What better way to pass these strange, disordered days after Hurricane Sandy than by inking the contract for a $27.5 million apartment on the Upper East Side? Harry Macklowe’s son, budding real estate dynamo Billy Macklowe, certainly thought so, at least according to The New York Post. The Post reports that Mr. Macklowe signed an under-ask contract for a four-bedroom, 5.5-bath co-op apartment at 950 Fifth Avenue. Read More
It has been, thus far, a year of almost incandescent hopes for the Manhattan luxury market. The $88 million sale at 15 CPW, the $70 million sale at the Ritz Carlton and rising like a beacon to the south, the unfinished One57 tower, with a penthouse in contract for more than $90 million.
Indeed, the market has burned so brightly for the owners of trophy and would-be and could-possibly-be trophy properties that it may even have blinded a few to the realities of the real estate market—while it could be described as magical, it is not magic. Is One57 a rising tide that will lift all boats (yachts?) or an ultra-luxury development that most other buildings breaking the skyline can’t compete with in finishes or prices? Or even worse: a view-blocker, shadow-caster and general reminder that places like the Time Warner Center and the Trump International are not as new as they once were? Read More
If you’ve got it, flaunt it. That’s the new rule of thumb in luxury real estate, anyway. After decades in which secrecy was the better part of high-end sales (the “if you’ve really got it, you don’t need to flaunt it” philosophy favored by buttoned-up Park Avenue types), top brokers are increasingly adopting aggressive PR and marketing strategies that, however scandalous to the old guard, are helping to draw deep-pocketed buyers.
In 2000, insurance mogul Saul Steinberg decided to sell what was arguably the most magnificent apartment in the city: a 34-room triplex penthouse at 740 Park Avenue. Mr. Steinberg had purchased the 20,000-square foot spread from the estate from the estate of John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1971. Among its many wonders, it had a library with English pine paneling that dated to 1760, a dining room that seated 48 and a two-bedroom governess suite. The exceptional thing, however, was that Mr. Steinberg wanted $40 million for it—a price that caused such a maelstrom of gossip that this salmon-tinted paper even accused him of indiscretion for allegedly “leaking” the incredible asking price to the public.
Gossip notwithstanding, the deal went down in the socially-sanctified, hush-hush manner that the city’s top residential real estate deals had always been conducted up to that point. Mr. Steinberg enlisted the help of his former sister-in-law Kathryn Steinberg, a broker at Edward Lee Cave’s consummate old-guard brokerage. The apartment never made a formal market debut, nor was it entered into the broker database. Ms. Steinberg just whispered in a few of the right ears and the apartment sold quickly—for $33 million—not quite ask, but still a record high for residential real estate.
A decade later, on the far side of the park, a new record, many times higher, was set in a very different way. Read More
J. Michael Evans May Lead Goldman, Prefers $27.5 Million Digs at 995 Fifth Ave. to Joining Blankfein at 15 CPW
Here are the things you need to know about J. Michael Evans: he is a Goldman Sachs vice chairman, a potential successor to Lloyd Blankfein, an Olympic gold medalist with the 1984 Canadian rowing team and a man of a certain sort of confidence. What sort? “Any great rowing crew has a strong, shared confidence in its ability to win,” Mr. Evans said in an interview for a Goldman publication head of the London Olympics. “You don’t often see this spirit in any pre-race histrionics—the high fives and chest-thumping seen in other sports. Instead, successful teams exhibit unspoken self-belief that sustains the crew throughout the race.” Read More
There are ambitious asks and there are downright ridiculous ones. Long Island real estate developer Steve Klar’s $100 million reach for the CitySpire penthouse not only falls solidly in the latter category, it’s almost archetypal. So much so that not even Prudential Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber—whose brokerage has the listing—seems like he has much of an inclination to justify it. Read More
It’s a little embarrassing, really. A day after 15 Central Park West announced its $95 million listing, 50 Central Park South had to go and announce that it also had a $95 million listing. And they’re even on the same floor (the 35th). But we’re sure that the owner at the Ritz-Carlton had been totally planning to list the apartment for, like, months now, so like, whatever 15 Central Park West.
Anyway, the big takeaway is that there are now two $95 million apartments on the market, in addition to a $100 million apartment at CitySpire, not to mention the One57 penthouse that sold for somewhere north of $90 million—maybe $95 million!
Because this is the new reality of the trophy property market in Manhattan, as The New York Times, who first reported the listing, claims. Or at least, it is the old reality of really rich people who want to be even richer people and are hoping that slapping a $95 million price tag on their apartment will make it a $95 million apartment. Read More
So many of 15 Central Park West’s residents have flipped their apartments for such massive sums that it sometimes seems like the whole building is cheating at tiddlywinks with the New York real estate market. Especially after the $88 million sale of Sandy Weill’s apartment, residents might be forgiven when they list their apartments for prices that seem somewhat deluded. Still, Leroy Schecter’s bid to make $40 million for tearing down a wall seems straight-up delusional. Read More
Evidently emboldened by the $88 million sale of the Sandy Weill penthouse at 15 Central Park West and the $90 million penthouse that’s in contract at One57, Long Island real estate developer Steven Klar is angling to get $100 million for his 8,000-square-foot triplex penthouse at CitySpire.
The octagonal condo on the 73rd, 74th and 75th floors of the mixed-use midtown tower at 150 West 56th Street is certainly “one-of-a-kind,” as the Prudential Douglas Elliman listing boasts, but the question remains whether it can best the prices claimed by the premiere units in newer, lovelier buildings. The listing was first reported by The New York Times. Read More
It seems that all the money flowing through Manhattan’s luxury market these days is encouraging owners of extravagant abodes to try and cash in. After all, buyers keep signing decadent deed after decadent deed, even with the dog days of summer approaching.
Today, three properties hit the market in the $20 million to $29 million range. Which, after the recent debut of a $50 million listing at the Ritz-Carlton and the impending debut of Walker Tower’s $50 million penthouse listing, seems almost modest. And, according to The New York Times, we should all brace ourselves for the arrival of some more listings in the $90 million range in the near future. Read More
A Record Deal! David Geffen Reportedly Buying Fifth Avenue Penthouse for $54 M., Most Ever for Co-op
Here’s one for the record books—or rather, a couple of them, given the people involved.
According to Page Six, David Geffen has just purchased Denise Rich‘s sprawling 12,000-square-foot penthouse at 785 Fifth Avenue for $54 million. That would, by $1.5 million, beat out Courtney Sale Ross’ long-suffering duplex at 740 Park for the new record for a co-op sale in the city were it to be true, a record that was set only two months ago. Read More