Rich buyers don’t mind the alleged defects of 432 Park

432 Park Avenue with Tal Alexander, Ryan Serhant and Noel Berk (Getty, Serhant, BFA for Douglas Elliman, Engel & Völkers)

432 Park Avenue with Tal Alexander, Ryan Serhant and Noel Berk (Getty, Serhant, BFA for Douglas Elliman, Engel & Völkers)

Skyscraper at 432 Park Avenue opens in 2015 mixture of fanfare and criticism with its slim design and its meaning as a looming status symbol for the super-rich.

Six years later, the super-tall apartment tower is perhaps best known for its 1,500 alleged construction flaws, common-sense fee increases, and most recently, $250 million lawsuit was launched by its apartment board against developers Harry Macklowe and CIM Group in September.

But these problems have not deterred elite customers willing to spend millions on homes overlooking Central Park, according to agents who work with buyers and sellers in the building.

Since February, when problems at 432 Park exploded in the public consciousness in a New York Times In the story titled, “The Fall of Life in a Super Tall Tower: Leak, Crack, Break,” only two sales ended in the building, according to data provided by Serhant. . But then there are only three sales in 2020 – down sharply from 12 deals in 2019, before the pandemic hit.

Both units closed since February allow more than their owners paid for them. As one agent put it: “So far, people buy [or] Paying very high rent does not bring any benefit. They want to be in that building.”

Attractions include amenities ranging from a concierge and room service to a 75-metre swimming pool and fitness center coached by the company’s wellness company, agents said. It’s run by celebrity chef Jay Wright, a private restaurant run by Michelin-starred chef Shaun Hergatt, and valet parking. That is despite rising costs. The restaurant-related annual service fee alone increased from $1,200 in 2015 to $15,000 this year, according to a lawsuit filed by the condominium board.

There is also cache of addresses. One person with knowledge said 432 Park is still desirable, especially for those in the financial sector.

But, perhaps most importantly, insiders say the board’s description of plumbing and mechanical problems as well as creaking noises sounds worse on paper than it really is. .

Douglas Elliman’s broker, Tal Alexander, a resident of the building who handled many transactions there, said many of the issues detailed in the board’s lawsuit “are considered a settlement.” much larger advantage and out of context”.

Still, the lawsuit is “something that has to happen,” he said, adding that he believes the dispute will only improve life in the building in the long run.

“The reality is it will take some time, but I hope that the sponsor will come to an agreement with the board and when they do, the building will receive a stream of cash,” he said. “The building will benefit from this.”

Alexander handled the $26 million deal last month, the highest closing in the building in two years. He is also a listing agent for two other entities and said that while buyers inquired about the lawsuit, he has seen mixed reactions.

“You will have a little bit of everything,” he said. “[There are] Some buyers may want to wait for the lawsuit, but in my humble opinion I think they will pay a higher price down the road. “

Jonathan Adelsberg, one of the attorneys for the tower’s condominium board, said in a statement that, despite ongoing litigation, the board is taking steps to protect the sale value. again.

432 Park Avenue (Getty)

“Although the ultimate responsibility lies with the sponsor, the apartment owners and the apartment building management board are getting involved. [of] he said.

Some current destinations $169 million and 135 million dollars listings as informants for how deep-pocketed buyers view the building. Both apartments, one on the 96th floor and the other on the 79th floor, were listed after the building’s problems became public. Many agents said the asking price was too high.

Compass broker Richard Steinberg, part of the group that originally sold the building, called the $169 million price tag for Saudi retail tycoon Fawaz Alhokair’s top-floor penthouse “a price tag” outrageous prices”, especially for resale.

“There’s no precedent set for that,” he said. Alhokair bought the penthouse for 87.7 million dollars in 2016.

Ryan Serhant, the listing agent, did not respond to a request for comment. But Noel Berk of Engel & Völkers, the listing agent for the $135 million apartment on the 79th floor — designed exclusively by Japanese architect Hiroshi Sugimoto — disagrees.

“Considering the pedigree and that you can move in with a toothbrush and feel thrilled and happy in the apartment, I don’t think it’s overvalued,” she said. Sugimoto flew in to buy materials and had people from Japan build them for the seller, the American art collector.

In the past six weeks, Berk has shown the apartment five times. On a beautiful sunny day in September, she organized a trip to Real trading, commented several times on how quiet the apartment is. Pointing to the floating joints between the walls and the ceiling, Berk and the record architect, Felix Ade of YUN Architecture, explain how the elements of the apartment will move with the building. Ade notes that he has been in the apartment in all kinds of weather and never felt it sway.

“When you look at the facts, there is no threat to life or structural safety,” Ade said. “There are all the little things.”

But despite his interest in the apartment, Berk tried to find a buyer for nearly a year. She attributes the slow process to travel restrictions that have prevented foreign buyers from visiting, rather than problems with the building itself.

“Many of our anticipated buyers are likely expats or people who have had a long way to go, and because of Covid, these people have yet to return to New York or other parts of the world,” said Berk. state”.

“All condos have problems from the start, when residents take over the management,” she added. “That’s not the main issue at the moment.” Rich buyers don’t mind the alleged defects of 432 Park

Dais Johnston

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