The news earlier this year that William Lie Zeckendorf had sold his penthouse throne atop 15 Central Park West made every real estate jaw in the city drop.
Not only was it impossible to imagine Zeckendorf abandoning the best-selling building that he developed with his brother, but he also managed to break the limestone ceiling of $10,000-per-square-foot when he sold. (He left in part so that he might swoop into Bruce Wasersterin’s old apartment). The per-square-foot price at the time was calculated at $10,259, a new record.
Well, the sale still holds the crown for the most expensive inches, but 15 Central Park West did not break the five-figure threshold, according to an article in The Journal this morning. Zeckendorf’s 41st floor, 4,024-square-foot apartment only achieved $9,940-per-square-foot. So close!
But what is really startling is that the number of “trophy” sales, those above $30 million, continued to fall this year, from a peak of 21 such sales in 2008. Last year saw six, and there were 10 in 2007. The four trophies this year were only as many as changed hands in sleepy 2006.
While this may make sense, given the recession and the mediocre real estate market, it actually runs counter to much of the high-end market. The news of late has been the soaring success of expensive apartments, and that remains true. According to The Journal, sales between $10 million and $30 million rose 15 percent this year. Our pal Jonathan Miller told The Journal that this seems like a more normal sales pace, and the high number of super-high sales in 2007 and 2008 were “an anomoly.”