Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, is buying three apartments in a Manhattan building in a deal reportedly valued at around $80 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. And it appears he landed himself a discount.
The purchase, which includes a penthouse and two apartments below it, is located in a renovated 1912 neo-Gothic building that overlooks Madison Square Park.
The penthouse encompasses 10,000 square feet throughout three floors with an additional 5,700 square feet of outdoor terraces. It has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and three powder rooms.
The two other apartments were bought together by Bezos in May for $28.45 million and it would not be surprising if they were combined with the penthouse to make an even larger and more distinctive property, says Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal firm that was not involved in the sale.
“In Manhattan the premium is on larger contiguous space,” he says. “One plus one equals two and half. By combining the three, there is additional value created.”
But this is not the highest priced piece of real estate sold in Manhattan this year.
In January, hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin closed on a property that sold for $238 million. The property at 220 Central Park South, a nearly 24,000-square-foot apartment over several floors at the top of a tower, became the most expensive home ever sold in the US.
A prime time to purchase
It is not known how much Bezos ultimately paid for the penthouse, since the purchase has not yet been publicly recorded. But based on its most recent list price – which was considerably lower than its original price – Bezos got a discount on the property, benefiting from a softening luxury market for new development in New York, says Miller.
The penthouse was originally listed at $73.8 million in November 2017, according to Miller. A year later it was reduced to $62.8 million. Four months later, in March 2019, it was reduced to $58 million. Two months later it was in contract.
“That is a 21% drop in the asking price,” says Miller, “I’m not even factoring in that it could have gone for less.”
That discount is consistent with the larger luxury market in New York.
“We’re seeing 15% to 35% discounts on those properties,” he says.
While the purchase comes nearly four months after Amazon pulled out of a deal to build part of its new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, Miller says he is not surprised by the billionaire’s New York purchase.
“I was expecting this,” he says. “Even without Long Island City, Amazon (AMZN) still has a big presence here. And New York is a trade mecca. It would seem odd that he wouldn’t have a presence here.”
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According to the building’s website, 212 Fifth Avenue includes a lounge, boardroom, golf simulator, screening room, a game room and a playroom.
While it is not clear whether Bezos will be able to receive drone deliveries on his expansive penthouse terrace, the building does have a full time doorman and cold storage – to handle any Amazon Fresh deliveries.