Japanese billionaire sells UES mansion for $41.5M

Deal is latest bright spot in tough townhouse market

Mar.March 07, 2017 02:35 PM

Japanese billionaire Bungo Shimada sold his Upper East Side mansion for $41.5 million, or just shy of $3,000 per square foot, The Real Deal has learned.

The deal, at at 7 East 76th Street, marks the second major mansion sale of the last month, after a cold spell for the townhouse market. In February, real estate bigwig Andrew Farkas sold his Upper East Side townhouse for $41 million.

Shimada relisted the 14,000-square-foot property for sale for $45 million in January with Stan Ponte and Max Collins of Sotheby’s International Realty. It was previously listed for $50 million in 2015.

The property, known as the Clarence Whitman Mansion, is 24.5 feet wide and has seven bedrooms, two terraces and rectangular staircase. The home has several secret passageways, including a secret door in the library that leads to a card room and a hidden entrance on the floor of a coat closet that goes to the basement.

A spokesperson for Sotheby’s said the deal set a record price for a Manhattan townhouse less than 25 feet wide.

She declined to comment on the identity of the buyer, who purchased the property under an LLC.

Shimada, who made his fortune in the Japanese iron and steel recycling business, has owned the property since 1990, records show.

The deal will likely serve as a bright spot for townhouse sellers in a market where townhouses are lingering for much longer than they did even a year ago — and are selling well short of their ambitious asking prices.

The median sales price for a Manhattan townhouse dropped by 5.3 percent in 2016 to $4.97 million after several years of increases, according to a recent report from brokerage Douglas Elliman.

“There were less transactions in this sector in 2015 and 2016 but these two deal could add some energy to the luxury market,” Ponte said.

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