Jho Low’s old pad at the Time Warner Center is officially up for sale at $30M

Federal judge allowed Mandarin Oriental unit to be listed in May
By Erin Hudson | July 16, 2019 11:39AM

Jho Low and the Mandarin Oriental penthouse at 80 Columbus Circle (Credit: Getty Images and StreatEasy)

Jho Low and the Mandarin Oriental penthouse at 80 Columbus Circle (Credit: Getty Images and StreatEasy)

Accused Malaysian fraudster Jho Low’s penthouse at the Mandarin Oriental is officially on the market.

Low is the accused mastermind of the $4.5 billion “1MDB” scandal, in which he is charged with misappropriating funds from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund and using it to fund movie productions, lavish parties, yachts, and, of course, to buy real estate in New York City and Los Angeles.

In May, a federal judge allowed lawyers for Low and the U.S. to list the condominium at 80 Columbus Circle and a unit at 118 Greene Street as part of an ongoing forfeiture lawsuit against the financier to recover funds. It is not yet clear who will receive the proceeds of the sale, as Low continues to fight the forfeiture suit brought against by the U.S.

The four-bedroom unit that spans part of the 76th floor at Time Warner Center has a 500-square-foot terrace and a star-studded past.

The unit marked one of businessman Michael Hirtenstein’s early forays into real estate after he bought the condo for roughly $16 million in early 2005 and then decided to rent it out at the last minute. He later told the New York Times that he worried the serviced-apartments with amenities like in-room dining, housekeeping, a 75-foot indoor pool, valet and concierge services might be “too sophisticated” for his then-10-year-old daughter.

Instead of ploughing ahead with the move (and $3 million renovation he had planned), Hirtenstein rented the unit out to rapper Jay-Z for a reported $70,000 a month. He eventually sold the condo in 2007 for $27 million to entertainment billionaire Todd Wagner, the former business partner of Mark Cuban.

The unit traded again in 2011 for another eye-popping sum, at $30.6 million. The buyer was an anonymous LLC that the Times later identified as Low, who reportedly first toured the apartment in 2010. Two years earlier, the New York Post reported an Asian financier going by the moniker “J.Lo” bid $40 million for Wagner’s pad.

Hirtenstein has gone on to become an old-hand at investing in real estate in and around New York. This spring, he sold his home in Montauk for just over $18 million.

Adam Modlin from Modlin Group has the listing. He declined to comment.

The listing status of the unit at 118 Greene Street, which Low paid $14 million for in 2014, was not immediately clear.