Raw Stanhope penthouse sells for $34M

By Adam Pincus | September 15, 2008 12:00PM

An unfinished duplex penthouse apartment at the former Stanhope Hotel sold for $34 million, far below the $47.5 million asking price for the 11-room spread with views of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The $13.5 million price differential is not surprising for the unit at 995 Fifth Avenue at 81st Street, because the $47.5 million price tag was for a finished apartment, said Beth Fisher, senior marketing director at marketing agent Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. The buyer of the penthouse unit, who the New York Times identified as Claude Becker Wasserstein, the wife of Bruce Wasserstein, the billionaire chairman of the investment firm Lazard, wanted it delivered in a “white-box condition,” Fisher said.

The penthouse was the only apartment in the 26-unit cond-op — a co-op with condo rules — that was not framed out before it was sold, a Corcoran Sunshine source added. The apartment has 7,000 square feet of indoor space and 5,000 square feet of balconies and terraces. The sale closed September 8, according to city records published Friday.

Appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel said the 28.4 percent discount for the penthouse in a raw condition was within the normal range for unfinished units. He said they were generally 20 percent to 30 percent below finished prices.

“Units delivered raw allow a buyer, especially at this price point to customize,” he said in an e-mail. “Many will rip out the developer finishes anyway.”

Sales began slowly in 2005 at Extell Development’s redevelopment of the former Stanhope Hotel, but just two units in the building remain on the market.