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We’re living in one of the wildest housing markets in recent history — from surging rents, to never-before-seen sale prices, to aggressive renters offering well over asking prices, New York’s real estate sector feels a little bit like a battlefield, but should you choose to charge into the fray, here are a few of the most eye-opening West Side listings for your perusal. 

The living room of the $4.35m apartment at Parc Vendome. Photo: Coldwell Banker Warburg

First up, if you’ve got an extra $4.35m hanging around, why not make a bid for a 2,600-sq ft home at the famed Park Vendome building at 340 W57th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenue). This three-bedroom was owned for 25 years by philanthropist, educator, and humanitarian Vartan Gregorian, a Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient and a former president of the Carnegie Corporation, Brown University, and the New York Public Library.  The Farrar-Watmough designed space features copious built-in bookshelves, a wood-burning fireplace, and 18th-floor views of Midtown Manhattan’s skyline. 

Perhaps most intriguing of all is the chance to be a resident at the tony Parc Vendome, a historic pre-war building originally constructed in 1931. The apartment complex boasts a billiards room, a music room, a library, a private dining room, a card room, and a show-stopping interior courtyard. Gramercy Park, who?!

If $4m is chump change, then maybe a recently listed $40m (sorry, excuse us — $39,999,999) Time Warner Center (yes, we cannot get used to calling it the Deutsche Bank Center yet) penthouse is for you. The 4,500-sq ft five-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom apartment features 180-degree, 75th floor views of Central Park, the Chrysler building, the Atlantic Ocean, the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty, in addition to luxe touches like its own walk-in closet and a private, wood-paneled library.

But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of 25 Columbus Circle #75CE is its seller — known as the “Psychic Hotline King”, current owner Steven Feder purchased the home in 2008 for $24.5M (a steal!). Once the owner of the Psychic Reader Network — widely known for advertising the skills of a medium called “Miss Cleo” (who was a real person but more often was represented by a conglomerate of sometimes-unpaid actors hired to read scripted fortunes) — Feder amassed a small fortune in the 1990s. Unfortunately, some of his business practices were less-than above-board and in 2002 he was sued by the FTC for deceptive advertising, leading him to write off $500m in consumer charges as well as abandon some of his other properties — though he was conveniently left with enough to purchase the Columbus Circle property amid the Great Recession. 

View from the 75th Floor at the Time Warner Center. Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty

While the property has yo-yoed in value — listed at $60m in 2011 and at $35m in 2020 — perhaps Feder has a psychic intuition that this time, the unit will sell. 

If the last two listings have left you asking, “But what is the most reliable investment for my millions?”, then perhaps another strategy is for you. Consider 439 W46th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenue), a nondescript-looking brownstone built in 1910 and previously purchased in 2019 for $6.6m. While the 21-unit apartment building had barely changed in value between 2019 and its previous sale in 2007, the townhouse was just sold for nearly double the price to Sanyo Chemical Company and Manhattan property management firm MD Squared, making a very hefty payday for sellers Relo Redac Inc. 

The whole building at 439 W46th Street has just sold. Photo: Phil O’Brien

And if all of this has you feeling serious sticker shock, why not browse the all-time Buzzfeed classic, “6 Castles That Cost Less Than An Apartment in NYC”. Just imagine what those castles would look like at today’s prices…

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