A Breather After the Rush to Beat the New ‘Mansion Tax’

Luxury home sales in Manhattan slowed in July from the dizzying pace of the previous month, when buyers rushed to avoid New York State’s higher “mansion tax.” But remnants of the brisk activity were still around, and this included a $65.8 million penthouse purchased by the British rocker Sting.

A number of recorded transactions managed to miss the increase in the property transfer tax that took effect July 1. The reasons were purely technical: The closing documents were either time-stamped in June when filed with the New York City Registrar or else the sales contracts were grandfathered in.

“Who wouldn’t want to save a few percent on a substantial sale by moving the closing date before the July 1 deadline,” said Jonathan J. Miller, a real estate appraiser, noting that the sales of homes priced from $2 million to $5 million jumped 37 percent in the second quarter, compared with the same period in 2018. Previously, all residences selling for $1 million or more were subject to a flat 1 percent tax on the purchase price; it now rises incrementally, up to 3.9 percent for sales of $25 million or more.

Many of the July’s biggest recorded purchases made the old-tax deadline, like a triplex penthouse at 220 Central Park South that was bought by Sting, using his real name, Gordon Sumner. Also making the cut was a $34.2 million triplex sale at 11 East 68th Street, along with two apartments at 520 Park Avenue, one that sold for $30.5 million and one for $26 million, and a high-floor unit at 432 Park Avenue that closed at $29.5 million.

The month’s other notable transactions included the sale of Barbra Streisand’s former apartment on Central Park West and the former townhouse owned by the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis on the Far East Side.

Georgina Bloomberg, the youngest daughter of Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, bought an apartment on Central Park West, while Alexander von Furstenberg, the son of the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and the Swiss-born aristocrat Egon von Furstenberg, sold one on Park Avenue.

James Catherwood Hormel, the former United States ambassador to Luxembourg, bought a condo in TriBeCa, and Alan Blinken, who served as ambassador to Belgium, sold a co-op in Turtle Bay. Also, the actor J.K. Simmons and his wife, Michelle Schumacher, a producer and director, acquired a Greenwich Village apartment.

Sting’s new triplex is in the 18-story, 10-unit villa building of the limestone-clad 220 Central Park South complex, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Associates; it directly faces the park, with the main 65-floor tower rising behind it.

The apartment, which had a $70 million asking price, has 5,800 square feet, and three bedrooms and five and a half baths, according to the listing with the Corcoran Group. The broker representing the sponsor, Deborah Kern, declined to comment on the transaction, as did the law firm, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, which represented Sting. (Ms. Kern also listed apartment No. 44B, which just sold for $26.8 million.)

Sting managed to circumvent the new mansion tax because he entered into a contract to buy the unit in June 2016. (The old rates were grandfathered in for contracts signed before April 1.) Last year he sold a duplex at 15 Central Park West for $50 million.

The other triplex sale was at the Marquand, a condo conversion on East 68th Street and a quick stroll from Central Park. The unit had been listed for $36 million.

Known as Penthouse East, the apartment encompasses 7,000 square feet on the 11th through 13th floors and features several large terraces, as well as a solarium and an exercise pool and hot tub on the top level. The four main bedrooms, each with a connecting bath, are on the lower level, including an enormous master suite, which has a large walk-in closet and a dressing room. There are also four fireplaces.

At 520 Park, another limestone creation by Robert A.M. Stern, full-floor condominiums on the 35th and 31st floors sold. The more expensive of the two, the unit on the higher floor, was initially listed for $35.6 million.

Each contains 4,628 square feet of space, with four bedrooms and five baths, along with spacious eat-in kitchens and family rooms. The identities of both buyers were shielded by limited liability companies.

The purchasers of an apartment on the 86th floor of 432 Park, the supertall skyscraper, between 56th and 57th Streets, were identified as the philanthropists Roger and Susan Hertog. The couple’s new 4,028-square-foot home takes up a half floor, and features three bedrooms, four and a half baths, a library and panoramic views of Central Park and the city skyline.


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CreditZeckendorf Development LLC

Among the other top transactions was a six-story mansion at 2 North Moore Street in TriBeCa, with a rare three-car garage and an indoor heated pool and gym. It sold for $26.8 million, though the building was initially listed for $48 million when it re-entered the market five years ago. The sellers — reportedly the financier Mark Zittman and his wife, Noelle Zittman — had bought the home for $24.1 million in 2010.

