Even billionaires are not immune to foreclosures as witnessed by a luxury condo at Manhattan’s One57 that is slated for the foreclosure block. According to a report by Bloomberg, this is the second time in a month that foreclosure has raised its head at the Billionaires’ Row tower following a mortgage default.
For Manhattan real estate agents, this could be the nail in the coffin of the legendary Billionaire’s Row. The foreclosure also may be the largest foreclosure in New York’s history.
The tower is situated on a Midtown strip known as Billionaires’ Row, named for its sky-high condo prices. It still holds the record for the most-expensive residential sale in New York, at $100.5 million.
The owner of the condo, a shell company listed in public records as One57 79 Inc., bought the 6,240-square-foot (580-square-meter) residence in December 2014 for $50.9 million, according to New York City records. Bloomberg has since identified the owner as Kolawole Aluko, a Nigerian businessman accused of defrauding that country’s government.
Donna Olshan, president of high-end Manhattan brokerage Olshan Realty Inc., explained the property is one of the most expensive she’s seen.
“It’s probably the most-expensive foreclosure we’ve ever seen in luxury development. I don’t know of a foreclosure that’s larger than that.”
The property was developed by Extell Development Co. and is an example of the luxury development boom in Manhattan that has since come to a crawl.
The foreclosure of Apartment 79 isn’t the first on Billionaire’s Row. Last month, an auction was set for a 56th floor apartment in the same building. That apartment was purchased for $21.4 million just two years ago.
The foreclosures come as another sign that Billionaire’s Row is dead as the Manhattan real estate market above $10 million continues to cool. Manhattan residential properties are rarely lost to creditors, with only 27 new residential foreclosures in the borough in the first quarter, according to data from PropertyShark.
Dolly Lenz, a real estate broker catering to super-rich individuals, told the New York Times recently that agents in this market are seeing a clear trend on Billionaire’s Row.
“It’s not just slow — it’s come to a complete halt.”