Real Estate

Saudi Retail Tycoon Plans To List Manhattan Condo For $170M

A Saudi real-estate mogul is planning to sell his New York City penthouse and may even list it for nearly double what he paid in 2016, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Three people familiar with Fawaz Al Hokair’s plans told the newspaper that he intends to list the property at 432 Park Avenue for as much as $170 million.

Al Hokair’s six-bedroom condo takes up more than 8,000 square feet on the luxury building’s 96th floor, according to plans obtained by the Journal.

The report describes an apartment with a panoramic view of Manhattan, a library and an abundance of high-end designer finishes and accessories throughout, according to marketing materials. Furniture includes an onyx dining room table, a grand piano and a chandelier.

Al Hokair’s real estate agent Ryan Serhant declined to tell Journal why his client was listing the home. 

The building itself has run into issues that have irked residents of other super-highrise residential buildings in the city, according to a February story in The New York Times.

Some residents in the past have paid tens of millions of dollars for a unit at 432 Park Avenue only to be inconvenienced by broken elevators and busted pipes. The building, which rises nearly 1,400 feet into the sky, sways in the wind, causing loud creaking.

The Times also talked with condo owners who reported their insurance costs had quadrupled in recent years. A fee charged to residents for the private restaurant on-site rose from $1,200 in 2015 to $15,000 this year.

The building’s developer told the Journal that they were working to address the issues with pipes and elevators.

Anonymous city officials said these issues are not unique to 432 Park Avenue, according to the Times report. A number of supertall, slender residential buildings report similar problems.

There is also growing evidence that upper-floor Manhattan penthouses, once a status symbol of the wealthy and famous, are starting to lose some of their luster.

Celebrity ex-couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez famously lived in the same building as Al Hokair’s condo. But their unit was on the 36th floor.

One person who visited the building told the New York Post that they found the building’s sway nauseating. 

The paper’s 2019 article found that some buyers are starting to value the 28th through 40th floors more than upper ones. Not only are these floors closer to ground-level sights like parks and trees, but many find the view offers a better perspective of the other city buildings.

For celebrities, the middle floors may even offer more privacy. The top floors of Manhattan buildings have long been associated with the rich and famous. Living on a lower level can help celebrities escape scrutiny. 

Al Hokair’s fortune was built as a developer of real estate and retail assets. Once a member of Forbes’ billionaires list, Al Hokair was removed in 2018 because of “a lack of clarity” about which of his previously reported assets he still owns, according to the publication. 

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