Penthouse at Troubled Supertall Tower Seeks $169 Million

The 96th floor apartment at 432 Park Avenue, where residents complained of construction defects, is asking more than $20,500 a square foot.

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The 96th-floor penthouse at 432 Park Avenue, the nearly 1,400-foot supertall tower on Manhattan’s Billionaires Row, where residents complained of a number of mechanical issues earlier this year, is listing for $169 million, one of the most ambitious listings in the country since the start of the pandemic.

The price is almost double what the owner, Fawaz Alhokair, a Saudi retail magnate, paid for the 8,225-square-foot space in 2016, when he closed for about $88 million. The annual tax bill is $177,730, according to Department of Finance records.

The listing agent, Ryan Serhant, declined to comment.

The property will try to capitalize on an ongoing surge in luxury real estate sales in New York. For 21 straight weeks, there have been 30 or more contracts signed in the city at $4 million and above, a record-breaking run, said Donna Olshan, the president of Olshan Realty, which analyzes the luxury market. The surge is partly because of pent-up demand after the pandemic virtually froze sales for several months in 2020, she said.

“This is the strongest streak we’ve ever seen in the luxury market, of all time,” Ms. Olshan said. But unlike the rush of sales seen from 2013 to 2015, this cycle’s momentum relies more on discounted pricing in the luxury market, she said.

“This is like a try-God price,” she said about the penthouse listing, noting that the price per square foot, more than $20,500, would shatter the current record for a single apartment, which was set in February 2012, when a 6,744-square-foot unit at 15 Central Park West sold for about $88 million, or $13,049 a square foot, according to the appraiser Jonathan J. Miller. In May, a multiunit sale at another condo skyscraper, 220 Central Park South, closed for a combined price of $157.5 million, or $13,269 a square foot.

The most expensive apartment in New York sold for significantly more than what the 432 Park Avenue penthouse is asking, but it was also much larger. The apartment, a 23,029-square-foot spread at 220 Central Park South, sold in 2019 for nearly $240 million, to Kenneth Griffin, the hedge fund billionaire.

The highest sale price at 432 Park Avenue occurred in 2017 with the combined sale of adjoining apartments on the 92nd and 93rd floors, with nearly 12,000 square feet of space, for about $91 million, Mr. Miller said. It was listed for $120 million.

“Not to make a pun, but it’s over the top,” Mr. Miller said about the new penthouse listing.

The tower at 432 Park Avenue, designed by the firm of the star architect Rafael Vinoly, has been dealing with a number of mechanical issues and safety concerns, as the Times reported in February. Residents have complained of elevator malfunctions during high-wind conditions, creaking walls and multimillion-dollar floods around the middle and top of the building, which contributed to higher common charges.

But history shows that reputational damage can be short lived, Ms. Olshan said. She points to the luxury condo towers at 173 and 176 Perry Street in the West Village, where construction issues were widely publicized in 2008, but resale values have largely kept pace with the market.

“I just think rich people want what they want,” she said. “Their money overrides all else, even sensibility.”

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