212 Fifth Avenue
The day news of the sale broke, Madison Equities, Gladstone’s firm, declared the 48-unit building completely sold.
Property records show that condos in the building were priced from $3.7 million — for a two-bedroom on the 12th floor — to $51.5 million for the Bezos penthouse, which he bought along with the two units beneath it.
His deal was the most expensive to date below 42nd Street, and a coup for a project marked by early turbulence.
In 2017, the building’s development team — a partnership between Madison Equities, Building and Land Technology and Thor Equities — sued the now-shuttered brokerage Town Residential, claiming it had failed to hit sales targets. In response, Town claimed Madison withheld millions in commissions and failed to provide its staff with an adequate sales office, causing delays. The parties later reached an undisclosed settlement.
Madison brought in a sales team from Sotheby’s International Realty — led by Nikki Field, with Kevin Brown, Mara Flash Blum and Brad Ingalls — to sell the remaining units.
Field said the team took on the project at a challenging time, and that the average sale took seven and a half months between first visits and the time deals were finalized. While Field declined to confirm news reports that Bezos was behind the $80 mllion purchase, she said others in the building were “thrilled” by reports of the sale.
“It’s pretty golden to have stature of that kind at the top of that building,” she said.
Sotheby’s Jason Thomas, who represented two buyers with Sotheby’s colleagues Nick Montalbano and Ashley Reidy, said one of them had recently decided to relist their unit.
“When news broke that the world’s wealthiest individual was investing a very significant amount of capital in the building, we certainly considered it an opportunity,” he said. “That being said, the asking price for Residence 16B will reflect, but certainly not extort, Mr. Bezos’ purchase.”
“We believe that Manhattan’s ultra-luxury marketplace is as sophisticated as any on Earth, and that overly ambitious pricing is rarely rewarded,” he added, saying that even at a premium to what the original owner paid, any new owner would “possess upside” because of Bezos’ purchase.
Still, neither he nor Field expects owners to start listing units because of the Bezos deals.
More broadly, with the exception of the penthouse, prices in the building are lower than those at some of Manhattan’s priciest towers, including 432 Park Avenue, 220 Central Park South and 520 Park, where a slew of units have closed for $30 million and up. But there are a handful of high-profile owners, including a Texas billionaire, an ESPN host, JLL’s New York chief and the Kushner family.
Here is a rundown of Bezos’ neighbors, including those who shielded their identities with LLCs.
21A, 21B, penthouse
Jeff Bezos closed this $80 million deal for the penthouse and two units beneath only months after Amazon abandoned plans to set up a headquarters in New York. The penthouse was originally listed for $68.5 million, but the price was increased to $73.8 million in 2017. Property records show it finally closed for $51.5 million. The buyer was listed only as 212 Fifth LLC. The two apartments beneath were purchased under the name Madison Square Park LLC and sold for a total of $28.45 million. Brown Harris Stevens powerbroker John Burger represented Bezos in the deal.
Two adjacent units were sold to Texas billionaire Ed Bass in 2017. Best known for funding the Biosphere 2 experiment, meant to show how humans could survive in space, Bass paid $28.2 million for the units, spanning 7,100-plus square feet. The sale was closed under the name 212Nineteen LLC. Bass, with an estimated worth of $2.3 billion, made his fortune in the oil business. According to Forbes, he and his three brothers sold their oil company to ExxonMobil in 2017 for some $6.6 billion.
20A ($18.1 million), 16A ($15.7 million) and 17A ($15.6 million)
These three apartments were all bought through LLCs. Unit 20A, a four-bedroom, sold for about $18 million in 2018 to a buyer identified only as Madison Flatiron LLC. For its part, 16A was picked up in 2017 for $15.7 million, falling short of the $16.3 million listing price. Elegran Real Estate’s Nick Agostinelli, who represented the buyer, declined to identify his client, citing privacy concerns, but said, “they loved the building and they loved the finishes.” And 212 Fifth Avenue 17A LLC closed on the 4,155-square-foot 17A for $15.6 million in 2017. That unit was initially listed for $16.6 million.
This 4,155-square-foot condo was purchased in May by Kevin Oram — co-founder of Praesidium Investment Management — and his wife, Iliana Pappas, property records show. The $14.3 million price for the five-bedroom unit came to $3,441 per square foot. But it wasn’t the couple’s first purchase in the building. As The Real Deal reported, when they bought this unit they sold an $11.4 million condo several floors below back to the developer.
