John E. Zuccotti may have a park of his own downtown, made famous by the Occupy Wall Street protests that centered around the privately-owned public space, but when he and his wife Susan decided to pick up an apartment in Manhattan, they chose a more classical park to look out onto: Central Park.
The real estate titan (you don’t get a park in Lower Manhattan named after you for nothing—he’s the chairman of Brookfield Properties American division and was a partner at Olympia & York, the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York and has served on the Planning Commission; for a brief period in the the ’70s, he was even an establishment favorite for mayor) picked up a two-bedroom on the sixth floor for nearly $2.6 million—a number that, on Fifth Avenue, suggests a striking degree of modesty.
Then again, the Zuccottis’ new building at 1049 Fifth Avenue is not actually be on Central Park or Fifth Avenue—in fact, it sits 100 feet away from the avenue, separated by the William Starr Miller House, now home to the Neue Galerie New York and its collections of Gustav Klimts.
In any case, the Zuccottis’ new condo (the building was converted in 1991, and subsequently achieved some of the highest prices for any New York City condominium) has only eastern and southern exposures, though a western one wouldn’t do them much good since it’s only at the eighth floor that residents at 1049 Fifth Avenue actually get the views that their address promises.
The unit did sell for nearly $1,700 per square foot, a somewhat surprising price given its lack of park views. Carol Staab, the listing broker with Douglas Elliman, attributed the high price to the dearth of pre-war condominium units on Fifth Avenue. The buyers, she said, are planning on renting it out for four years—something they likely couldn’t have done in a co-op building with a strict board—before moving in themselves. (We couldn’t find any other real estate that Mr. and Ms. Zuccotti own in the city, at least under their own name, though they did sell their longtime Carroll Gardens home to their daughters a few years ago for the very low price of $0.00.)
The seller, Amine Soussane, is no stranger to Upper East Side property sales. In fact, aside from the a dry spell between 2006 and 2011, he’s been known to do multiple sales a year, with his largest being the 2005 sale of a high-floor Fifth Avenue unit (actually on Fifth Avenue this time) for $8.35 million. His latest sale fell more than $100,000 short of its ask, Mr. Soussane at least sold it for more than $2.3 million, which is what he paid back in 2006.