New York City’s 1,396-foot-tall 432 Park Avenue, at one point the tallest residential tower in the world, has attracted many of the world’s richest and most famous people as residents. Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez briefly owned a unit on the 36th floor, Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber owns a high floor unit, and Saudi retail magnate Fawaz Al Hokair owns the penthouse, which he has for sale at $169 million.
Now, a full-floor condo on the 82nd floor, along with two units on lower levels for staff, are in contract for about $70 million. The owner is Blessings Investments, a limited partnership linked to British pharmaceutical magnate Meeta Patel. If and when the deal closes, it will be the largest transaction in New York City so far this year. The buyers, according to the Wall Street Journal, are Yossi Benchetrit and Gaëlle Pereira Benchetrit, a cable TV executive and cosmetics company founder, respectively. They already own a condo on a lower floor in 432 Park.
Seventy million is quite a lot, of course, but the current owners paid a combined $66.5 million for the various units, so in fact they’re not on target to make much of a profit, if any at all. The condo was listed by Ryan Stenta of Douglas Elliman and Carrie Chiang at Corcoran Group, while the buyer, according to the WSJ, is represented by Jason Haber of Compass.
The issues with supertall buildings are fairly well known. The engineering breakthroughs that have recently enabled apartments to be built 1,000 feet in the air turn out to have a lot issues still to be worked out. All skyscrapers creak and sway in the wind, but at 432 Park, the walls are reported to sound like a ship at sea. High winds have caused elevators to stall and reports of flooding and cracks at upper floors have caused some buyers to back out of their deals. Indeed, residents of 432 filed a $125 million lawsuit against the developers last year for, among other things, structural flaws and what the complaints calls “life safety issues.”
That said, the 360-degree views from the 82nd floor are unquestionably cinematic. At about 8,000 square feet, the condo is as spacious as a suburban mansion. The five bedrooms include a sprawling main bedroom with two bathrooms, extensive closets and a private office. There are also two powder rooms, an 1,100 square-foot great room, a media room, an oversized eat-in kitchen, and a dedicated office for a personal assistant or house manager. Ceilings are 12.5 feet high and windows are single panes of 10-foot square glass. Of course, all the finest materials have been used in finishing the apartment.
In accordance with current luxury standards, residents pay dearly to enjoy 30,000 square feet of amenities. In the case of the 82nd floor spread, it’s almost $24,000 per month. All that dough pays for a private lounge; outdoor terrace; 75-foot indoor pool; fitness center and spa with sauna, steam, and massage rooms; library; billiards room; screening and performance venue; a conference room; a children’s playroom and a yoga studio. Did we mention the private restaurant and room service, the concierge, and onsite parking garage with valet services?
All supremely luxe. Just the same, everyone in New York who cares about these things will be dying to see the exact amount the three condos actually trade for.