UPDATED, 6:09 p.m., Oct. 26: In real estate, you want to buy low and sell high. But the mercurial Manhattan condominium market got the better of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The billionaire cabinet head sold his 5,573-square-foot penthouse at the Briarcliff for $15.95 million, a $2 million loss on what he paid a decade ago, records filed with the city show.
The buyer was a limited liability company with the same address of the Oklahoma-based Arnall Family Foundation, a charity led by Sue Ann Arnall, the ex-wife of oil magnate Harold Hamm. The buyer entity, an Oklahoma-company called 118 West 87th, LLC, was the same used to purchase a townhouse at 118 West 87th Street in June 2016, for $9.5 million. A representative for the foundation told The Real Deal the purchase is in no way connected to the foundation.
Ross, who made his money investing in distressed assets, bought the duplex at 171 West 57th Street for $18 million from Island Capital Group’s Andrew Farkas in 2007, according to records.
The buyer paid all cash and Ross himself signed the sales transfer, records show. The sale closed July 31 and was recorded in city records in September.
Interestingly, Arnall reportedly hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in September 2016, just a week after her ex-husband threw a fundraiser for then-candidate Trump. Arnall made headlines in 2015 when she rejected Hamm’s $975 million divorce check, but eventually deposited it. Hamm was reportedly in the running for U.S. Secretary of Energy, a job that went to former Texas governor Rick Perry.
Ross could not be immediately reached for comment. The listing broker, Carrie Chiang of the Corcoran Group, was not immediately available for comment. A spokesperson for Property Markets Group, which manages the building, declined to comment.
This story has been updated to include a comment from a representative for the Arnall Family Foundation.