For his day job, Sanjay Motwani is the president and portfolio manager at Sansar Capital Management, which is one of the largest private equity firms in Iraq. “Let’s not be dismissive,” he told the website FINalternatives, right above a photo of him in dress clothes and a bullet proof vest. “It’s a dangerous place, if you go to Baghdad you do need a security detail.”
So we don’t begrudge him a sanctuary in one of the least-Iraqi places on earth: the Upper West Side, and specifically, Trump Place. He just picked up a five-bedroom condo combination on the 20th floor of 220 Riverside Boulevard at Trump Place, paying $11.5 million for the pleasure.
With its 85-inch plasma TV, 11-foot ceilings and Hudson River views, it’s a far cry from Iraq. Even in Baghdad, Mr. Motwani told FINalternatives, residents can only count on eight to 10 hours of electricity a day (an effect Mr. Motwani will be able to recreate with the apartment’s “electronic, remote-controlled Hunter Douglas black out and solar shades”), and local businessmen are “aggressively building brick factories” to meet the war-ravaged country’s demand for housing.
And while “in Iraq, the edge is just showing up because no one’s been there,” his Trump Place condo is already well-worn territory—Mr. Motwani won’t be getting any first-mover advantage at 220 Riverside. In fact, the sellers—Joseph and Maria Lucania, who listed the apartment for $11.65 million with Kristen Magnani at Charles Rutenberg—have already taken significant upside from the apartment, which they bought in 2010 and 2011 for a combined total of just under $6 million.
The property hasn’t always been a moneymaker for its owners. The Lucanias picked up the larger of the two units, with the river views, from Bruce Willis, who lost $360,000 on the apartment between buying in 2007 and selling in 2011.
Mr. Willis had in turn bought the unit from Eugenia Kaye, who led a coup against Donald Trump, Jr.’s condo board, eventually edging them out and herself becoming board president.
Still, as far as war-torn property goes, this one’s pretty tame.