The 10 Biggest New York Real Estate Deals of the Year

Assuming this baby actually qualifies as a townhouse, it now holds the record downtown, following its $24 million sale in July. The 11,300-square-foot single-family home is really two buildings, a two-story bar connected to a six-story loft building, which were combined and seriously renovated to include a garage, art studio, five bedrooms and a lap pool. Credit the handiwork of Steve and Shari Schnall, who paid $4.75 million for the property in 2005 before listing it two years ago for $35 million. The buyer was Mark Zittman, a managing director at Guggenheim Advisors, and his wife Noelle.

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City Realty

There are only seven apartments in this ritzy 14-story co-op, and former Whitney president and Goldman banker Robert Hurst is no longer living in any of them. Hurst, who also resides in Aspen and Paris, sold his 12-room duplex for $25 million at the end of August, $4 million less than he first wanted. The buyer is the anonymous, yet cleverly named, Park View Trust.

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Property Shark

After signing his $32 million deal to leave NBC, Conan O'Brien split with New York for good when he sold his huge, three-terraced duplex atop the Majestic at 115 Central Park West for a comparable sum. O'Brien's former NBC colleague, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav, paid $25 million for the exclusive coop in July, not quite the $29.5 million CoCo was after, but not bad, either.

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Haus Fitzgerald

Development scion David S. Winter scooped up this apartment for $26 million in mid-November, a hearty sum for the renowned Park Avenue co-op that William F. Buckley and Mrs. Astor once called home (separately, of course). The unit was unlisted, and the seller hidden behind an LLC, so that is about all The Observer knows about the place.

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Property Shark

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The buyers of this Soho triplex remain a mystery, though those that came before them are anything but. Fashion designer and mogul Elie Tahari and his wife Rory split up and then split from this apartment. The former couple bought the 6,000-square-foot spread in 2006 for $25 million from Rupert Murdoch and Wendy Deng, who paid only $6.5 million for it in 1999. The Taharis did not make out quite so well, getting $27.5 million on the June sale.

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City Realty

This massive third-floor apartment is known as the "State Suites" because it was used to host the Plaza's receptions before being transformed into a 9,350-square-foot, L-shaped apartment by Italian Luigi Zunnino. He was to have paid $45 million for the three-unit combo in the condo conversion, but that deal soured when he came up short on the cash. It was sold in March to an unnamed buyer for $28.6 million.

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Not only did architect Robert A.M. Stern set the record uptown with 15 Central Park West but downtown, as well, where the sprawling full-floor penthouse at Superior Ink is in contract for $31.5 million. Jersey financier and Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander bought the unit before the building was even finished in 2008, decided he did not want to live there, and listed it a month later for $39.5 million. Considering he paid $25 million, the sale to South African entrepeneur Mark Shuttleworth seems like yet another savvy investment.

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Wired New York

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Fifty-two stories above Columbus Circle is hard to beat, especially when it's the setting of a 5,500-square-foot apartment that takes up the entire top floor of the Trump International. This is what sparked a bidding war by four parties. Arguably this is the most expensive apartment of the year, considering at least $10 million in renovations are expected, after Italian film producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori gutted the place and then lost it to the bank. (What is with these Italians?) An anonymous foreign buyer, believed to be from Southeast Asia, paid $33 million in March.

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Wikimedia Commons

Record-setting Stern! The sale is only reportedly in contract, but if it goes through, William Zeckendorf's palatial penthouse atop the building he built with his brother Arthur Lie will set a new per-square-foot record, having gone for $10,259 per. The buyer of the 3,899-square-foot three-bedroom on the 41st floor is not yet known. Zeckendorf paid $10.7 million for it in 2005 and looks to be getting $40 million for his effort.

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World Architecture News

Who but the richest man in the world, with increasing interests in New York--a clutch of office buildings and a stake in The Times--would land its most sought-after property? Carlos Slim is now the proud owner of the last true mansion on the avenue, 1009 Fifth, which boasts six floors covering 19,500-square-feet, all for the price of $44 million. The seller was embattled developer and former cabbie Tamir Sapir.

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