Inside the $250 Million Penthouse on ‘Billionaires’ Row’

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A penthouse atop the world’s tallest residential building — listed for $250 million — marks the ultra-luxury real estate market’s greatest test at a time of declining sales and growing economic uncertainty.

The three-story megahome in Central Park Tower, spanning more than 17,500 square feet, is the country’s most expensive residence. It is also the tallest, located at over 1,400 feet and spanning the 129th to 131st floors. Located on Manhattan’s “Billionaires’ Row” – a strip of supertall skyscrapers along the southern edge of Central Park – it’s being marketed as the ultimate real estate trophy for a billionaire looking to tower over New York City.

The stairs in The Penthouse in Central Park Tower

Source: Evan Joseph

“I’ve been selling real estate for 15 years and I’ve sold some of the most expensive real estate in New York, Florida, anywhere,” said Ryan Serhant of Serhant, who markets the penthouse. “I’ve never seen anything like this apartment.”

The big question is whether the offer can meet its asking price as storm clouds gather over real estate, financial markets and the wider economy. Sales of luxury real estate in Manhattan have slowed dramatically in recent months. According to a report by Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman, the number of contracts signed for properties priced at $5 million or more fell nearly half in August compared to a year ago.

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According to Miller Samuel, sales of apartments priced at $10 million or more have fallen 38% this year. The most expensive Manhattan sale of the year so far is a $74 million penthouse of the new Aman New York apartment.

Some real estate agents say the $250 million asking price for the Central Park Tower penthouse is unrealistic.

“I consider this a fantasy prize,” said Donna Olshan, a Manhattan luxury real estate agent.

Olshan said there have been 23 closed sales in the building this year, with an average price per square foot of $5,228. The penthouse, which is much larger with higher ceilings, views and amenities, is looking for more $14,000 per square foot.

But Serhant said the price is appropriate, given the sale of a penthouse in nearby 220 Central Park South for $190 million, or $20,000 per square foot.

“I know it sounds crazy, but relatively speaking, it’s a great price per square foot,” he said. “It’s just a really, really big apartment with lots of amenities.”

The triplex has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and three powder rooms. A stairwell winding its way through the three floors is the centerpiece of the main salon, and a 2,000-square-foot ballroom on the top floor has 27-foot ceilings.

Central Park Tower was built by Extell Development, the developer behind several of Manhattan’s new supertowers. To protect the privacy of potential buyers, Extell and Serhant limit public viewings of the unfurnished apartment to a few select areas.

The Grand Salon at The Penthouse in Central Park Tower

Source: Evan Joseph | Central Park Tower

The house has the highest terrace in the world, a glass-edged platform that rises 1,460 feet above Manhattan. It also comes with a comprehensive list of building amenities, including a 20-foot outdoor pool, 20-foot indoor saltwater pool, spa, private garden, games room, conference room, fitness center, squash court, cinema room, private restaurant with Michelin star chefs and a wine and cigar lounge.

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Serhant said the apartment’s greatest amenities are the 360-degree view, with Central Park spreading out below like a green welcome mat and New Jersey and New York’s suburbs visible in the distance.

He said he has already seen strong interest from the ultra-rich, who are less affected by stock market declines, rising interest rates and fears of a recession.

“The buyer of this apartment is someone who wants to diversify his wealth,” he said. “It’s someone who probably owns expensive art, probably has an expensive car collection and other things, and they want the best of the best.”

Serhant said a billionaire came to see the apartment this week.

“When they saw it on the market a few days ago, they reached out and said, ‘Is this the best apartment in the world?’ I said ‘yes’ and they said ‘I’ll fly in to see it’.”

The penthouse in the Central Park Tower: sunset over Central Park.

Source: Cody Boone, SERHANT Studios

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