At Over $90 Million, Sale of Midtown Penthouse Sets a New York Record

Topping the previous record $88 million purchase of the 15 Central Park West penthouse, an unnamed buyer arranged to purchase the duplex penthouse at One57, a Midtown tower. According to developer Gary Barnett, president of Extell Development Company, the 10,923-square-foot penthouse, comprising both the eighty-ninth and ninetieth floors will be home to a “very nice” and “recognizable” family whose origin he declined to identify. While citing an agreement to keep the exact price confidential, Barnett claimed that while the agreed to price surpasses the earlier record, it does not break the elusive $100 million barrier for New York City residential purchases.

Currently under construction, the property known as One57, with the Park Hyatt hotel situated beneath the condominium units, will join the company of New York City’s highest residential buildings once it is completed in 2013. Nearly half of the available 92 apartments already have buyers since they became available for purchase in December 2011, says Barnett. Its location is 157 West 57th and boasts views of Central Park’s southern vista.

The purchase, kept secret for more than three months, supersedes the Central Park West deal in total prices, but calculates to about $8,000 per square foot, as compared to the $13,000 per square foot paid in the previous record-breaking sale. That purchase caused upheaval in the city’s luxury apartment market. Barnett believes the appropriate price-point per square foot for “superluxury” apartments in similar locations and with similar appointments in the City should be closer to $10,000, and has since increased the price for other One57 penthouse units accordingly.

The opulent floorplan includes a grand salon with 23-foot high ceilings. Another available unit, the Winter Garden, a 13,500 square foot duplex with a separate solarium, was the subject of negotiation earlier. The potential buyer wanted to purchase both that unit and an additional entire floor. The conjoined space, floors 75 to 77, would comprise 20,000 square feet. Barnett divulged that the asking price would have broken the illusive $100 million hurdle. For undisclosed reasons, the deal fell through.

Although not revealing the buyer’s nationality, developers and brokers have indicated that foreign nationals from countries as diverse as the former Soviet Union, China and Brazil see owning top dollar homes in New York and Miami as a coveted prize. As such, their willingness to spend ever-increasing amounts to acquire these so-called “trophy” properties has fueled a buying spree.

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