Let’s face it: prices at the Ritz-Carlton, while resplendent, pale in comparison to the blindingly spectacular sales at buildings like 15 Central Park West and the Plaza. But with the $70 million Steve Wynn buy behind it and a new $50 million listing, The Wall Street Journal asks: is the Ritz ready to rise again?
It’s not as if the building has been doing shabbily or anything, but it hasn’t been the brightest star in the sky, The Journal notes. Built in 1930 as the Hotel St. Moritz, it’s lost some of the luster it once had and its debut on the luxury market was less than stellar. The condo conversion finished shortly after Sept. 11, and then the building got kind of eclipsed by the Time Warner Center and 15 Central Park West.
After nearly four years on the market and a $12 million price reduction, co-op 4/5 C at 740 Park Avenue has finally found a buyer. And just when it had been empty long enough to attain spooky apartment status among the building’s exceedingly well-heeled children! What door will they dare each other to run past now? Perhaps Madoff crony Ezra Merkin’s will do?
The 15-room duplex, listed with Sotheby’s brokers Serena Boardman and Meredyth Smith for $23 million, is now in contract, according to the Olshan Luxury Market report (it was also last week’s biggest residential contract, broker Donna Olshan reveals).
The deal, coming close on the heels of the record-for-a-co-op sale of Courtney Sale Ross’ apartment to Oaktree Capital Chief Howard Marks, means the end of available units at the most venerated of all New York addresses.
We bet Howard and Nancy Marks didn’t bat an eye when they forked over $52.5 million for the Courtney Sale Ross duplex at 740 Park Avenue, setting a record for the most expensive co-op ever. After all, $52.5 million is pocket change when you manage a $75 billion investment group.
Unlike those who watched their fortunes deplete or disappear during the recession, Mr. Marks, the co-founder, principal and chairman of Oaktree Capital, managed to enhance his by investing billions in distressed debt. With so much cash burning a hole in their pockets, it looks like the couple was just waiting for the chance to pick up a phenomenally expensive apartment (albeit at something under the $60 million ask).