9C, 8C, 7C
In 2017, TRD reported that Charles Kushner went into contract for three units on the seventh, eighth and ninth floors. But it was the real estate giant’s wife, Seryl Kushner, who signed the deeds on behalf of the Kinderlach Trust. According to Politico, the Kushners have purchased multiple properties in Manhattan that are held in the trust for their grandchildren. (“Kinderlach” means “children” in Yiddish.) The units at 212 Fifth were bought for $4.2 million, $4.1 million and $4 million, respectively.
14A ($12 million), 11A ($11.8 million) and 12A ($11.7 million)
These three units were also purchased by LLCs. The 3,009-square-foot 14A was bought by AT212 LLC for $12 million in 2018. The year before, 212 Fifth Unit 11A LLC bought 11A for $11.8 million. And the three-bedroom 12A sold for $11.7 million in 2017 after initially listing for $11.9 million. The buyer in the last of those deals was Violet Properties LLC, represented by Sousa Real Estate’s John Christopher Sousa. “Their primary objective in buying was investment,” Sousa said, adding that the unit was rented for $35,000 per month. Sousa said the owners are American and were more than happy with the attention that Bezos has brought to the address. “They’re thrilled. They’re so excited. They think it’s wonderful cachet for the building,” he said, noting that one of them is an entrepreneur.
In 2018, this 3,078-square-foot condo sold for its listing price of $11.25 million. Property records named the buyer as 212 Fifth 20B LLC. But the trail ends there.
4A ($11 million), 8A ($11.1 million) and 3A ($10.8 million)
The fourth-floor unit was sold in 2017 to a buyer named the Michael L. Kahn Revocable Trust Uta for $11 million. The buyer of the three-bedroom 8A dropped $11.1 million on the unit in 2017 and was listed in public records only as Shea Acquisition LLC. That same year, 212 Fifth Ave 3A LLC picked up 3A, a three-bedroom unit, for $10.8 million.
Priced at $10.7 million, this three-bedroom condo with distinctive park views was purchased by Yankee Dime LLC in 2017. Sotheby’s Montalbano — of the Montalbano-Reidy-Thomas Team — said his American clients, who wished to stay anonymous, bought the property as an investment and rented it for an initial price of $35,000 per month.
This property closed in 2017 for $10.3 million — or $3,424 per square foot. The buyer was listed as the Sung Lee Revocable Trust, whose trustee, Sung Lee, is based in Singapore.
Purchased by Pfizer executive Sally Susman in 2018, the condo with roughly 3,000 square feet features hardwood floors, marble countertops and Flatiron views, according to StreetEasy. It was originally listed for $9.9 million. Susman, the pharmaceutical giant’s executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, confirmed the sale through her executive assistant but declined to comment further.
JLL’s New York chief, Peter Riguardi, purchased this unit in 2017 for $6.9 million, slightly under the $7 million asking price. Sotheby’s Field said that multiple real estate executives have bought in the building and many will be using the properties as their primary residence. Christopher Scianni, of Coleman Real Estate Group, said he showed Riguardi and his wife, Linda, a number of other properties in the area before they chose this one. “The reason we ended up in 212 Fifth was combining Linda’s desire for an old, pre-war feel and Peter’s desire for a modern condo feel,” he said.
ESPN host Mike Greenberg and his wife, Stacy, bought this condo in March 2017 for $6.6 million — a discount off the $7.05 million asking price. Greenberg, well known for his 2006 book, “Why My Wife Thinks I’m an Idiot,” co-hosted the popular radio show “Mike and Mike” until 2017. In 2018, a year after the sale closed, he launched an ESPN television show, “Get Up!” with Jalen Rose. Both Greenberg and the couple’s broker, Douglas Elliman’s Allison Chalfin, declined to comment.
Adam Alpert, who founded Disruptor Records with Sony Music, bought this three-bedroom condo in February. The unit was originally listed for $6.7 million. Alpert, 39, launched his career in 2010 co-founding DJ management company 4AM, through which he developed and managed Grammy-winning DJ duo the Chainsmokers. In 2018, Alpert was No. 76 in Billboard’s Power 100 list.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a Sotheby’s broker. She is Ashley Reidy, not Reidey.