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Manhattan's New Most Expensive Listing: A $130 Million Park Avenue Penthouse

New York City has a new most expensive apartment for sale, and it’s not even built yet.

With an asking price of $130 million, the 12,394-square-foot triplex planned to top a luxury tower that is set to go up at 520 Park Avenue would be the most expensive apartment New York has ever seen, surpassing the $118.5 million asking price for three separate units currently being marketed together in Battery City’s Ritz-Carlton tower.

The 54-story condominium tower at 520 Park Avenue is scheduled to begin rising by February 2015, says Arthur Zeckendorf of Zeckendorf Development. Set on 60th Street two blocks east of Central Park, 520 Park Avenue is designed to rival another, wildly successful Zeckendorf project: 15 Central Park West, now a billionaire enclave and one of New York’s most prestigious addresses.

“Clearly 520 Park is the 15 Central Park West of the Upper East Side,” Arthur Zeckendorf told Forbes. “Both buildings were designed to be sister buildings.” He described the penthouse at 520 Park as having 15-foot ceilings, with old world finishes and modern amenities.

The luxury condos at 15 Central Park West sold out in four years to buyers including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb, Spanx billionaire Sarah Blakely, the musician Sting, and actor Denzel Washington. The tower even inspired a book:House of Outrageous Fortune, by Michael Gross, which documented a supposed war for one of its penthouses between Loeb and activist investor Carl Icahn.

The Zeckendorfs are hoping for another home run, but there is a real question of how much more luxury the New York City market can take. Several other high-rise residential luxury developments are underway just south and east of Central Park, including Extell’s One57 tower at 57th Street, Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue, and the super-skinny 111 West 57th Street, which will be just 60 feet wide. The first of the super towers, One57, quickly sold half its apartments in 2012, but now stands at only about 70% sold, sources tell Forbes.

“My gut feeling is that there’s only so much demand for this type of product,” says Ben Thypin, director of market analysis at Real Capital Analytics. “One 57 is seeing trickling demand.”

But Jonathan Miller of appraisal firm Miller Samuel points to the rise in global wealth as a reason that the many towers might eventually find buyers. “If you look at what’s driving luxury investors into this market, a lot of it, at least on the international side, is a global phenomenon characterized by significant economic challenges in Asia, Europe, and South America. And I don’t think those conditions are going to be altered much over the next few years. I think the demand flow will continue.”

Miller also points out that with interest rates low, developers can more easily afford to build high and price their apartments just as high. And with so many projects coming onto the market, Miller says that potential buyers are feeling less urgency, perhaps waiting to see how some of the towers come out before committing.

To date the record for the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York is held by Ekaterina Rybolovleva, daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who paid $88 million for a 6,744-square-foot condominium penthouse at the Zeckendorf’s 15 Central Park West. The record for the most expensive co-op sale in New York is held by Millenium Management founder Israel Englander, who recently paid $71.2 million for a six-bedroom apartment. (Two penthouses at One57 sold for a price sources describe as between $90 million and $100 million, but the records have not yet become public, and won’t until the building is complete.)

Robert A.M. Stern Architects designed the 520 Park Ave tower, which will contain 31 homes. The tower’s seven 9,100-square-foot duplexes are priced at $67 million; its 23 4,600-square-foot single-floor apartments, dubbed “simplexes,” start at $16.2 million. Zeckendorf Development’s partners for the new Park Avenue tower are Rafael and Ezra Nasser’s Park Sixty LLC and Eyal Ofer’s Global Holdings.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/