With her 19,000 square foot mansion in Greenwich sold, it should come as no surprise that Cynthia Biondi—the wife of Lazard chieftain Michael Biondi, who died in 2007 at the age of 50—is headed to Park Avenue. Though Ms. Biondi’s Connecticut estate failed to claim its $26.5 million asking price, it did manage an entirely respectable $25 million—enough for plenty of square footage even in the city’s fanciest buildings. But rather than to 720, 778 or 740 Park, Ms. Biondi has elected to relocate to the slightly less hallowed 737 Park Avenue, where she recently purchased a three-bedroom corner unit for $11.2 million, according to city records.
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.
Big Real Estate
A Park Avenue co-op may be the ultimate in old New York style, but what happens if you don’t want to (or can’t) put up with the hassles of proving yourself to a co-op board? For the paparazzi-tailed celebrities, Slavic-accented oligarchs and Gulf emirs among us, there’s always 737 Park Avenue.
And by the looks of the recent price increases at the stately 1940 apartment house at Park Avenue and East 71st Street, the celebs, oligarchs and emirs are desperately in need of accommodations. Developer Macklowe Properties just put the sponsor units on the market on January 11, but those prices didn’t even last three weeks before they were raised, according to StreetEasy. And it isn’t the first time that the developer has demanded more—Bloomberg News reported that Macklowe jacked up prices in the building twice last November. Then again, the price hikes could be a publicity ploy—in which case, it’s working! (As far as we can tell, nobody managed to scoop up an apartment before any of the recent price hikes.)
Thick black slabs of plywood encase what some call North America’s most valuable development site. The location of the onetime Drake Hotel, now a rubble-strewn yard at Park Avenue and 56th Street, is literally a black box.
A black box to everyone, that is, except Harry Macklowe. Barely two years after his fortune was Read More
Harry Macklowe—the self-made real estate tycoon whose ill-fated $7 billion 2007 purchase of a portfolio of New York skyscrapers rendered him a symbol of the perils of overleveraging—is trying to reassert some control.
Mr. Macklowe is competing against fellow tycoon Douglas Durst, among others, in a bid to buy back the mortgage on one of Read More
When Worldwide plaza was completed in 1989, the West Side conjured thoughts of West Side Story, not high-end office space.
Fast-forward 20 years, and the sale of Worldwide Plaza—the 47-story granite and brick edifice that towers above Hell’s Kitchen, spanning 49th and 50th streets and Eighth and Ninth avenues—has been 2009’s biggest New York City Read More
As conditions in Manhattan’s commercial market grow grimmer, one question continues to dog investors: Where’s the debt and how can I break me off a piece?
The Manhattan office market dropped 22.9 percent between the second quarters of 2008 and 2009, according to the Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price September Indices, compared to 30.1 percent regionally Read More
Good-bye to all that.
Last week’s news that a deal had been cut for the sale of Worldwide Plaza marks the coda of Harry Macklowe’s investment adventure. It began in the heady days of early 2007, when his Macklowe Properties—and various lenders—bought seven Manhattan towers via Blackstone and Sam Zell’s Equity Office Portfolio for Read More
In an apparent effort to raise cash, the struggling iStar Financial has put its $224 million Drake Hotel site mortgage on the block, according to a knowledgeable source.
“They’re a mortgage REIT and they need cash,” said the source. “The development is not going anywhere today. It’s in default. It’s not paying interest currently.” Read More
A Macklowe Properties-affiliated company has paid $5.35 million to buy out a lease at 38 East 57th Street, further consolidating control over the site where the family-owned firm has long planned to build some sort of hotel and condo project.
According to The Real Deal:
The move puts Macklowe Properties a step closer Read More