It’s been a humbling year for monstrously expensive, monumentally plush New York real estate: Not only is the most expensive townhouse ever sold in Manhattan asking a few million dollars less than it was bought for, but the price of Julian Schnabel’s five-floor Palazzo Chupi penthouse has gone from $59 million to $38 million to $27.9 million.
Yet this month, according to city records filed late last week, a five-bedroom, 8,300-square-foot penthouse at the Time Warner Center, which was the single most expensive apartment on the market in New York City when it came on in 2008 for $65 million, has sold for just over half that asking price. Austrian-born, Princeton-educated investor Gerhard Andlinger got $37.5 million for his apartment, the biggest New York City residential deal in nearly one year. Nothing has sold for more than $35 million since a Fifth Avenue co-op was bought last July for $48,836,000, the appraiser Jonathan Miller confirmed.
Even if it seems odd and uncouth to complain about a $37.5 million real estate sale, the apartment was bought for $11.5 million less than its most recent, discounted tag. “It is a very low price,” said Roger Erickson, the broker who sold a 75th-floor, 4,454-square-foot Time Warner apartment in January 2008 for $24.48 million. “What the hell did I get? I got $5,400 a square foot last year.” Actually, he got $5,496.
Mr. Andlinger’s penthouse, which was asking $7,831 per square foot back when the tag was $65 million, got $4,518.
“I think it’s good news–it’s a transaction happening!” Corcoran’s Leighton Candler, who brokered the $48.8 million co-op deal last year, said Tuesday about the Time Warner sale. “Thirty-seven million is not chump change. That’s a lot of money to spend on an apartment.”
On the plus side, Mr. Andlinger paid only $25 million in March 2005 for the apartment, where the master bedroom suite includes an office, his-and-hers dressing rooms, his-and-hers bathrooms, and a gym; the 41-foot-long living room has floor-to-ceiling windows; the corner library/office is covered in red lacquer; the dining room has a view of the Hudson River; the pantry has a laundry center; and the five bedrooms all have en-suite bathrooms.
On the down side, the yearly maintenance charges and real estate taxes add up $356,316.
The apartment was bought anonymously under the name Southerndown, Inc. One lawyer listed on the deed did not return an email, and another declined to comment. Mr. Andlinger, who was barred from serving as a public company’s director or officer for five years as part of a 2003 settlement with the SEC over insider trading allegations, could not be reached through his office, or at a Florida residence.