Chinese fugitive willing to take $12M loss at Sherry-Netherland

Chinese billionaire bought the pricey pad in 2015 for $67.5M

New York /
Mar.March 10, 2020 06:45 PM
 Sherry-Netherland Hotel at 781 Fifth Avenue and Guo Wengui (Credit: iStock)

Sherry-Netherland Hotel at 781 Fifth Avenue and Guo Wengui (Credit: iStock)

Chinese real estate billionaire Guo Wengui has relisted his massive pad at the Sherry-Netherland hotel. And if he gets what he’s asking for, it would mark a steep discount for what he paid for the home five years ago.

Wengui, an outspoken critic of Chinese government, is now asking for $55 million for the 15-room home — a nearly 19 percent price cut from what he bought the home for in 2015.

“This is a seller that is meeting the market where it is,” said listing agent Kathy Sloane of Brown Harris Stevens.

Wengui bought the co-op in March 2015 for $67.5 million, reportedly to live in self-imposed exile while seeking asylum in the United States. Wengui put it on the market with Sloane later that year for $86 million.

In 2018, Sloane was replaced by Douglas Elliman brokers Richard Steinberg and Istvan Ritz, who set the price at $67 million. The listing was taken down in April 2019.

Steinberg said he had a nice parting relationship with his former client but ultimately, the unit was priced too high.

“I still think it’s priced a little bit on the high side,” he added. “No secrets… when an apartment doesn’t sell it’s always for one reason and one reason only, and it’s price.”

Home sales have seen prices cut amid a sluggish luxury market in Manhattan. Last week, luxury homes were heading into contract 16 percent lower on average from their asking to final prices, according to recent research from Olshan Realty.

If the penthouse sells at its current ask, that would mark an approximately 36 percent price chop from the $86 million Wengui originally sought.

The full-floor residence, on the 18th floor of the Upper East Side property, has 2,000 square feet of terraces and overlooks Central Park. Some of the hotel rooms in the 38-story Sherry-Netherland were converted into co-ops in the 1950s.

Wengui has been tied up in litigation in recent years, from a defamation suit from HNA Group to his own case against Soho China — filed in response to a slander suit the office developer filed against him. Those cases have since been dismissed or dropped.

Wengui’s apartment is not the only full-floor co-op on the market at the building. The owner of the mezzanine level recently put up the home for $22 million, almost half off its original asking price from 2015.

Write to Mary Diduch at [email protected]


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