Upper East Side trophy property tops luxury deals — again

Neighborhood has priciest deals in 6 of last 10 weeks

An Upper East Side resident who jotted down the number of a developer after seeing it posted at a construction site has brokered the biggest luxury deal last week in Manhattan.

The unnamed buyer and soon-to-be owner of a penthouse at 109 East 79th Street negotiated the deal directly with Cathy Franklin at Corcoran Group, who is handling on-site sales, according to the latest market report from Olshan Realty. The unit was last asking $32.5 million.

The contract was one of 27 signed in Manhattan last week for properties asking $4 million or more, suggesting the momentum that started to build at the end of last year might be here to stay.

“It’s encouraging signs,” said Donna Olshan, who noted that discounts, low interest rates and news of the Covid-19 vaccine all played a role. “It’s a more optimistic landscape than we’ve seen.”

The 79th Street building, which is expected to be completed in 2022, was developed by Legion Investment Group’s Victor Sigoura, who previously worked for Naftali Group. The penthouse that went into contract has five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and three terraces.

As Manhattan’s luxury market slowly finds its footing, trophy properties on the Upper East Side are proving particularly popular. In the last 10 weeks, sponsor units in the neighborhood have topped the list of contracts signed six times.

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“Everyone was saying they are leaving New York,” said Franklin. “And now they are all coming back.”

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Despite the bump, activity in the luxury market is not even across the board: In the last three weeks, condos have outsold co-ops 43 to 5, Olshan said. In the same period, there were 11 townhouse deals.

The second-priciest deal last week was a 9th-floor unit at Extell Development’s 1010 Park Avenue.

Purchased by a New York family, the unit was last asking $15.9 million, down from $18 million when it was listed in 2017. It measures 3,881 square feet and includes four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms.

“There was pent-up demand and there are some very good large properties out there that are selling,” said Hilary Landis of Corcoran Group, who represented the developer with Beth Benalloul.

“There’s a pool and only 11 apartments in the building,” she added. “In Covid times, a small boutique building is often more desirable.”