Live from New York… It’s the tip line

Okay, so Yolanda doesn’t write about NYC nearly enough. We know, we know. As we’ve said previously, it’s not that we don’t love the city (we do), it’s just that we don’t have the insider scoop on the real estate scene there. Meanwhile, we know LA — to borrow a damn tired cliché — like the back of our hand.

Which is why we’re so reliant on our lovely tipsters like our boy Jiminy Cricket. According to Jimbo, who has kept his real estate ear to the Big Apple’s ground, there’s a very big and top-secret deal in the works that might just come to fruition in one of Manhattan’s most expensive buildings, providing all four parties involved sign off on the deal and the buyer is able to jump through the complex’s 23 hoops (credit, background checks and the like). Note: Yolanda cannot personally vouch for any of the following secondhand gossip, but let us say that we’re pretty damn sure Jimbo ain’t lying.

Although its fame and novelty has been somewhat eclipsed in recent years by bigger and newer buildings such as One57 and 432 Park Avenue, over at 15 Central Park West the (new) money still runs deep. Were we to compare this building to an LA neighborhood, we’d call it the condo version of Beverly Park. It’s got a similar blend of financiers, mega-rich foreigners, and entertainers.

Residents include Ekaterina Rybolovleva — she famously paid Sandy Weill $88,000,000 for his full-floor penthouse apartment — Denzel Washington, Sting, Min Kao, Elie Tahari, Omid Kordestani, and Dan Loeb. For a more comprehensive rundown of the apartments and owners, go here.

Anyway, Mr. Cricket tells us that someone under cover of strenuously well-secured LLCs and NDAs is fixin’ to throw down somewhere around a shocking $90,000,000 for the entire damn 35th floor of the building.

For those who don’t have the building’s floor plan seared into your brain, the 35th floor currently contains three separate, uncombined units. There’s the massive Unit 35AB combination (photos below), which has been owned since 2008 by steel tycoon Leroy Schecter. Mr. Schecter has been trying to unload the double unit for the last, oh, 58 years. Something like that. It’s currently priced at $43,500,000, less than half the utterly ridiculous $95,000,000 original ask. The apartment has a mansion-sized 6,000 square feet of living space with 5 bedrooms and 6.5 baths.

It’s been widely reported that 35AB was, at different times, leased to both A-Rod and Robert De Niro for princely sums that may have exceeded $100,000 per month. One delicious rumor has it that our boy A-Rod was eventually banned from 15 CPW for bringing too many hookers home to his rental pad. Sacré bleu!

One of the other two smaller units, #35D, is also currently on the market. It’s owned by a Venezuelan banker named Victor Vargas and is asking $29,000,000. There is 3,173 square feet of living space with 3 beds and 3.5 baths. Unlike many of these “safe deposit boxes in the sky”, this apartment actually looks lived-in. In a good way.

What may pose a problem for the full-floor potential buyer is the third unit, Unit 35C. That 2,761-square-foot, 3-bed/3.5-bath condo was sold just last year for $25,950,000 to mega-rich Korean businessman Michael ByungJu Kim and is not currently on the market.

Accoring to Mr. Cricket, the unknown buyer is negotiating with Mr. Kim to have him voluntarily relocate from Unit 35C to Unit 37C a couple floors up. That condo has the exact same square footage and floor plan — it’s pretty much the same damn apartment, just with different decor. That pad is currently owned by a mysterious LLC with a Buffalo, NY legal address and is currently on the market with an asking price of $23,500,000.

Again per Mr. Cricket, the buyer has volunteered to cover all costs of Mr. Kim’s relocation to the higher floor unit. Sounds like a good deal to your gurl, but you know how finicky these billionaires can be. Lord only knows if Mr. Kim will get down with this bullshiz. We’ll have to see what happens. But should this deal pan out, the new owner will have their hands on approximately 12,000 square feet of ultra-prime Manhattan highrise living space, an almost unheard-of sum in the tightly-packed city.

And no, we don’t have a clue as to why some mystery billionaire would care to spend $90 million or so plus all the renovation costs for a full-floor at 15 CPW when they could likely get a brand-new, never-lived-in higher-floor full-floor unit at one of the glitzier and newer buildings in town like the aforementioned One57 or 432 Park Avenue. And it would likely cost them way less money, too.

We will say, however — and this is solely personal preference — but Yolanda happens to think the Robert AM Stern-designed 15 CPW limestone-clad neoclassical edifice is more attractive than the too-glassy One57 and the rather boring box that is 432 Park. So, mystery buyer, go for it.


  1. ChelseaGuy says:

    This would be a pretty spectacular transaction and create an interesting opportunity to build out a huge unit if done right.

    As for the other buildings, if I had the $$, I’d go for 15 CPW over 432 & 157. 15 CPW is a more classic, timeless edifice— you’re combining, gutting and renovating the unit so the dated awkward interior doesn’t matter. 15 CPW is a building full of people who mostly live in their units or, in the case of second / third homes at least use the unit regularly. Not just a stash box like 432 & 157.

    Yes, you can get higher in those buildings, but let’s be real, you’re on the 35th floor, thats high enough and directly on the park… forever views with no possibility of it being blocked bc the house side of the building is not going to be built on top of or going anywhere.

    My guess is, whoever this is looking to purchase this is actually a New Yorker and sees a value ad in acquiring this whole floor for $90m, spending another $20m doing it out and being in $110m – a fraction of what it would cost to get similar space in 220 CPS.

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