The high-priced penthouses at 432 Park Avenue — and their 360-degree views of Central Park and Midtown — have grabbed much of the media hype surrounding the skyscraper. But a cluster of studio apartments spread over two lower floors has sparked the attention of the bean counters.
Developers CIM Group and Macklowe Properties have shoehorned 25 units with an average size of 472 square feet into the building’s lowest residential floors, on 28 and 29. The units, meant to house staff for the owners of the apartments above, have seen the largest appreciation in asking prices for any individual units in the last year, information from the New York Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau shows.
The top-floor penthouse at the 1,396-foot-tall tower, between 56th and 57th streets, saw its price rise a mere 15 percent, from $82.55 million to $95 million, since the development’s offering plan was first accepted in July 2012.
In the same time, the staff units saw an average price increase of 49 percent per square foot. They jumped from $3,050 per square foot on average to $4,541 per square foot during that same period, the AG filings show. The prices range from the 342-square-foot Unit 28L, with views north overlooking 57th Street, available for $1.53 million, to the 615-square-foot Units 28G and 29G, priced at $2.875 million.
The Real Deal reviewed the original offering plan as well as the sixth amendment, which was filed in April. The seventh amendment, with the latest figures, was filed on June 20 but has not yet been accepted, the bureau’s website shows. A spokesperson for 432 Park did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Though staff quarters are fairly common in very high-end apartments and townhouses, they are often included within the living area of the unit owner, and not on a separate floor.
“There are many staff quarters in old, prewar buildings, with many now used as private offices,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.
But demand among buyers in new developments is there, he said. While a staff floor may seem like a throwback to the days of Downton Abbey, developers like Extell Development and Zeckendorf Development have included them at One57 and 15 Central Park West, respectively.
“It is an enhancement to value. The separation gives both the staff and the owner privacy,” Miller said.
If the staff unit asking prices are high at 432 Park Avenue, they still don’t best the most recent sales at 15 Central Park West. There, the 448-square-foot Unit S708 sold for $2.15 million in December 2012, or $4,799 per square foot. The most expensive staff listing in 432 Park Avenue is for unit 29P, a 595-square-foot studio listed for $2.825 million, or $4,747 per foot.
That is still far shy of the most expensive units in the building. The top penthouse is priced at $11,508 per square foot. The average price per foot is about $6,000, a review of the sales prices shows.
Kirk Henckels, director of the high-end-focused Stribling Private Brokerage, said he expected buyers at 432 Park to purchase staff units for uses other than housing their employees.
“The majority of these will be for personal use or a guest room. In the case of 432 Park, it’s mostly global people who are not living here full time,” he said.