Biggest & Most Noteworthy Residential and Commercial Deals of 2017

A year ago we were uncertain about how the real estate market would fare in 2017. A new government administration, pending tax changes, and a cooling luxury market were all at play 12 months ago. Yet the New York City market has been the gift that keeps on giving, and we’ve closed out the year with some notable and huge deals, the commercial end of which will shape our city for years to come. Have a look at some of the biggest and most noteworthy transactions of 2017.


Photo courtesy of

432 Park Avenue

This address could technically occupy five of the ten spots on this list. Three units in 432 Park Ave sold for a combined $91 million in December, creating a 12,000 square foot duplex on the 92nd and 93rd floors. Another buyer paid $65.6  million for an 85th-floor unit, and a third buyer paid $65.2 million for a unit on the 83rd floor.

The $91 million duplex was the most expensive NYC apartment purchase of 2017, and came close to beating the $100 million record for the priciest NYC apartment ever sold (set at One57 in 2015). It’s worth noting that the purchase price for these three penthouse units works out to $7,651 per square foot, making it a pretty good deal compared to the $10,623 per foot Saudi retail investor Fawaz Al Hokair reportedly paid for the top penthouse in 2016. The buyer of these three penthouse units, 432 Park Joy LLC, has been identified solely as “a Chinese buyer.”
The $65.6 million unit on the 85th floor is a full-floor residence with five bedrooms, a wood-burning fireplace, and a library, The Real Deal reports. The buyer apparently went into contract back in 2013 and is registered as Parklight LLC. The third priciest unit at 432 Park Ave, at $65.2 million, is another full-floor unit and was purchased by Hong Kong-based billionaire Lawrence Ho.

Photo courtesy of Curbed NY

12 East 69th Street

This 20,000 square-foot mansion was previously owned by Vincent Viola, owner of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and one-time Trump nominee for secretary of the army. In December of 2017, it entered into contract to sell for $80 million, making it the most expensive townhouse to sell in New York City history.  The buyer is rumored to be Gongwen Dong, who also bought a $50 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West and a $33 million condominium at 432 Park Ave. The 19-room townhouse has a movie theater, swimming pool, sauna, 2,000 square-foot rooftop deck, and seven bedrooms.
Image courtesy of Property Shark

Photo courtesy of Property Shark

960 5th Avenue

A third-floor apartment in this co-op building designed by Rosario Candela sold for $55 million last spring. The New York Post reports that CEO David Millstone of Standard Industries bought the apartment with his wife for $18 million over the original $35 million asking price. The 22-room apartment is equipped with a dining room, living room, and library, all with fireplaces. Renowned art collector Robert Ellsworth lived in the apartment until he passed away in 2014, and a bidding war reportedly started shortly after.

Photo courtesy of The Modlin Group

Demi Moore’s San Remo Penthouse

Actress Demi Moore originally listed her penthouse triplex for sale back in 2015, and it finally sold in April of last year for $45 million. Though the 14-room apartment went for $30 million less than its asking price, it was still one of the top ten most expensive sales in New York City of 2017. Moore bought the apartment back in 1990 with her ex-husband Bruce Willis, and told The New York Times she was only leaving it behind because it was “too magnificent not to be lived in full time.” With a Southwestern Mission motif, a library with original plaster rosette molding, and views of Central Park West, it would be hard to disagree with Moore’s description of the apartment as “magnificent.” The buyer’s identity is shielded by an LLC.

Photo courtesy of Curbed NY

Greta Garbo’s Co-op in The Campanile

The Campanile is an extremely exclusive residence located at 450 East 52nd Street, with its claim to fame being actress Greta Garbo having lived there for 50 years. The very apartment Garbo called home was listed for sale in March of 2017 and was snatched up by April. Garbo purchased the apartment in 1953 and lived there until she passed away in 1990. She customized it according to her tastes, adding built-in bookshelves, lots of wood surfaces, and plenty of pink and green. The family is confident that the buyers, who remain anonymous to the public, will appreciate the personal touches Garbo added over the years. The apartment sold for $8.5 million, a full 43 percent over the asking price.


Image courtesy of Lord & Taylor

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue Flagship

It was initially rumored that Lord & Taylor’s parent company would knock down the landmarked Fifth Avenue Flagship building and build a skyscraper full of condos. However, the New York Times reported in October that the company would sell the building to WeWork for $850 million. The 11-story limestone building at 424 5th Avenue was named a New York City landmark in 2007. WeWork, a company that provides shared offices spaces, will now enjoy prime office real estate above the Lord & Taylor store, which will remain on the ground floor of the building.

Rendering courtesy of

107 Columbia Heights

Clipper Realty, a Brooklyn-based firm that went public in 2016, purchased the 11-story rental building at 107 Columbia Heights for $87.5 million last May. The 154,058 square-foot building had previously served as the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ world headquarters. While the Witnesses plan to move their headquarters to Warwick, New York, Clipper plans to convert the public spaces in the building to apartments.

Rendering courtesy of Curbed NY

The Former Landmark Sunshine Cinema

The iconic Sunshine Cinema will be demolished in March and replaced with a nine-story mixed-use office building. In May of last year, East End Capital and K Property group closed on the building for $31.5 million, after rumors had been circulating for years that the Lower East Side cinema would shut down. While the demolition of the 100 year old structure will certainly be seen as the end of an era, cinema fans can rest easy knowing that Landmark are planning a new movie theater in Bjarke Ingels’ Via 57 West.

Rendering courtesy of

390 Madison Avenue

Japanese cosmetics firm Shiseido Cosmetics is moving its US headquarters from its current location on Third Avenue to L&L Holdings’ 390 Madison Avenue. They signed a 15 year lease at $100 per square foot and will occupy 225,800 square feet of the building. L&L is in the process of increasing the floor count of 390 Madison Ave from 24 to 32 and expects to finish up this year.

Rendering courtesy of Target


It’s hard to point at just one location for this list item, as retail giant Target has been rapidly expanding across the five boroughs. After opening new locations in Tribeca and Hell’s Kitchen in 2016, they announced an East Village location. In 2017, Target leased 43,00 square feet at 112 West 34th Street (which went for $1000 per square foot at ground level) and announced yet another location on the Lower East Side at the forthcoming Essex Crossing. Finally, in December of last year, we learned that Target signed a lease for a 23,580 square foot store in Jackson Heights. Notably, the lease prohibits Sephora and Ulta from opening stores within the same development, which is thought to be a move toward increasing Target’s cosmetics sales. The asking rent at this location was $50 per square foot, and Target has signed a 15-year lease.
2017 certainly was an exciting year for real estate. We saw some record-breaking deals for apartment and townhouse sales, and commercial deals for landmarked buildings around the city. I look forward to seeing what 2018 has in store, and anticipate additional broken records on every front.

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