If 2015 was the year of “The Big Deal,” we’ve got a little surprise for our year-end wrap of New York City’s highest-priced sales. Technically, there wasn’t one deal that closed in 2015 that was over $100 million. So much for “Billionaires’ Row” penthouses or compelling new developments busting through that $100M ceiling.
In fact, after the most expensive sale in 2015 rang up for $91.5 million, the supporting cast of high-priced digs dropped pretty quickly down into the $50 million threshold. This development caused some real estate prognosticators to forecast stiffening headwinds in the high-end real estate game, while brokers from Wall Street to the Upper East Side looked around and wondered “Where are my foreign-buyer multimillionaires?”
Here are the Top 5 Most Expensive Sales in NYC for 2015:
For Pershing Square Capital Management chief Bill Ackman, the holiday song was sung to the strains of “Jingle Bells,” as in: “Oh what fun it is to invest in a 90-story skyscraper!”
Forming an LLC called 57157, Ackman and a group of well-heeled buddies collected what he called a “bargain” and the “Mona Lisa of apartments” when they bought unit 75 at One57, the condo tower that has helped remake the Midtown skyline. The list price had been as high as $115 million and they got it for $91.5 million, so there!
Though it’s less than the $100.5 million paid by an anonymous LLC buyer at the end of 2014 for 10,923-square-foot duplex at One57, the per-square-foot price for Ackman’s 13,554-square-foot unit was a “steal.”
The duplex eats up the 75th and 76th floors, but could be coughed back onto the market in 2016. The investment, you see, was for the fun of it, and it could attract a new buyer. Tax abatements for One57 mean the owner of unit 75 will get a 10-year tax break that reduces taxes to about 10 percent of what will eventually be a $230K bite.
Maybe it was a sign of good things to come for the New York Jets when billionaire owner Woody Johnson sold his Fifth Avenue duplex for $77.5 million in March. By December, the usually hapless but no-less beloved Jets scored a huge upset win over the New England Patriots to keep playoff hopes alive. It was a rare moment where the Jets’ on-field fortunes gave Johnson & Johnson heir and Jets owner Woody a run for his money … sort of.
Prior to the Jets’ improbable victory, Johnson had scored his own by selling the 5-bedroom, 5.5 bathroom apartment that features a majestic staircase, amazing views and, of course, three maids’ rooms. Set inside the coveted 16-story Art Deco building at 834 Fifth Avenue, the $77.5 million co-op spans the 11th and 12th floors and is considered a trophy dwelling in one of Manhattan’s most prestigious buildings.
This 18th floor-through residence is set inside the famous Sherry Netherland building overlooking Central Park and caused a little consternation about the unit’s true market value. First listed for sale back in 2012 for $95 million, then-owner Gilbert Haroche of Liberty Travel was looking for a record-setting sale that never materialized. When the 15-room residence “finally” sold this year, it appeared as if a foreign buyer had done a good job getting past the co-op board at the famous residential palace.
Alas, the story doesn’t end with this 7-bedroom, 8-bathroom dwelling coming in as the No. 3-most pricey sale in NYC in 2015. The apartment is back on the market with a list price of $86 million. With terraces facing north, south and west overlooking Central Park in one of the most prestigious buildings in the world, we expect this flipping unit to make next year’s list, too.
This 10,000-square-foot townhouse did not score the $65 million price tag initially sought by Extell Development Company, but what the heck. An anonymous buyer under an LLC called Azalea Holdings got a 35-foot wide townhouse connected to the Carlton House development in Lenox Hill. That means in addition to 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms and two wrap-around terraces and roof deck, the owners of this property can use the amenities at the renovated, 68-unit Carlton House, too.
Great expectations were met with reality when Russian financier Andrey Vavilov listed this 8,274-square-foot penthouse for $75 million. But even with the Time Warner Center commanding some pretty astounding pricing courtesy of many foreign investors, the recorded sale price was well under the original ask. Still, the 6-bedroom, 8.5 bathroom, 78th-floor condo nabbed just a hair over $50 million this past June.