An Upper East Side Triplex for $60 Million, or $20 Million Over Ask
One of New York City’s most expensive co-ops has closed, with the sale of a palatial triplex overlooking the Central Park reservoir that was …
One of New York City’s most expensive co-ops has closed, with the sale of a palatial triplex overlooking the Central Park reservoir that was owned by Jacqui Safra, a Swiss financier and producer of several Woody Allen films. At $60 million, it was the biggest transaction in August and second priciest so far this year.
The penthouse takes up the 14th through 16th floors of 2 East 88th Street, at Fifth Avenue, and includes two spacious terraces on the top two levels. It was sold in an off-market deal by Mr. Safra to an anonymous buyer for $20 million above the asking price.
Among the month’s other notable closings, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and the world’s richest person, seemed to have further enlarged his domain at 212 Fifth Avenue, where he has been steadily acquiring space. He was the likely buyer of a $23 million, half-floor apartment on the 20th floor, next to a similarly sized unit that he bought in the spring of 2020 for $16.1 million. He purchased three others, including a triplex, in 2019.
And while Mr. Bezos was apparently accumulating real estate, Adam Neumann, a founder of the office rental start-up WeWork, liquidated more of his holdings, selling his Greenwich Village townhouse.
Also, Scott Rudin, the embattled film and Broadway producer, sold his longtime home at the San Remo. And Kenneth Lowe, a founder of the popular HGTV channel, and his wife, Julia Lowe, bought a sponsor apartment at the One57 tower.
Noteworthy estate sales, both co-ops, included the Upper West Side home of the Broadway veteran Phyllis Newman and the apartment of the fashion designer Herbert Kasper.
The triplex sold by Mr. Safra has 14 rooms encompassing around 7,000 square feet. It is configured with just two main bedrooms, and has five and a half bathrooms and five fireplaces. The enormous primary suite is situated on the lower level, which also includes a study, home gym and staff quarters.
The other levels contain entertainment spaces and offices/studies, and at the top, a glass conservatory. Outdoor space totals 2,500 square feet of wraparound terraces.
The purchase was made through the Otto 88th Street Trust.
The $60 million recorded price is the fifth highest for a city co-op, according to the appraiser Jonathan J. Miller. The most expensive, at $77.5 million, was the 2015 sale of a duplex at 834 Fifth Avenue owned by the New York Jets owner Woody Johnson.
The 88th Street transaction is also the second biggest in 2021, after the June closing of two floors at 220 Central Park South for a combined $157.5 million.
Mr. Safra and his longtime partner, Jean Doumanian, a stage, TV and film producer, have owned numerous high-end properties throughout the city, including the Harkness mansion at 1 East 75th Street and Fifth Avenue.
The apartment at 212 Fifth Avenue, at West 26th Street in NoMad, which sold for $23 million, extends 4,155 square feet. There are four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms, plus a laundry room.
The seller, listed as Madison Flatiron L.L.C., had bought the apartment in 2018 for $18.1 million.
The unit went into contract at the end of June and the sale recorded on Aug. 6. While Mr. Bezos wasn’t identified in the deed — the limited liability company Gramercy Hudson was used — the Seattle-based law firm that had represented him in the other transactions at the building was involved in this sale. (Amazon is also based in Seattle.)
In 2019, he acquired three other units atop the 24-story building for a total of $80 million, including a triplex.
The neo-Gothic Fifth Avenue condominium, facing Madison Square Park, was built between 1912 and 1913. The steel-frame tower, with ornamental stone, brick and terra cotta cladding, was formerly an office building,
Mr. Neumann, the former head of WeWork, and his wife, Rebekah Neumann, who had served as the company’s chief brand and impact officer, got almost $13.7 million for their townhouse at 41 West 11th Street. The property was purchased through Reinvent Golden Ridge L.L.C.
The red brick, Greek Revival house, built in 1847, is nearly 23 feet wide and four stories high, with six bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and an office/den. There are also six wood-burning fireplaces, as well as a landscaped garden in the rear.
The couple had closed on the home, just off Fifth Avenue, in 2014, paying $10.5 million. They have also acquired several other high-priced homes around the country, some of which were recently sold, including a house in the Hamptons that reportedly sold last year for $1.25 million and one in Corte Madera, Calif., this past spring for $22.4 million.
The Neumanns also listed their triplex penthouse at 78 Irving Place, near Gramercy Park, in February 2020, for $37.5 million, but took if off the market this June.
Mr. Neumann stepped down as WeWork’s chief executive in September 2019 following the company’s failed initial public offering. He co-founded the company in 2010.
Mr. Rudin sold his co-op apartment at the San Remo, at 146 Central Park West, to Dan Weiss, the former publisher of the SparkNotes study guides, and his wife, Amy Berkower, a literary agent. The sale price was $13.1 million.
The purchase was made in an off-market deal, so few details about the unit are available.
Mr. Rudin had been a resident of the 27-floor twin-tower landmark apartment house, a couple of blocks from the American Museum of Natural History, since at least the 1990s.Two years ago he paid $17.4 million for a four-story, Greek Revival townhouse at 22 Bank Street that was owned by Graydon Carter, the longtime editor in chief of Vanity Fair magazine.
One of the most powerful producers on Broadway and in Hollywood, Mr. Rudin has won 17 Tony Awards, along with an Emmy, a Grammy, and an Oscar. His work includes films like “The Social Network” and “No Country for Old Men” and Broadway shows including “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Book of Mormon.”
But earlier this year he announced his resignation from the Broadway League, the trade association of producers and theater owners, following numerous allegations of workplace bullying.
The Lowes paid $12.7 million for an apartment at the glassy-blue high-rise at 157 West 57th Street on billionaires’ row. The unit had been listed for $14.2 million.
The 3,200-square-foot residence features three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a powder room, along with a bird’s-eye view of nearby Central Park.
Mr. Lowe ran Scripps Networks Interactive, the owner of the Food Network and HGTV, before it was acquired by Discovery Communications more than three years ago.
Ms. Newman’s home, a duplex at the Beresford, at 211 Central Park West, was sold by her estate for $17.2 million. The apartment was listed for $24 million in November 2019, two months after Ms. Newman’s death at age 86.
Ms. Newman, a two-time Tony Award-winning actress, singer and women’s health advocate, had lived in the apartment with her husband, Adolph Green, a playwright and lyricist who shared in seven Tonys. He died in 2002. The couple raised their two children there and played host to a long list of showbiz friends.
The unit, which sits on the 19th and 20th floors, has about 3,300 square feet of interior space, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms. There is also a 600-square-foot terrace with views of Central Park and the Midtown skyline.
The buyer was the CPW Terrace Trust.
The estate of Kasper, as he was known, sold his home at 32 East 64th Street, a.k.a. the Verona, for $10 million, which was the asking price when it was listed this past March. He died in March 2020 at age 93 after a long career in the fashion industry. The Kasper brand produces affordable women’s sportswear and dresses.
Kasper had bought the co-op apartment in 1979 and filled it with museum-quality artwork. The unit has around 4,700 square feet, with three main bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, as well as a staff bedroom and bathroom, a small staff office and a powder room.
The buyers were Alexander Sevin Sloane and Alexandra Schuster.
And let’s not forget 220 Central Park South, the ultraexpensive skyscraper where the month’s runner-up sale took place. A half-floor residence on the 54th floor closed at nearly $40.1 million. The 4,814-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms. The seller, MKC Properties L.L.C., a limited liability company, had bought the unit in 2019 for $38.2 million; the buyer’s identity was shielded by the liability company CVCPS.
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