It looks like a controversial Nigerian energy magnate is the owner of the 79th-floor penthouse at One57 — what looks like the biggest residential foreclosure in city history.
Kolawole “Kola” Aluko, executive director of Atlantic Energy, hasn’t been keeping up with payments on the $50.9 million condo and Luxembourg-based Banque Havilland is pushing for sale of the unit next month, the New York Post reported. The bank issued a $35.3 million mortgage on the 6,240-square-foot unit, which was due last fall. Aluko also hasn’t been paying maintenance fees and taxes on the property.
The bank has Aluko’s yacht, dubbed the Galactica Star, listed as collateral. Aluko rented the yacht to Jay-Z and Beyoncé in 2015 for $900,000 a week. The yacht was last registered in the Bahamas in May but is currently listed as “out of range.” The Post speculates that Aluko might be hiding out on the boat. Aluko is also reportedly at the center of a fraud and money laundering probe in Nigeria.
In February, One57 developer Gary Barnett did not appear to be worried about the possibility Aluko’s apartment was used to launder funds. “All this stuff that’s transportable, like art that you can put on a plane and sell anywhere, is what law enforcement doesn’t want [them to buy],” he told the Post. “The yacht’s movable, but he can’t move his condo.”
Foreclosures are relatively unusual in the world of uber luxury residential properties, but this was the second revealed at Extell Development’s tower. In May, news surfaced of the supertall’s first foreclosure: A four-bedroom unit believed to be owned by a Middle Eastern business woman. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel
Correction: A prior version of this article incorrectly stated the status of the unit; it is in foreclosure.