Time Warner is not the only big fish cashing out on Columbus Circle. The Lincoln Square mega-development is also losing David Kwok Po Li, the CEO and chairman of Bank of East Asia and former Hong Kong politician, who has just sold his 72nd-floor condo. (Related honcho Kenneth Himmel also cleared out late last year.)
Nor is he the only one who stands to profit from the decision. While Time Warner is contemplating how much it could make by clearing out of its headquarters, a process that might well set off a bidding war, Mr. Li did very, very well, doubling his money in under a decade.
The Hong Kong honcho bought the 3,491-square-foot condo back in 2004 as Harbour-Land Enterprises Limited, paying $9.68 million. Now, he’s sold the four-bedroom, 4.5-bath spread for an astounding $18.8 million, according to city records.
That Mr. Li agreed to buy the duplex (with an internal elevator, to journey between just two floors) in the days immediately following September 11, 2001, when living in twin towers was a palm-sweat inducing proposition, may have helped him lock in a good price. And he wasn’t shy about trying to get a much, much better one when he sold. He listed the apartment in May for $20 million with Corcoran brokers Carrie Chiang and Janet Wong.
The mysterious buyer is AEH Jay Corp, care of a Rockefeller Plaza law firm. Whoever he, she or they are, AEH will enjoy “stunning Central Park views” from every room, according to the listing, and luxurious amenities as impeccable and inscrutable as a foreign banker.
Whoever AEH is, do stainless steel kitchen appliances made by Sub-Zero and Miele make their hearts leap as much as a shift in currency exchange rates? Or are these features simply the basic accoutrements of the cash-coddled life for a Time Warner Center-buying corporation? A life where one does not have to so much as share a master bathroom with his or her partner (the suite has two).
When it comes right down to it, why share the suite, or even the apartment at all? We predict that the next trend in luxury real estate will be his and her apartments.