Best week since March for Manhattan luxury market

Flurry of contracts includes CNN president’s $17M co-op

641 Fifth Avenue and 32 East 64th Street with Jeff Zucker (Google Maps; Getty)
641 Fifth Avenue and 32 East 64th Street with Jeff Zucker (Google Maps; Getty)

In a city that feels somewhat abandoned, the luxury home market has provided signs of life.

Last week in Manhattan, 15 properties asking $4 million or more went into contract — the most since mid March.

“We had a good week,” said Donna Olshan, who documents the deals in a weekly report. “And not only that, the properties were diverse: different locations, different types of properties.”

“But,” she added, “when you really drill down into it you see very big discounts.”

One of the biggest deals was a five-bedroom unit at 641 Fifth Avenue, which was listed in 2016 for $33 million and went into contract asking $17 million.

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The 7,750-square-foot duplex features a 41-foot living room, a 34-foot library and views of Central Park. Once rented at $65,000 per month, it had recently been going for $48,000 per month.

John Barbato of Compass, the listing broker, told Olshan the sellers and buyers were both international. He negotiations started on March 19, only a few days before the state shut down, and the buyers got a “good deal.”

“The juiciest part was the buyer never saw the unit,” he added.

Perhaps the most expensive deal last week was unit 3W at 32 East 64th Street, which went into contract asking $17.5 million.

The five-bedroom co-op was sold by Jeff Zucker, chairman of Warner Media News and Sports and president of CNN Worldwide, who separated from his wife in 2018 and has since divorced. He had listed the unit in February, 13 years after he and then-wife Caryn Nathanson bought it for $12.3 million.

Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at