The Real Deal New York

Can’t seem to unload that high-end pad? This may be why

Co-op board hassles, custom decor and “fantasy” prices keep marquee units on the market for years
February 22, 2016 11:36AM

Clockwise from top left: Martin Zweig's Pierre Hotel triplex, Tommy Hilfiger's condominium at the Plaza Hotel, Ilon Specht's Dakota flat, Kenneth Laub's townhouse at 163 East 64th Street on the Upper East Side

Clockwise from top left: Martin Zweig’s Pierre Hotel triplex (credit: Brown Harris Stevens), Tommy Hilfiger’s condominium at The Plaza Hotel (credit: Corcoran Group), Ilon Specht’s Dakota flat (credit: Warburg Realty), Kenneth Laub’s townhouse at 163 East 64th Street on the Upper East Side (credit: Douglas Elliman)

While potential buyers balk at dealing with interventionist co-op boards or at the lack of coveted amenities, the real problem with long-unsold ultra-luxury units seems simple: grossly-inflated asking prices.

Stock investor and “Winning on Wall Street” author Martin Zweig’s 3,500-square-foot triplex at the the Pierre Hotel first hit the market in 2013. The unit was built from a converted ballroom and 23-foot-high ceilings.

It also has a renovation-resistant co-op board, with rules requiring all-cash sales and union labor for all renovation.

Zweig asked $125 million when he first listed the apartment, but has since cut that in half. The unit is now priced at $63 million, the New York Post reported. That union labor is required and sales are cash-only certainly isn’t helping.

Meanwhile, advertising honcho Ilon Specht has been unsuccessfully marketing his 4,500-square-foot apartment at the Dakota on Central Park since 2006.

The unit has gaudy, 1980s-era decor – “Aesthetically speaking, This Place needs to be ripped apart,” a broker told the Post – and doesn’t offer a coveted Central Park View.

Specht eventually dropped the price to $14.5 million from an initial $19.5 million, but the unit still hasn’t sold.

For all the hassles and complications, experts told the Post that the problem often comes down to unrealistic price expectations.

“[There are] always a certain number of properties that sit on the market with fantasy prices,” luxury broker Donna Olshan, author of the Olshan Report, told the Post, not referring to any specific listing. [NYP]Ariel Stulberg