The Real Deal New York

Shattered records of 2013

This year saw the city's priciest-ever listing, highest-valued office tower and tallest building in the country

December 27, 2013 11:00AM
By Julie Strickland

river-house-and-606-west-57th

From left: 435 East 52nd Street and a rendering of 606 West 57th Street

year_in_reviewNew York managed to shatter several real estate records in 2013, a banner year for condominium sales and ambitious residential developments. Here’s a recap of the barriers broken over the last year.

Priciest NYC listing and largest home
This year was designed to demolish records for the most expensive apartment listings in New York City history, it seems.

A whopping 62,000 square feet of space at storied co-op building River House, long in use as a private club, a five-story private home that came on the market in October and became the city’s priciest listing ever with a $130 million price tag. Listed by Brown Harris Stevens superbrokers Kyle Blackmon and John Burger, the digs at 447 East 52nd Street would include an 82-foot swimming pool, tennis court, screening room, wine cellar, full spa and gaming room.

But the River House property wasn’t the first to set a record this year. In fact, the listing unseated the penthouse at the Pierre, which the late Martin Zweig’s widow Barbara Digan Zweig first listed in April for $125 million (the price was later cut to $95 million), as well as hedge fund founder Steve Cohen’s One Beacon Court penthouse, listed for $115 million in April. And Steven Klar’s triplex penthouse at CitySpire at 150 West 56th Street in Midtown returned to the market with the same $100 million price tag as before, but with Klar marketing the home himself instead of going with a broker. Previously, the condominium was listed with Douglas Elliman’s Raphael De Niro.

Development: New York City’s largest apartment building
A 40-story tower at 606 West 57th Street, to be developed by TF Cornerstone, is slated to become the city’s largest apartment building by units upon completion, with a total of 1,189 rentals.

Designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica, which also dreamed up the Westin Times Square Hotel and the Bronx Museum of Arts, the building is set to include 42,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and a 500-car garage.

However, an alternative plan, calling for only 848 units and a 285-room hotel, plus more than 60,000 square feet of retail space, would not quite make the bar for a record, according to the environmental impact statement filed with the city.

Country’s priciest office tower
Chinese real estate developer Zhang Xin’s family, along with Brazilian banking magnate Moise Safra, picked up a 40 percent stake in the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue this summer, valuing the office property at about $3.4 billion – the highest in the country.

The building takes up a full block across the street from the Plaza Hotel between Fifth and Madison avenues and 58th and 59th streets, with the Apple store located at street level. The sale closed on May 31, with Zhang’s relatives and the Safra family’s New York-based investment arm Safra & Co. purchasing the stake through an entity dubbed Sungate Trust. Zhang is the founder and CEO of development firm Soho China, which is based in Beijing.

City’s priciest townhouse listing
A 40-foot-wide townhouse at 12 East 69th Street on the Upper East Side is asking $114 million, and with that price tag is the most expensive townhouse yet to come on sale in New York City. Listed by Paul Anand and Gabriella Dufwa of the Corcoran Group, the 19-room home was built in 1883 and sprawls across 20,000 square feet of interior space and has 2,500 square feet of outdoor space. A three-tiered roof, heated indoor saltwater pool and limestone façade are among the luxury property’s other perks.

Most expensive Downtown condominium sale
Though the penthouse at 56 Leonard in Tribeca is in contract for $47 million and Walker Tower’s penthouse in Chelsea is in contract for more than $50 million, the penthouse at 18 Gramercy in Gramercy Park currently holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a Manhattan apartment south of 59th Street. Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander picked up the digs for $42 million following Zeckendorf Development’s refashioning of the building into 16 luxury condos. The cheapest is currently on the market for $14.7 million.

Tallest building in the U.S.
The Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 1 World Trade Center was officially named the country’s tallest building in November, according to a ruling from the height committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an international body that ranks the height of buildings. The Lower Manhattan tower’s 1,776-foot height was hotly debated: Some thought the number owed to its 408-foot steel mast, which detractors called an antenna, rather than a part of the structure of the building. But the Council on Tall Buildings ultimately decided it was a “spire,” and thus part of the building’s architecture. One World Trade unseats the 1,450-foot Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as the Sears Tower.

Most expensive listing in the U.S.
The Copper Beech home and estate in Greenwich, Conn., remains the most expensive residential listing in both the greater New York City region and the entire country, despite a $50 million price chop in September to $140 million. Rumors have been swirling that an interested buyer is in the midst of negotiations to buy the home, which belongs to timber mogul John Ruddey. But industry observers continue to snicker that the property remains wildly overpriced.

The 12-bedroom, 15,000-square-foot mansion dates back to the 1890s, and the estate also boasts a 75-foot heated pool, 4,000 feet of water frontage and two offshore islands.

Brooklyn’s priciest listing
Booming Brooklyn, increasingly home to property prices that go toe-to-toe with their glitzy Manhattan counterparts, is now home to a townhouse asking $16 million, located at 177 Pacific Street – a record for a single-family listing in the borough.

Several other listings are hot on its heels, with a house at nearby 104 Willow Street asking $12 million (said to have once housed Truman Capote, it held the record last year for the most expensive Brooklyn listing), as well as the 50-foot-wide Tracy Mansion at 105 Eighth Avenue asking $15 million and a seven-bedroom pad at 45 Montgomery Place with a $14 million price tag.

  • AnneeZ

    My husband grew up at 251 Pacific St. in Brooklyn. The block is still home to holiday home grown bar-b-q’s and block parties with the Dominican transplants (he is one). 10 yrs. ago when we moved nearby, it was all bullet proof glass and take out chinese places and bodegas. Now, upscale stores, restaurants, and a view of the Detention Center on Atlantic Ave. if you pay that much.

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