James L. Ferraro, the prominent Miami trial lawyer who owns the Cleveland Gladiators arena football team, is finally buying a nice Manhattan apartment. This week he’s spending $8,175,000 on a penthouse at the glassy Park Imperial on West 56th Street.
Even though Mr. Ferraro owns places in Miami and a 14-bedroom Martha’s Vineyard mansion, it had been years since he felt he could get a good bargain in New York. “I thought about it after 9/11, but I didn’t want to buy on a calamity—be a vulture on someone’s property; not that it’s bad karma, it is what it is. But this now is the best buying opportunity you’re going to have in the next 25 years.”
His seller is David Wine, the vice chairman of Related, the giant developer that built the tower. His penthouse, about 2,600 square feet, hadn’t officially been for sale.
“The views are ridiculous,” Mr. Ferraro explained from dinner in midtown on Monday, where he put down the phone to ask about the marinated calamari. “It’s an absolutely ridiculous view.” He said he’ll spend three to seven days per month there.
His broker, Elliman’s Oren Alexander (pictured with Mr. Ferraro), threw a David Burke–catered party on Tuesday to mark the deal. “That’s part of my style,” said the broker, who turned 22 this month but got his real estate license years ago. “I try to be as sociable as possible. … With Jim, I jetted with him to Miami for a weekend. I jetted with him to Martha’s Vineyard for a weekend. I jetted with him to Aspen—that’s when the deal was put together.”
Mr. Ferraro made headlines last year after leaving his fiancée at the altar during their Fisher Island wedding. “I think the way I score life is there are three points,” he explained Monday. “Everyone’s allowed to have a good time, you should try to not hurt anyone along the way, and you should help people. That’s my scorecard.”