Central Park Penthouse Sets Record at Nearly $240 Million

Central Park Penthouse Sets Record at Nearly $240 Million

  • The New York Times
  • 02/1/19
The country’s most expensive home sale is now officially in the record books.
Kenneth Griffin’s much-anticipated penthouse purchase at 220 Central Park South in Midtown Manhattan was recorded Jan. 25 with the New York City Registrar — just two days after representatives for the hedge fund manager and Vornado Realty Trust, the developer, signed the closing documents.
The final price, with taxes and various fees added in, came to $239,958,219.15.
This transaction was more than double New York City’s previous record, from four years ago: a duplex at the pinnacle of the One57 skyscraper that sold for nearly $100.5 million, reportedly to Michael Dell, the chief executive of Dell Technologies. And it far surpassed the national record-holder: an East Hampton, N.Y., estate that sold for $137 million in 2014 to Barry Rosenstein, another hedge fund manger.
At the start of 2019, there were several other pricey closings in Manhattan’s newly opened luxury skyscrapers — though all appeared dwarfed by Mr. Griffin’s acquisition.
A 9,100-square-foot duplex penthouse at 520 Park Avenue in Midtown sold for almost $64.3 million. (The purchase was financed with a $32.1 million mortgage.)
Also, a penthouse at 70 Vestry Street in TriBeCa sold for $40.7 million; another penthouse at 520 Park sold for $32.4 million; and an apartment on the 33rd floor of 220 Central Park South went for $30.2 million. The identities of the buyers were not known. All three buildings share a common thread: They were designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and are clad in limestone.
In other noteworthy transactions during the month of January, Marc Lasry, another hedge fund billionaire, and David Boies, a well-known lawyer whose clients included the disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, each sold a Fifth Avenue co-op.

Credit...Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times


The Brazilian model Jeisa Chiminazzo sold her apartment in TriBeCa, and the industrial designer Karim Rashid sold his in Midtown.

There were also notable townhouse deals, both on the Upper East Side. A sprawling, four-story house, once owned by the designer Halston and a popular hangout for the Studio 54 crowd, sold after a huge price cut. Also selling at a discount was the 35-foot-wide townhouse attached to the Carlton House on 61st Street.

In Brooklyn, Shaun Donovan, who served as housing secretary and budget director during the Obama administration, bought a carriage house in Boerum Hill.

And the actor Matt Damon was settling into the Brooklyn Heights penthouse that he bought at the tail end of 2018. At nearly $16.75 million, it was the most expensive home sale in the borough’s history.
Mr. Griffin’s record-breaking apartment at 220 Central Park South, No. 50, is still under construction, so details remain sketchy.
What is known so far, largely through property records, is that the unit encompasses roughly 24,000 square feet across four floors of the 65-floor building — the 50th through 53rd — and the lowest level features a 649-square-foot terrace with Central Park and cityscape vistas.
It is not known whether the apartment will be fashioned as a triplex with double-height ceilings, as some local brokers have posited, or as a quadruplex, since it was delivered as a “white box,” devoid of finishes and configured rooms.
Mr. Griffin, the billionaire founder of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel, had agreed to buy the apartment in 2015, when construction of the Central Park South building was just starting, and he is expected to use it as a pied-à-terre. He owns several other homes, including the most expensive apartments ever sold in Miami Beach and Chicago.
Tal and Oren Alexander of the Alexander team at Douglas Elliman Real State represented Mr. Griffin; Deborah Kern of the Corcoran Group represented sales for Vornado.
On the Upper East Side, Mr. Lasry, a founder of the Avenue Capital Group and a co-owner of the N.B.A.’s Milwaukee Bucks, and his wife Cathy Lasry, sold unit No. 17 in 812 Fifth Avenue. The price was $9.5 million.
The co-op, which had been listed for just under $10 million, has 2,250 square feet of interior space, with one bedroom and two baths. There are three terraces, totaling about 2,000 square feet, with Central Park views.
In early October, the couple also sold their townhouse at 4 East 74th Street, for nearly $32 million. The six-story, Beaux-Arts mansion has been home to several prominent occupants, including the pop star Michael Jackson.
Credit...Kholood Eid for The New York Times

Mr. Boies, the lawyer, and his wife, Mary Boise, received $13.6 million for apartment 35T in the Sherry Netherland, at 781 Fifth Avenue. The unit has two bedrooms and two and a half baths, along with sweeping views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline.

Mr. Boies has been involved in several high-profile cases. He represented Al Gore in Bush v. Gore, and he was also a lawyer for Mr. Weinstein as well as the health care company Theranos.
Downtown, Ms. Chiminazzo, a familiar face in the fashion industry, sold her loft apartment at 53 Warren Street, near West Broadway, for $2.9 million, just below the $2.99 million asking price. The 1,562-square-foot, floor-through home has two bedrooms, two baths and 12-foot ceilings.
Mr. Rashid’s home, which he shared with his wife, Ivana Rashid, sold for $4.1 million and included a parking space. The 2,767-square-foot townhouse condo at 425 West 53rd Street has four bedrooms and three and a half baths on two main floors.
The former Halston house, at 101 East 63rd Street, off Park Avenue, sold for $18 million, though it had been on the market for as much as $38.5 million over the last eight years. The most recent asking price was $24 million.
The 25-foot-wide building, once a carriage house, was transformed by the architect Paul Rudolph in the 1960s into an open, modern structure, with a dark glass facade, a large rooftop terrace and a three-story greenhouse. The high-ceilinged house, which also includes a garage, contains nearly 7,500 square feet, with four bedrooms, four and a half baths, two living rooms and a home office.
The house was purchased by the fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, better known as Halston, in 1974, and became a party hangout for the likes of Andy Warhol and Liza Minnelli. Halston sold the house in 1990, shortly before he died. The most recent owner was the family of the German photographer Gunter Sachs, who was once married to the actress Brigitte Bardot and died in 2011.
Adam D. Modlin of the Modlin Group, which represented the buyer, would only say that his client was from out of town.
The Carlton House mansion sold for nearly $27.5 million; the asking price was $32.9 million. This home, which is steps from Central Park, has five main levels and a rooftop terrace, with 9,742 square feet of interior space and 2,700 square feet of exterior space.
In Boerum Hill, the carriage house bought by Mr. Donovan and his wife, Liza Gilbert, a landscape architect, has two bedrooms and one bath. The closing price was $2.3 million, which was above the nearly $1.65 million ask.
Mr. Donovan served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2009 to 2014 and as the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2014 until the end of the Obama administration. He was also the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Mr. Damon’s record-breaking penthouse purchase in late December, reportedly a combination of three units, was at the Standish, at 171 Columbia Heights, a 12-story Beaux-Arts building in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District that once housed the Standish Arms Hotel. (Comic book aficionados may recall Clark Kent living in unit 5H at the Standish Arms Hotel in Metropolis.)

The previous record price for the borough was set in 2015, when the photographer Jay Maisel acquired a Cobble Hill townhouse for $15.5 million.

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