The Real Deal New York

Hong Kong billionaire wants to flip Chelsea pad for $36.5M

Karen Lo paid $29M in 2016
By E.B. Solomont | March 01, 2018 10:15AM

Karen Lo and 551 West 21st Street (Credit:Crossroads Foundation via Flickr and Christie’s)

Hong Kong billionaire and philanthropist Karen Lo is looking to flip a massive Chelsea condominium for $36.5 million.

The 8,350-square-foot unit pad, at Norman Foster-designed 551 West 21st Street, was stitched together from two smaller units that Lo purchased from developer Scott Resnick, property records show. The pad hit the market today asking $4,371 per foot.

Records show that Lo — through the entity KYKL Holdings Ltd. — paid a total of $29.3 million for adjacent 15th-floor apartments in October 2016. She snagged Unit 15A for $16.5 million and Unit 15B for $12.8 million.

A building permit to combine the two pads lists her as the owner, and estimated the cost of renovation at $148,000.

The floor plan depicts two distinct living areas connected by a vast 82-foot living room. The apartment is currently configured with seven bedrooms and eight baths, and it comes with three parking spaces, according to StreetEasy. Erin Boisson Aries of Christie’s International Real Estate has the listing.

Lo has also been behind megadeals in and around Los Angeles. Last year, she spent $69.9 million for a Malibu compound that received a head-to-toe renovation from the sellers, investor Mauricio Oberfeld and Mauricio Umansky, co-founder of luxury brokerage the Agency. The partners bought the 16-acre estate a year earlier for $38 million. The seller was the U.S. government, which seized it as part of a settlement with Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the globe-trotting son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, who was accused of buying the 15,000-square-foot house with funds pilfered from his home country.

In January, Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David Weinreb paid $38 million for the penthouse at 551 West 21st Street. The apartment, once asking $50 million, was delivered as a “white box.”