When Is $7.8 M. Not A Lot? When It’s A Condo at The Plaza

transfers plaza1v When Is $7.8 M. Not A Lot? When It’s A Condo at The PlazaIs it possible that $7,820,581 (and five cents) no longer counts as an expensive apartment in New York?

Viacom’s chief financial and administrative officer, Tom Dooley, closed late last month for that amount on a ninth-floor condo at The Plaza. Yet the deal, the 77th to close since the 100-year-old hotel was redesigned, doesn’t even rate as one of the 25 most expensive recent deals at the building, city records show.

Twenty-first-century Manhattan really is a decadent place. But northeast of the hotel, things only get worse: Take the deed for a 12-room duplex at 730 Park Avenue, filed in city records the day before the Dooley deal; a finance guy named Dan Benton and his wife paid full asking price, $21.5 million, to finance guy Michael Scharf and his wife. (The apartment has a maid’s room, but there’s an additional staff room on the co-op building’s first floor.)

As for Mr. Dooley and his wife, Barbara, they signed their Plaza contract in October 2006, back when things were particularly bright for the family. A month earlier, Viacom’s aged chairman, Sumner Redstone, dismissed heir apparent Tom Freston and made Mr. Dooley a senior executive vice president. Better yet, his old pal Philippe Dauman became CEO: The two had left Viacom together six years earlier.

According to city records, the Dooley couple didn’t take out a mortgage, which suggests they paid in cash. A call and an e-mail to the executive were not returned.

But three other Plaza sales filed with the city this month alone trump the Dooley deal. Biggest of all, the Esprit clothing executive Jürgen Friedrich paid $25 million for Unit 509, reportedly a gold-and-pink spread called the Astor Suite. Ivana Trump designed the place in 1989.