The stars and czars who’ve bought at 220 Central Park South

Who owns what at Manhattan’s new “it” residence — and what they paid

New York Issue /
Nov.November 19, 2020 03:15 PM

The whale

Vornado didn’t plan a 23,000-square-foot quadplex at its trophy property, but Citadel’s Ken Griffin changed those plans. In January 2019, he set a U.S. sales record with his $240 million purchase in the building. All the more stunning? The apartment is being delivered as a white box. Griffin has amassed a $1 billion real estate portfolio over the past two years, scooping up pricey properties in Palm Beach, the Hamptons and London. He also set sales records in Miami for a $60 million penthouse, and in Chicago for a $58.75 million condo.

The celebs

Sting and Trudie Styler’s interest in 220 Central Park South was tabloid fodder for years, and the couple made it official in 2019, closing on a $65.75 million penthouse in the villa portion of the building. At 5,845 square feet, the purchase price worked out to $11,249 per square foot. Before moving into 220 Central Park South, they sold their condo at 15 Central Park West, also designed by Robert A.M. Stern, for $50 million — a nice profit on the $26.5 million they paid in 2008. 

(Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from The Real Deal’s November cover story: “The inside story of the world’s most profitable condo.” Read the full article here.)

The dealmaker

Auto dealer Michael Cantanucci was one of the building’s earliest buyers, going into contract on a duplex in March 2015. Cantanucci ultimately paid $38.2 million for the 4,814-square-foot pad in September 2019. Within two months, however, he was ready to trade it in for a unit at JDS Development’s 111 West 57th Street.

The hedgie

Billionaire Daniel Och’s move to Miami last year may have been a hedge against New York taxes, but his $92.7 million penthouse buy at 220 Central Park South was anything but. In January 2019, Och closed on the 9,800 square-foot unit, paying $9,463 per square foot. (He also bought a smaller staff unit.) Och, who founded Och-Ziff Capital Management in 1994, previously lived at 15 Central Park West. His condo there is listed with Corcoran’s Deborah Kern — coincidentally, the broker who led sales at 220 Central Park South — for $57.5 million.

The landlord

As CEO of Paramount Group, Albert Behler has made a career out of buying and selling real estate. In 2018, he struck a deal to pay $33.5 million for a 4,148-square-foot spread at 220 Central Park South. Arriving relatively “late” to the party, Behler got a $1 million discount (or 2.9 percent) from the offering plan price. Property records show Behler previously lived at 1080 Fifth Avenue, a white-glove co-op where he spent at least $9.3 million to combine several units.

The traders

Hong Kong power couple Peter Mok Fung and Sun Min made a fortune in the trading business. And that’s just what they did in 2019, swapping a $15 million condo at 15 Central Park West for a $64.15 million pad at 220 Central Park South. Records show they went into contract on the 6,591-square-foot condo in March 2015. But two years prior, Min was convicted of insider trading and fined $3 million. Regulators said that shortly after closing on the 15 Central Park West pad, the couple bought shares in a Chinese juice company. When a rumored deal with Coca-Cola caused the stock to jump, they sold their stake and collected a windfall.

The early backer

Decades before 220 Central Park South was a blip on the radar, real estate investor David Mandelbaum wrote a $250,000 check to an unproven developer named Steve Roth. Fast-forward to 2019, when Mandelbaum’s gamble paid off; he snagged a condo at Roth’s luxury tower for $23.4 million. Mandelbaum, a longtime member of Vornado’s board, also brought his family into the fold: According to the REIT’s regulatory filings, Mandelbaum’s brother scooped up a 220 Central Park South unit for $16.1 million.

The retailer

Hardware exec Eric Smidt knows good finishes. In November 2019, the Harbor Freight Tools co-founder paid $61 million for a 47th-floor, 6,591-square-foot unit with five bedrooms. The purchase price worked out to $9,255 per foot. (He also bought a staff unit for $1.8 million.) Smidt’s estimated net worth is $4.7 billion, and he also owns a $40 million Beverly Hills estate dubbed the Knoll.

The builder

Did construction mogul Renata de Camargo Nascimento know Vornado spent $5,000 per square foot to build 220 Central Park South? If so, that could justify the $30.2 million — or $8,153 per foot — she paid for a 33rd-floor unit in January 2019. Nascimento, worth an estimated $3 billion, purchased her condo through an LLC. She went into contract in 2015, agreeing to pay above the original price of $29.65 million. 

This is an excerpt from The Real Deal’s November cover story: “The inside story of the world’s most profitable condo.” Read the full article here.)


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