Is There a Deal for Former Citigroup Founder Sandy Weill’s $88M Penthouse?
Is it off the market, or on?
Is the $88 million listing for one of Manhattan’s record-breaking condominiums at one of the Big Apple’s hottest luxury addresses shifting to a new firm?
A spokeswoman for Brown Harris Stevens in New York on Monday said all those questions had been reported over the weekend in New York. But Amy Gotzler declined to comment, citing strict confidentiality agreements regarding information about the famous apartment at 15 Central Park West, owned by Citigroup founder Sanford Weill.
But given the history of the apartment and the building, anything is possible.
For now, the apartment is still listed for sale, and that means the story behind the listing still stands.
While Sandy Weill is not exactly household name, the former big banker and financier is a figure familiar to any American who has examined the basic forensics of the Wall Street meltdown. As the architect of Citigroup, Weill was the man behind this the too-big-to-fail bank that helped crash the dreams of many investors.
Time magazine even named Weill to its illustrious list of 25 people to blame for the financial crisis.
Which brings us to the penthouse Weill famously owns on Central Park W. in New York: The former mogul is selling the gleaming architectural gem, promising to donate the proceeds of a sale to charity.
That means no more monster dinner parties or private musical performances by the pianist Lang Lang.
When he was the king of New York, amassing a $4 billion fortune that made him one of the country’s top 400 wealthiest people, Weill could not have imagined that his legacy would be linked to such epic failure. While Weill and his wife have over the years championed many philanthropic causes, news of this do-good sale appears to be tied to his remorse over the banks’ plummet.
Indeed, the donation of the apartment sale’s proceeds are perhaps aimed to help Weill reconcile his part in the way in which massive wealth was garnered by the top 1 percent against the current climate of anxiety and unrest among the 99 percent.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Weill conceded that it’s time for wealthy Americans “to be quiet.”
At $88 million, the listing of the Weill penthouse set off shock waves even among seasoned Manhattan real estate brokers and observers. The Weills bought the 6,744 sq ft apartment in 2007 for $43.7 million, which then set a record for the priciest apartment at a whopping $6,400 per square foot.
Even the descriptions of the rooms and their decor that appeared in a feature about the Weill’s apartment in the April 2010 issue of Architectural Digest sounds like the foreign language of wealth:
The apartment’s grand scale is announced in the parchment-paneled entrance gallery. Sally Rogers’ Original Sin sits on the Jacques Quinet center table. Ferdinand Parpan bronze figures stand nearby on Art Déco pedestals.
With the post-boom bust times casting a pall over everything, still the buzz continues about the landmark building at 15 Central Park West that houses Weills’ apartment. Built by developers Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf and designed by renowned architect Robert A.M. Sterns, 15 Central Park West opened with $2 billion in sales in 2007 — sure sign that the building was meant to house New York’s — and the world’s — fattest cats.
The Weills broke the record once, why not try again? At the current list price, the square foot price for the condo pushes upwards of $12,000 per.
But then, it’s been well documented that 15 CPW is its own market, with fellow tenants like Sting, Bob Costas, Denzel Washington, Norman Lear and Alex Rodriguez, who rented a $30,000-a-month pad before buying into the Rushmore building.
15 CPW is not the high-rent district, this is the over-the-moon price tag district. In addition to the $88 million price tag for the Weills’ terraced sky palace, taxes for the condominium run $4,958 monthly, not including monthly charges for maintenance, which run another $8,867.
As for their plans? According to reports, the Weills say they’re moving to another residence they own on a lower floor.
As for the New York Post reports that a foreign buyer has spoken for the apartment, there was no confirmation. Brown Harris Stevens said Monday that listing agent Kyle Blackmon was out of the country, perhaps negotiating the deal for the $88 million penthouse.
Here’s betting that a few charitable organizations are probably very interested in knowing if a deal is on the way.