Miki Naftai buys penthouse at his own 1045 Madison

Entity linked to luxury developer paid $15M for unit at hot UES condo

Miki Naftali with 1045 Madison Avenue
Miki Naftali with 1045 Madison Avenue (Naftali Group, Google Maps, Getty)

Miki Naftali appears to be having his cake and eating it too at 1045 Madison Avenue. 

An LLC linked to Naftali Group paid $14.8 million for a penthouse at the Benson, a 15-unit luxury condo the firm developed on the Upper East Side, records show. Both the buyer and seller used LLC’s that listed the firm’s Midtown office; Naftali Group CFO Yosi Manor signed for the seller, while both Manor and Miki Naftali signed for the buyer.

It’s a meager sum compared to the building’s two other penthouses, which sold last year for $22 million and $35.7 million, though the price is in line with what was listed for the unit in the building’s offering plan. 

New York City condo developers frequently buy units in their own projects, often to capitalize on their future value, insiders told The Real Deal in 2016. Earlier that year, Naftali bought a penthouse at his 182 West 82nd Street project for $6 million. 

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While lenders acknowledge the practice by limiting the number of units a developer can pull off the market, they typically do not oppose it as long as the sponsor pays a fair market-price and the deal does not interfere with a building’s total projected sellout. 

Naftali Group filed plans for the 21-story, 15-unit building in 2018 after piecing together three of the four buildings in the assemblage between East 79th and 80th streets. At the time, Naftali told TRD that the project was the first new development condo on Madison Avenue in 20 years. 

Condos at the Benson hit the market in September 2020 — a tough time to sell pricey units in the city, as Manhattanites fled for more space in the outer boroughs, the suburbs and beyond. But by the start of last year, the property had emerged as one of the Upper East Side’s best-performing new developments. Compass Development Marketing heads sales at the building.

The Benson is just one of several Naftali projects in the neighborhood, including an 83-unit tower at 200 East 83rd Street and another at 1165 Madison called the Bellemont, where the developer closed a $68 million deal for two penthouses in March. 

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