New York City apartment prices rising through the roof

Singaporeans may baulk at the record prices that luxury developments are fetching today, but a London-based businessman has shown that the well-heeled are willing to shell out good money for a top acquisition.

The unidentified man has just signed a contract for a US$56 million ($85.6 million), 9,200-square-foot triplex penthouse in New York’s Plaza Hotel.

That equates to around US$6,087 per square foot, or $9,293 psf — more than double the amount fetched by Orchard Residences, which reported prices of more than $4,000 psf.

According to a recent New York Times report, real-estate executives expect the penthouse to be the most expensive Manhattan apartment sale to date when the deal closes at the end of the year — topping the US$45-million contract signed by hedge-fund manager Daniel Loeb for an apartment in 15 Central Park West.

But even the US$56-million record may not stand for long — there is a 16-room penthouse at the top of the Pierre Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 61st Street in New York City with a US$70-million price tag.

The Plaza Hotel penthouse is a combination of a duplex and a triplex apartment and has a 500 sq ft terrace that overlooks Central Park.

Although the buyer had signed the contract to purchase the apartment, the developer, Elad Properties, will not merge the two apartments into a single unit until the sale is completed

The 805-room, 19-storey Plaza Hotel, located at Central Park South and Fifth Avenue, was bought for US$675 million in 2004. It offers 180 luxury condominium apartments as well as 152 hotel rooms.

The hotel was closed in 2005 to make way for the conversion to become a part-residential building.

A spokesperson for Elad Properties revealed that 85 per cent of the apartments on offer were on sale contracts.

Source: Weekend Today, 26 May 2007

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