432 Park’s billionaire Saudi buyer among detainees in kingdom’s crackdown

Fawaz Al Hokair bought $88M pad in 2016

Fawaz Al Hokair and 432 Park Avenue
Fawaz Al Hokair and 432 Park Avenue

Saudi retail magnate Fawaz Al Hokair — the owner of 432 Park Avenue’s top penthouse — was among those detained in Riyadh last fall during the country’s anti-corruption crackdown, according to a new report.

Hokair, who paid $87.7 million for the sprawling condominium in 2016, was one of the 200 prominent businessmen and members of the royal family held in the capital’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel as part of a campaign led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the New York Times reported.

Other prominent detainees included Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a minority owner of the Plaza Hotel. Prince Alwaleed, who was worth an estimated $17 billion, owns stakes in various other Western companies, from Lyft and Twitter to hotel chains.

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On Monday, the Times reported that many of the businessmen were subject to physical abuse and released in exchange for parts of their fortunes. In addition to Al Hokair, others included Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, son of King Abdullah and Salah Kamel, a businessman from the port city of Jidda. Bin Talal was released in January.

Al Hokair closed on a $87.7 million penthouse at 432 Park in September 2016, records show. On a per foot basis, the price worked out to $10,623 per foot, one of the priciest-ever deals in the city. The 8,255-square-foot pad had been asking $95 million. In an unusual move, CIM Group, the tower’s co-developer with Macklowe Properties, provided Al Hokair a $56 million loan to buy the unit, according to records.

The Saudi government estimated it would generate $14 billion in cash, real estate and corporate assets from settlements made between detained leaders and officials. [NYT]E.B. Solomont