Bargains on the Billionaire Mile

An apartment with a view of New York’s Central Park is considered the ultimate in luxury. The prices for such apartments are falling. But double-digit million sums are still due.

Unobstructed view for billionaires: view from the penthouse of the new residential tower

AA bit of imagination is always required on construction sites. In the penthouse of the new skyscraper, which stretches 320 meters into the New York sky next to the Museum of Modern Art, there is not much of the promised luxury to be felt. Metal struts trace the floor plan of rooms, on the walls of which expensive art may later hang. Workers in hard hats walk across concrete floors that have yet to be covered with solid American oak.

To help the imagination, there is a model apartment for the skyscraper designed by star architect Jean Nouvel, which is called 53W53 after its address on 53rd Street, and therefore just around the corner on posh Fifth Avenue. Models of the tower show the new exhibition rooms of the Museum of Modern Art on the lower floors. There will be a swimming pool and even a squash court on the twelfth floor. As in the tower, you enter the actual apartment through heavy, bronze-covered doors made of walnut wood.

An industry star is also responsible for the dignified atmosphere: interior designer Thierry Despont, who has already designed properties for Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The kitchen is dominated by designer cabinets and marble. In the underfloor-heated bathroom, the automatic mirrors, reminiscent of lollipops, can be raised to the right level at the push of a button. There will also be private wine cellars and a lounge for the chauffeurs next to the servants’ entrance.

In New York die Norm

However, you can already see the greatest luxury on the construction site: the view of Central Park. From the penthouse, the water reservoir named after Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis can be clearly seen in the area, which has already turned gray in winter, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art immediately to the right of it divides the tightly built office skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. The Empire State Building seems just a stone’s throw away, and further back the new World Trade Center marks the southern tip of Manhattan.

Millions of people around the world have these images in their heads. Like no other, they are symbols of the east coast metropolis, more so than the Statue of Liberty or the garish neon signs of Times Square. “The view of Central Park is important to many of my customers,” says Sebastian Steinau, real estate agent for the New York Corcoran Group, during an exclusive tour. Anyone who wakes up in New York in the morning with this view has come a long way financially on the way up. An apartment with a park view in 53W53 is not available for less than a double-digit million amount. A two-story penthouse is currently on the market for just under $ 67 million.

Steinau specializes in such luxury objects. He studied at the European Business School in London and then sold luxury real estate for the Aman Resorts hotel group in the Caribbean for years. Despite his many international and wealthy clients and his cosmopolitan nature, Steinau can understand what goes through the mind of normal earners when they hear these prices. The forty-year-old scion of a medium-sized entrepreneurial family comes from the Sauerland, a rather down-to-earth area. “Of course, these prices sound crazy to German ears. But that’s the norm in New York, ”he says.

The tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere

At least normal for New York’s Billionaires’ Row – Billionaires Mile – as the growing collection of ultra-luxurious skyscrapers south of Central Park is called. The curious thing about it: The current prices are considered bargains. The 53W53’s top penthouse was originally supposed to cost $ 73 million. “The reduced price is also negotiable,” says Steinau. Lower-floor apartments with park views, which have already been discounted to $ 14 million, are rumored to be available for less than $ 13 million in the end.