Mortgage Executive Sells 15 Central Park West Condo For $23.3 Million, Twice What He Paid

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on May 25 2012 12:36 PM

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(Brown Harris Stevens)

The CEO of a New York commercial mortgage company sold his personal condo at 15 Central Park West, one of the most expensive buildings in the world, for $23.3 million, according to city records filed Friday.

William Lawrence, CEO of Meridian Capital Group, and his wife, Gloria, sold apartment #37C to Buffalo, N.Y.-based Westside RE Properties LLC. It wasn't immediately clear if the entity is controlled by a person who plans to occupy the apartment or an investor. Elissa Brinn of Hodgson Russ LLP, the attorney who represented the buyer, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The 2,761-square-foot apartment has three bedrooms, with 11-foot ceilings and a library. Paula Del Nunzio of Brown Harris Stevens, one of the city's top residential brokers, had the listing. The New York Observer first reported the sale.

The Lawrences paid around $10.7 million for the unit in 2008 and closed for slightly under the asking price of $23.95 million, more than doubling his original purchase. The apartment represents the pinnacle of the luxury Manhattan real estate market -- generally defined as the top 10 percent of all transactions -- but its value is less than a quarter of Sanford Weill's $88 million penthouse in the same building, which was purchased by Ekaterina Rybolovleva, daughter of Russian fertilizer magnate, Dmitry Rybolovlev. Weill paid $43.7 million for the unit in 2008, but said he plans to donate the proceeds to charity.

The Robert A.M. Stern-designed 15 Central Park West was completed by Zeckendorf Development LLC in 2008, but has an Art Deco style that references the pre-war apartments on Manhattan's Park Avenue. But to make the design economically successful, Stern split the structure into a low-rise portion and a tower, creating envied Central Park views. The retrospective approach has paid off, and other residents include Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein and actor Denzel Washington.

But 15 Central Park West will soon give up the crown of New York's most expensive sale. According to the New York Times, Extell Development's One57, soon to be the tallest residential tower in the country, has a penthouse in contract between $90 million and $100 million. The sale won't close until after the building is completed in 2013.

It remains to be seen if such trophy properties can double their prices the next time they're resold.

(Brown
(Brown Harris Stevens)

(Brown
(Brown Harris Stevens)

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(Brown Harris Stevens)

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