The top floor of the controversial Manhattan supertall known as “432 Park Avenue” hit the market Monday asking $169 million, earning the rank of Manhattan’s most expensive listing.
The six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, two-powder-room penthouse sits on the 96th floor of a “toothpick-like” building that has garnered a reputation for creaking, floods and supposed design flaws.
Nevertheless, the seller received several offers in the month before he listed the 8,255-square-foot property for sale, Ryan Serhant told The Post. But the offers apparently were not high enough to entice the seller to strike a deal.
“We wanted to maximize value” by bringing it on the market, Serhant said.
The unit with a massive floor plan has been re-done and filled with Fendi, Bentley and Hermès furniture, a curated art collection, herringbone white oak floors, high-end finishes and a library, according to the listing, which asks almost twice what the seller paid for it five years ago.
Saudi retail and real estate billionaire Fawaz Al Hokair purchased the unit for $87.7 million in 2016, according to property records and reports at the time.
If it sells for what it’s asking, the penthouse would be the second most expensive known New York City real estate sale ever. Hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin purchased the most expensive house in the U.S. — a condo at 220 Central Park South — for $238 million in January 2019.
“Records are meant to be broken,” listing broker Serhant told The Post. The listing is also Serhant’s most expensive single listing to date.
There is only one 432 Park Avenue
So what makes this penthouse the best listing in Manhattan, to merit its status as the most expensive listing in the Big Apple? Serhant said it’s the building.
“Anyone can have a big apartment or have a full floor somewhere. But there is only one penthouse at 432 Park Avenue,” said Serhant. “432 Park Avenue is one of the best creations in the world.”
But 432 Park Avenue’s worldwide reputation has not always been a positive one. Creaking, floods and supposed design flaws have plagued owners, and The Post previously reported that visitors said they were “nauseated” and “freaked out” by the swaying.
“I can’t speak to anyone else,” he told The Post. “It’s a supertall skyscraper.” No further comment was given.
Units have solid oak flooring, high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Kitchens have marble floors and countertops, seamless white-lacquer and oak cabinetry and top-of-the-line Miele appliances including a double oven, a double sink, a wine cooler and double dishwashers. Some even have a built-in espresso maker, according to the 432 Park Ave. website.
Top sales in the building came from an anonymous buyer in 2019 who purchased three units on the 92nd and 93rd floors for $91.12 million, The Post previously reported.
And the building again made headlines when then-couple Jennifer Lopez and Aaron Rodriguez sold their 4,000-square-foot pad in the Midtown tower for $15.75 million in 2019, almost $2 million under the asking price.
Will it sell?
Such super-expensive real estate can often take years to sell, as evidenced by the likes of the once $39 million Regalia penthouse near Miami, now asking $25.5 million, which has been on and off the market since 2017. And the $70 million Hearst Estate in California, first asking $195 million, has been on and off the market since 2016.
Plus, New York brokers said that the rich have shied away from penthouses, The Post previously reported.
“A lot of my clients find new penthouses to be too high,” Herbert Chou of Christie’s International Real Estate told The Post last year. “The perspective is actually a little better in the 28th-to-40th-floor range, depending on the neighborhood. From a penthouse, you are looking down. You are so far up that you are detached from your surroundings.”
But as the New York City real estate market de-frosts, it might be the right time to entice wealthy buyers.
Average luxury sales prices rose almost 20% to $7.75 million in the second quarter compared to this winter. After a rocky year due to the pandemic, April, May and June were the third fastest-paced quarter in a decade, according to New York-based brokerage Douglas Elliman.
There were 26 closings on $20 million+ Manhattan homes in the first half of 2021, almost a third of which were in June alone, according to New York-based brokerage Douglas Elliman.
“It’s a very unique time in the world right now. It’s unique for real estate, and it’s unique for the wealthy. They are looking to diversify their cash and holdings,” Serhant told the Post. “Real estate is an incredible investment, whether you use it or not, because it’s a hedge against inflation.”