Well, we all knew this day would come. Product is flying from the proverbial shelves at One57. Or rather, the paper trail for the product that has already flown from said shelves is beginning to show up in city records, offering—in theory—an early peek into the building’s nascent social climate. (Which is not to say it was any very great mystery in the first place.) Heritage Realty CEO George Constantin appeared in the first week of the month with a $30.04 million buy. Not to be outdone, Rainbow Choice Limited Int., which, according to our brief investigation, is a Hong Kong-based manufacturer of women’s cosmetics and accessories, was close on his heels, dropping $30.55 million at 157 West 57th Street just a few days later. Next was LSF 57 US Corp., buying in for a comparatively modest $9.1 million. And now, apparently unembarrassed about having the cheapest apartment in the bunch, Eli Lomita and Alice Sim have entered the stage—and without the disguise of an LLC, mind you—making a $6.9 million purchase of their own.
For a place with two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, that looks like a pretty solid deal compared to an offering sheet circulated in January showing an apparently similar unit two floors up listed for $8.9 million. Just over 2,000 square feet, that apartment offered southern and western exposures, for which, as we know, quite a few buyers are willing to foot a premium. Perhaps it was a discrepancy in views and/or light that accounted for the relative discount? Or the rumor that the smaller units in the middle of the building were sitting somewhat stagnant on the sales market? We may never know for sure.
What we do know, is that Mr. Lomita is likely an adept horse trader—of actual horses. The proprietor of the Kingfield Stables, a racing concern, Mr. Lomita keeps a pretty low-profile. He is, however, known in certain circles to chase big prizes. Speaking in 2010 to the horse racing magazine Blood-Horse, Mr. Lomita’s trainer and horse buyer Bruce Levine said of his employer, “His thing is he wants to go to the Kentucky Derby. We’re on the same page as far as that goes – his dream is my dream.” Alas, it was not to be. Mr. Lomita’s horse Buddy’s Saint, whom Mr. Levine was training, held some Derby promise that year but did not capture the win.
Still, Kingfield Stables has other possibilities. There are, for example, Buddy’s Smart, Buddy’s Tiz, Howie’s Tiz and Head Honcho. Some can afford to own only a fraction of such steeds—Buddy’s Saint fetched $100,000—while Mr. Lomita could practically supply a cavalry if he wanted to. Even if he never triumphs in the Kentucky Derby, and even if he can manage only a small piece of One57, we’d like to console Mr. Lomita by suggesting that he think of the building as a very rarefied winner’s circle indeed, and of his new apartment as a blue ribbon prize.