It’s not even the penthouse, but we’d wager unit No. 5901/5902 is riding high on the fact that it will look like a steal to any buyers checking out the $100 million triplex all the way upstairs at CitySpire. And why not try to catch the eye of those who come to gawk at the 8,000-square foot behemoth? Even if $9 million is nearly three times more than any residential condo has ever fetched at 150 West 56th Street.
The fact that the cheekiest copycat in the building is trying for a mere $9 million certainly highlights how hard it’s going to be to sell the penthouse for $100 million.
Other trophies in that range are separated from their previous record sales by far less: the $95 million spread at the Ritz Carlton is only $25 million more than the previous best seller there, while a unit asking the same amount at 15 CPW is a mere $8 million more than Sandy Weill’s record-setting penthouse, which famously scored an $88 million sale. (Not that either of these $95 million trophies will necessarily get what they’re asking, either).
So what of this brave condo trying to draft behind its upstairs neighbor? At 2,700 square feet, with three bathrooms and 3.5-baths, it’s significantly more modest than the $100 million listing, although it’s lording its relative size over the other condos in the building, trying for about $1,000 more per square foot than any previous sale has ever netted. (The price per square foot is $3,300. Although compared to the unheard of $12,000 a square foot for the penthouse that doesn’t look so bad).
The highest price paid for a residential condo in the building was $3.4 million, which closed in June 2010 (the apartment was a 1,500-square foot two-bedroom). In June of this year, another buyer paid $3.3 million for a 1,600-sqaure foot two-bedroom. To be fair, this spread is basically twice the size, having combined two units, but is it really reasonable to ask anything over $6 million, maybe $7 million?
City records indicate that Terra Nova Holdings Inc. bought unit No. 5902 for $1.175 million in 2005. The sales history for No. 5901 is unclear, although the buyer listed it as his address when he bought the second unit; the units do not appear to have changed hands since.
The listing, held by Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Marie Bianco is skimpy on details and photos. There’s an exterior shot of the tower and, the listing provides a bland summary of rooms and views, “full Central Park Views from Living Room, Master Bedroom, TV Room, and Dining Room. Beautifully furnished 45 foot living room, overlooking Central Park. Mint Renovation.”
Hoping for more details (was there a gold-plated bathtub that accounted for such a lofty price?) we left a message with Ms. Bianco. Several hours later she called us back to explain the price.
“Thanks to the triplex and the new building on 57th all the units will be looking at $3,000 to $3,500 a square foot. This is priced right,” said Ms. Bianco. “CitySpire is in the same vicinity [as One57] and it’s not affected by the view, so why shouldn’t they get these prices? It’s very difficult to find that view in any location.”
She admitted that the building itself was older and required some updates, but emphasized that the apartments themselves just needed to be patched up. “These units are gold!” she exclaimed. “The triplex is making world news and the other owners are benefiting. I love those units! I wish I had bought one 17 years ago. I was selling them for $795,000. Can you believe that?”