The bizarre triumphs of Manhattan’s high-end real estate market are simply unending. Just when you’d think our bubble was finally going to be bashed by the national mortgage crisis (or shaky Wall Street, or the tumbling dollar), another gargantuan deal comes along.
And the seller, of course, is Donald Trump. As he un-smilingly told The Observer last month: “Nothing affects me.” The last three original units at Trump World Tower, the monolithic First Avenue condo at 845 United Nations Plaza, have gone for the pleasant sum of $33.654 million.
The buyer of all three is listed in city records as CCHP Holdings, LLC, whose address is listed in Huntington, NY. The purchase deeds are signed by Donald T. Nguyen, but it’s not clear who the buyer is; according to a source with knowledge of the deal, the spread will belong to an Asian-American moneyman.
What does $33.6 million buy? The first two units take up the entire 89th floor (directly above Derek Jeter, incidentally). That floor alone has 20 rooms, eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and 10,145 square feet, according to the listing with Trump broker Debra Stotts. That floor was listed for $28,248,500.
But then there’s the 14-room A-line apartment on the 90th floor, listed for $10,346,300. In case you were interested, the combined penthouse duplex will have 34 rooms, 14,864 square feet, 12 bedrooms and 16.5 bathrooms–and monthly maintenance fees of $13,906.
But somehow that space wasn’t enough for CCHP. Two sources said that the buyer tried to lure real estate lawyer and investor Dominick D’Alleva out of the other 90th-floor apartment. Mr. D’Alleva, who paid $13.5 million last year for that condo, would not budge.
In any case, CCHP will be tearing apart the three units and putting them back together. (Even the GE Monogram kitchen appliances are being ditched, one source said.) The floors have 16-foot ceilings, so there’s a potential for 32-foot-high legroom after renovations.
Better yet, CCHP got the three-unit penthouse at nearly a $5 million discount from the most recent listing price. The spread had been on the market for six years: Back in 2001, when sales at the condo began, Trump World Tower was billed as the largest residential tower in the world. That's no longer true.
Dennis Mangone, a Corcoran Group senior vice president, briefly listed part of the building's penthouse. “At the end of the day, Mr. Trump always wins,” he said, referring to those years on the market. “The dollar is weak now… it’s a huge incentive for foreign currencies to purchase New York real estate. And he”–meaning Mr. Trump–“has always had a really strong international base of people.”
Another foreign mogul, the disgraced Turkish telecommunications giant Cem Uzan, came close years ago to owning this three-unit spread (plus Mr. D’Alleva’s fourth condo.) But he defaulted on his contract, losing his $8 million deposit and the dictatorial views.
“On a nice day,” Mr. Mangone said about this spread, “you can see West Point."
UPDATE: And the winner is…