.

The windows are even soundproof, which means Strauss-Kahn probably couldn't hear the protester outside.

"There's no way this guy should be in a penthouse!" the woman screamed.

She angrily compared Strauss-Kahn to the NYPD officers acquitted Thursday of rape. That's one of the charges that landed the former IMF head on house arrest and has him awaiting trial for the alleged sexual assault of a housekeeper at the Sofitel New York on May 14.

On Thursday, her lawyer told Aiello she's "strong, with her daughter and hoping to rebuild her life." And like Strauss-Kahn she's also getting police protection, but in accommodations far more modest. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer even went so far as to demand the NYPD add up what it's spending protecting Strauss-Kahn, and send him the bill.

While the one-time contender for the French presidency enjoyed his new digs his lawyers were dueling on his behalf, sending a stern letter to the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance complaining his "right to a fair trial is being compromised" by leaks to the press and ominously warning "we could now release substantial information [that would] gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant."

In other words, they have dirt on the housekeeper who claims Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her.

But, like his accommodations, Strauss-Kahn's attorneys are among the best money can buy.

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