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New York penthouse sells for a record $90 million

An unnamed buyer paid more than $90 million for a Midtown Manhattan penthouse, the highest price ever paid for a New York apartment, according to the building’s developer.

The seller, the Extell Development Co., had been asking $98.5 million for the 10,923 square-foot condominium. Gary Barnett, Extell’s president, wouldn’t confirm the exact price the condominium went for or who the buyer was, but he would say the apartment sold for about $8,000 a square foot.

Located on the 89th and 90th floors of the One57 building on 57th street, the apartment features 23-foot ceilings, rosewood flooring, panoramic views of the city, Italian marble and custom hardware and light fixtures.

The building, which is still being constructed, includes a total of 95 condos and is built on top of a five-star Park Hyatt hotel. Prices start at $6.75 million and about half of the units have been already sold, said Barnett. Occupancy won’t begin until early next year.

The purchase follows two other recent blockbuster sales. In December, a Russian billionaire paid $88 million for a home once owned by ex-Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill. Then, earlier this week, a Park Avenue co-op was sold for $52.5 million, a record for a co-op apartment.

“I call it the 10,000-square-foot trifecta,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel and one of New York’s best known appraisers. “I think it’s a statement about global economic instability.”

The Weill sale broke the ice. “When that happens, other high-end sales come in clusters,” he said.

Helping to drive up the sale price was a lack of competing properties on the market, said Miller. The apartment came to the market at a time when there weren’t many competing super high-end products.

It’s also in a prime location, near Central Park, the Midtown business district, theater and restaurants. It’s just down the block from Carnegie Hall.

Miller said many of the ultra-high-end purchases in New York and other expensive markets are done for investment purchases — at least in part. With the future of the eurozone in question and bond yields low, there’s not a lot of other attractive investing options.

“New York real estate is a hard asset, a safe haven for investors” he said. “Relative to other markets, it’s still seen as safe. I would not be surprised to see more of these sales.”

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