The house, built in 2008, has 11,300 square feet, with six bedrooms, seven full baths, four powder rooms, an art studio and a staff apartment. There are also 1,500 square feet of outdoor space that includes a dining atrium and terraces on the second and third levels.

On the Upper East Side, a townhouse at No. 36-38 74th Street sold for $25.5 million. It also has a garage (for two vehicles), along with a gym, and 1,500 square feet of outdoor space (in the rear garden). The house is 40 feet wide with 14,000 square feet of interior space over five levels. It has 12 bedrooms, eight baths and 10 fireplaces. The sellers were listed as Paul and Charles Huang.

A penthouse at 24 Leonard Street, a nine-story condominium with just seven apartments, closed at $24 million. The apartment sits on the top two floors and has 7,100 square feet with four bedrooms and four baths. It was sold by the hedge fund manager Harsh Padia.

The former home of Ms. Streisand, a duplex at 320 Central Park West, at 92nd Street, a.k.a. the Ardsley co-op building, sold for $10.5 million.

The sellers, Richard T. Prins, a lawyer, and Connie Steensma, a retired consultant, had a much easier time securing a buyer than Ms. Streisand did. Their deal closed just two months after the unit was listed for $11.25 million. On the other hand, Ms. Streisand saw the apartment linger for four years when she was selling, after the co-op board repeatedly rejected potential buyers, reportedly including Mariah Carey. Mr. Prins and Ms. Steensma bought the apartment from Ms. Streisand for $4.25 million in 2002.


CreditRyan Pfluger for The New York Times

CreditLinda Jaquez for The New York Times

Onassis’s former townhouse, overlooking the East River at 16 Sutton Square, sold for $13 million. He had lived in the four-story brick building with his first wife, Tina Onassis, in the early 1950s.

The most recent seller was the estate of John C. Whitehead, a banker and businessman who was the chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which led the rebuilding effort after 9/11.

The 4,400-square-foot house, which was fully renovated in the mid-1980s, has four bedrooms and four and a half baths, as well as an abundance of outdoor space, including an enormous, river-facing enclosed garden shared with 13 neighboring townhouses.

Ms. Bloomberg, an equestrian and philanthropist, used a trust to buy a co-op at 101 Central Park West, between 70th and 71st Streets, for $10.2 million. She bought it from the estate of the socialite Sherry Bernstein, who died last year.

The 12th-floor apartment, which has more than 3,100 square feet, offers stunning park views. It contains three bedrooms and three and a half baths, plus two staff bedrooms and a bath.

Mr. von Furstenberg, the founder and chief investment officer of Ranger Global Advisors, sold an apartment on the 53rd floor of 432 Park. The price was $10.8 million, which was only slightly more than what he had paid for it last fall, also through a trust.

The 1,789-square-foot unit, with expansive cityscape views, has two bedrooms and two and a half baths.


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CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times

Mr. Hormel, the former ambassador to Luxembourg, paid $11.3 million for a 71st-floor apartment of 30 Park Place, a.k.a. the Four Seasons Private Residences New York. The half-floor residence, extending 3,700 square feet, offers sweeping views of the Hudson River and Midtown. It contains four bedrooms and five and a half baths, plus a family room and laundry room.

Mr. Hormel, a philanthropist who served during the Clinton administration, was the nation’s first openly gay envoy. He was also a grandson of George Hormel, the founder of the Hormel Foods Corporation.

The former ambassador to Belgium, Mr. Blinken, and his wife, Melinda Blinken, sold a fourth-floor co-op at 450 East 52nd Street, a.k.a. the Campanile, for $5.5 million. Throughout the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home are stunning East River views.

Mr. Blinken, a former investment banker, also served under President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Simmons and Ms. Michelle Schumacher bought a full-floor, 3,056-square-foot unit at 16 University Place, a new boutique condo just a block from Union Square. Their home has three bedrooms and three and a half baths and also comes with a storage room. The price was $6.3 million.

Mr. Simmons won an Academy Award for best supporting actor in the 2014 movie “Whiplash,” and he has appeared in numerous TV series, including “Law & Order.” Ms. Schumacher produced and directed the 2017 movie “I’m not Here,” and appeared in the TV series “Oz.”

Published at Fri, 02 Aug 2019 19:41:22 +0000