Given that 15 Central Park West has made headlines for its record-setting sales (and, lately, some unrealistic asks), it’s good to see that the little guys can still make a buck at the limestone money printing press.
Little guys like Richard Wallgren, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Macklowe Properties. Mr. Wallgren, a former investment banker, knew when to buy: at the trough of the real estate cycle. He picked up his eighth-floor one-bedroom, 1,079-square-foot sponsor unit in April 2008 for a bit over $1.8 million, or just $1,685 a foot—a sizable discount off of the more than $2.5 million ask.
Mr. Wallgren is intimately familiar with 15 CPW, where he served as director of sales while he was at Brown Harris Stevens—two years ago he sold a 37th floor unit for nearly $24 million, and before that he brokered a $27 million sale—and now it’s his turn to cash out. Mr. Wallgren sold his apartment to the mysteriously-named Second 40 Holdings LLC for $3.48 million, nearly doubling his initial investment, according to city records.
The apartment was not publicly listed, and Mr. Wallgren was not forthcoming with details about the sale—”Oh god, I don’t want anything in the press, please!” pleaded the real estate pro, who should have known to go with an LLC—but we do have some guesses as to where he’ll end up next.
If the past is any indication, he’ll likely end up buying at one of Macklowe’s latest round of under-construction projects.
The brick-faced tower at 150 East 72nd Street is one possibility. Macklowe Properties is renovating the century-old (exactly—it was built in 1913 by Schwartz & Gross, and is being renovated by Handel Architects and Moed de Armas & Shannon) building on Lexington Avenue, where asking prices for units that have been listed start at $6 million.
Another possible abode for Mr. Wallgren is another Macklowe renovation on the other side of the same city block: 737 Park Avenue, where listed apartments start at just under $4.5 million.
And then, depending on how rich Mr. Wallgren’s blood is, there’s the grand daddy of all Macklowe projects: 432 Park Avenue, a joint project between Macklowe Properties and the Israeli paratroopers-turned-developers CIM Group. The 1,398-foot, Rafael Viñoly-designed tower, made up of hundreds of repeating squares (“the purest geometric form,” Mr. Macklowe told the New York Times—but don’t tell the circle!), is currently rising on the site of the old Drake Hotel. Prices there haven’t yet been revealed, but the cheapest unit is a $1.59 million, for 351-square-foot maid’s studio, and Mr. Macklowe also mentioned another maid’s studio going for $3.9 million.
So unless Mr. Wallgren got a huge pay boost for moving to Macklowe Properties, or is willing to slum it in a maid’s studio, he may have to pass on 432 Park.