A penthouse atop the world’s tallest residential building – listed for $250 million – marks the biggest test for the ultra-luxury real estate market at a time of falling sales and rising economic uncertainty.
The three-story mega home in Central Park Tower, which spans more than 17,500 square feet, is the most expensive property in the country. It is also the tallest, standing at over 1,400 feet and spanning the 129th through 131st floors. Perched on Manhattan’s “Billionaires’ Row” – a strip of supertall skyscrapers on the southern edge of Central Park – it’s being marketed as the ultimate real estate trophy for a billionaire looking to tower over New York City.
The staircase in the penthouse in the Central Park Tower
Source: Evan Joseph
“I’ve been selling real estate for 15 years now and I’ve sold some of the most expensive real estate in New York, Florida, everywhere,” said Ryan Serhant of Serhant, who markets the penthouse. “I’ve never seen anything like this apartment.”
The big question is whether the listing can achieve its asking price as storm clouds gather over real estate, financial markets and the broader economy. Luxury home sales in Manhattan have slowed dramatically in recent months. According to a report by Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman, the number of deals signed for properties valued at $5 million or more fell by almost half in August from a year earlier.
For the year, sales of homes priced at $10 million or more are down 38%, according to Miller Samuel. The biggest sale of the year in Manhattan so far is a $74 million penthouse at the new Aman New York condominium.
Some realtors say the asking price of the Central Park Tower penthouse at $250 million is unrealistic.
“I think that’s a fantasy price,” said Donna Olshan, a Manhattan luxury realtor.
Olshan said there have been 23 closed sales in the building this year, at an average price per square foot of $5,228. The penthouse, which is much larger and offers higher ceilings, views, and amenities, is targeting more $14,000 per square foot.
The Penthouse in Central Park Tower: Sunrise looking south
Source: Cody Boone, SERHANT Studios
But Serhant said the price is reasonable given the sale of a penthouse at nearby 220 Central Park South for $190 million, or $20,000 per square foot.
“I know it sounds crazy, but relatively speaking it’s a great price per square foot,” he said. “It’s just a very, very large apartment with many amenities.”
The triplex has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and three guest toilets. A stairwell winding upward through the three floors is the centerpiece of the main salon, and a 2,000-square-foot ballroom on the top floor has 27-foot ceilings.
The Central Park Tower was built by Extell Development, the developer behind several of Manhattan’s new supertowers. To protect the privacy of potential buyers, Extell and Serhant are restricting public viewing of the unfurnished home to a few select areas.
The Grand Salon in the Penthouse in the Central Park Tower
Source: Evan Joseph | Central Park Tower
The home has the world’s tallest terrace, a glass-lined platform that towers 1,500 feet above Manhattan. It also comes with a lavish list of building amenities, including a 60-foot outdoor pool, a 62-foot indoor saltwater pool, a spa, a private garden, a game room, a meeting room, a fitness center, a squash court, a screening room and a private Michelin-star chef restaurant and wine and cigar lounge.
Serhant said the apartment’s greatest amenities are the 360-degree views, with Central Park sprawling out below like a green welcome mat, and the hills of New Jersey and the suburbs of New York visible in the distance.
He said he’s already seen strong interest from the ultra-rich, who are less affected by stock market declines, rising interest rates and recession fears.
“The buyer of this apartment is someone who wants to diversify their wealth,” he said. “It’s someone who probably owns expensive art, probably has an expensive car collection and other things, and they want the best of the best.”
Serhant said a billionaire flew in this week just to look at the apartment.
“When they saw it coming out a few days ago, they came up and said, ‘Is this the best apartment in the world?’ I said ‘yes’ and they said ‘I’m going to fly in to see’.”
The Penthouse in Central Park Tower: Sunset over Central Park.
Source: Cody Boone, SERHANT Studios