Walker Tower condo board opposes heavily discounted sale of 1MBD unit

Residents at Chelsea building argue $18M sale will hurt property values

New York /
Jun.June 18, 2020 09:30 AM
Walker Tower at 212 West 18th Street (Courtesy JDS, Core NYC)

Walker Tower at 212 West 18th Street (Courtesy JDS, Core NYC)

A condo board in Chelsea is fighting the U.S. Department of Justice over its decision to sell a forfeited penthouse at a 64 percent discount.

The 6,000-square-foot penthouse at the Walker Tower sold for $50.9 million in 2014, a downtown record. It went into contract last week for $18.25 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The tower’s board, angry about the steep discount, is now pushing back. The board has exercised its first right of refusal, and intends to buy the unit and relist it at a higher price, the Journal reports.

“The contract price can only be described as steeply distressed and unrealistic and one which could adversely affect the market value of other homes at Walker Tower,” said attorney David Berkey, who represents the condo board. “The board is acting in the best interests of all Walker Tower owners by exercising its right of first refusal.”

In response, The Department of Justice reportedly pointed to an earlier pleading in the case that said the board had agreed to give the government discretion to accept an offer.

“We’re all scratching our heads saying, ‘How did this happen?’” said Vickey Barron, a resident and broker at Compass who is marketing sales at the building. “What we’re talking about is almost 70 percent discount. It’s almost like a sample sale. Walker Tower is not a sample sale.”

The penthouse was purchased in 2014 by an LLC linked to Abu Dhabi businessman Khadem Al Qubaisi. In taking control of the property, the government alleged the unit was bought with money stolen from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.

Last month, a luxury condo that once belonged to Jho Low, a Malaysian financier central to the 1MBD scandal, sold for $7.6 million. Low had paid $13.8 million for the home in 2014. [WSJ] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Walker Tower at 212 West 18th Street (iStock; Courtesy JDS, Core NYC)

Condo board can’t stop sale of 1MDB penthouse at $33M discount

Condo board can’t stop sale of 1MDB penthouse at $33M discount
Riza Aziz and (clockwise from left: 912 Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills, Park Laurel in Manhattan and 2 Lygon Place in London (Getty, Google Maps, Realtor)

“Wolf of Wall Street” producer to forfeit $60M in 1MDB probe settlement

“Wolf of Wall Street” producer to forfeit $60M in 1MDB probe settlement
Walker Tower at 212 West 18th Street with in-contract buyer Ron Vinder (left), and prior owner Khadem al-Qubaisi (right) (Images from JDS Development, Morgan Stanley, Pixabay)

Walker Tower board fights “low-ball” sale of 1MDB-linked penthouse

Walker Tower board fights “low-ball” sale of 1MDB-linked penthouse
Building managers, frustrated by rule breakers, seek to bolster their power to enforce house rules like wearing a mask (iStock)

Peloton plots, paramours and other problems as buildings reopen

Peloton plots, paramours and other problems as buildings reopen
102 Prince Street and Jho Low (Credit: Modlin Group; Low by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for New York Times)

Jho Low’s former Soho condo sells at a discount

Jho Low’s former Soho condo sells at a discount
Former Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne and 510 Park Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Ex-Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne demands co-op records after board rejects 3 buyers

Ex-Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne demands co-op records after board rejects 3 buyers
Walker Tower penthouse tied to 1MDB scandal gets another staggering price cut

Walker Tower penthouse tied to 1MDB scandal gets another staggering price cut

Walker Tower penthouse tied to 1MDB scandal gets another staggering price cut
(Credit: Seward Park Co-op, Pixabay)

Missed opportunity: LES co-op wants to re-vote on air rights sale but developers say they’ve moved on

Missed opportunity: LES co-op wants to re-vote on air rights sale but developers say they’ve moved on
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...