“I See Your $70 Million, And Raise You To $80 Million!”


3 minute read

May 22, 2015

Exactly how rich do you have to be to afford an $80,000,000 property?

I’m assuming you don’t put down $20,000,000, and finance the balance?

Let’s pick up where we left off on Thursday, and look at two of the most expensive pieces of real estate in North America, which both happen to be in New York City.

Then, and only then, will we feel like $350,000 for a 1-bedroom condo in King West is a downright “steal”…


Earlier in the week, a blog reader sent me THIS story from the Wall Street Journal, about a Manhattan penthouse that was purchased a little over one year ago for $50,900,000, but amazingly, is now back up for sale for $70,000,000.

Not a bad return, wouldn’t you say?

The condo is in the “Walker Tower” which was converted to condos in 2014, and measures 6,000 square feet, with five bedrooms, and six bathrooms:


That’s right: 6,000 square feet for $70,000,000.

For those of you playing along at home, that’s $11,667 per square foot.

As the WSJ article explains, the unit has never been occupied.

So somebody paid $50,900,000 for a condo they’d never live in.  That makes sense.

Although, if they get $70,000,000 for the place, representing a 40% return on investment in a little over one year, then who cares whether the place was occupied?

But believe it or not,  $70,000,000 is actually a relative discount compared to the most expensive piece of real estate being offered in Manhattan right now.

Would you believe that there’s a Fifth Avenue townhouse being offered for a whopping $80,000,000?

You simply can’t be in a better location than this:


And right across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

I mean, if you have $80,000,000 to drop on a townhouse, you’d better at least pretend that you know a thing or two about art.

This 8-bedroom, 15-bathroom house spans over 20,000 square feet, and was built in 1901.

There are no interior photos, but here’s how it looks from the outside, via many different ANGLES:





Here’s the description from Trulia:

1009 5th Ave Built in 1901 and designed by the firm of Welch, Smith & Provot, the exceptionally grand and remarkably beautiful 1009 Fifth Avenue was constructed in the Beaux-Arts style and is rightfully regarded as an architectural tour de force.

The residence stands as a splendid example of the extraordinary workmanship of that era and is one of the very few remaining along the Gold Coast of Fifth Avenue. The limestone and red-brick facade extends 27 feet along Fifth Avenue and 100 feet facing 82nd Street. This optimum location is especially fortunate given the lovely assemblage of grand Beaux-Arts limestone houses, its proximity to the great cultural institutions of New York City and its sublime placement in the heart of the Upper East Side.

The lower floors are articulated limestone and boast an entrance that is charmingly capped with a wrought-iron marquee. The upper floors are clad in brick and are lavishly adorned with limestone elements and accented with curvilinear bays. The house rises eight stories high and measures approximately 20,000 sq.ft.

It’s unique corner orientation allows each and every room to enjoy a tree-lined street view and to receive abundant light. Throughout the house, the interiors feature soaring ceilings, hand-carved wood paneling, lovely trompe l’oeil accents, gold-leaf trimmed fixtures, and intricate plaster friezes. The absolutely stunning sweeping staircase ascends five stories and is punctuated by vast windowed landings while the wonderful and sun dappled corner rooms to the west are perfectly balanced by the slightly larger complement of rooms to the east.

The top floors also incorporate a dramatic skylight and are accessed by a separate staircase. This exceptional offering presents the rare opportunity to own one of New Yorks most significant properties and is ready to be modernized by your architect or designer.


What the HELL am I doing with my life?

How do I go home and feel normal after reading this?

I mean, I can’t believe I’ll never know what it’s like to take a **** in fifteen different bathrooms…

End of a short week, folks.  Didn’t that fly by?

Have a great weekend – and it looks like the weather will finally allow us to plant in our gardens……..so it can last for three months…. 🙁

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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  1. Kyle

    at 8:59 am

    No pictures of the 5th Ave’s interior? You know what that means, this place needs a full gut-reno!

  2. Adrienne

    at 10:00 am

    Aaand it seems to be a fixer upper to boot.

  3. Chroscklh

    at 10:03 am

    Hey this awesome – Chroscklh have something contribute! This house own Carlos Slim – Mexican billionaire. He buy just few year ago around 40mm$. This guy expect big return. Hope he paint walls at least. Chroscklh actually invite to tour by mistake – is long story but I on some list cuz charter plane one time, they think I Russian billionaire (not even close – though in own currency I trillionaire, but so is cab driver). So I invite to tour if i can show 100mm$ in cash unpledge resource. As fun as pretend billionaire sound, I no bother (no have 100mm$ cash anyway). Maybe is only me but this 6k sf, 6 bed place for 70mm$ seem depress. If I pay close 9-figure for apartment – I want expect closer to 20k sf, I expect 10 bed, I expect roof-top pool. Is unreasonable? Chroscklh could have 5 trophy property around world for that much.

  4. m m

    at 12:24 pm

    Well, we can’t all be daughters of controversial billionaire oligarchs. Such is life.

  5. Spiltbongwater

    at 5:25 pm

    Do you think they will be hosting an open house? I could plan a trip to NYC around that.

  6. AndrewB

    at 10:52 pm

    Did the 5th Ave “house” used to be a condo building at one point? It’s pretty gaudy and hilarious there’s almost a 2:1 ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms. Give me a town in West Village anyway over this 😛

  7. william henry wilson

    at 11:44 am

    and it has New York weather to trudge thru…
    give me Hatchet Lake and Gulfstream access instead!

  8. condodweller

    at 1:33 pm

    This illustrates my point in my comment on the last article. Does anything like the walker tower condo exist in Toronto? Even on a smaller scale? I mean they would have to convert the Canada Life building to condos to get something like this and it would never have the views or a large terrace.

    I read somewhere that outdoor space in NY is at such a premium that it commands the same price per s/f as the interior space. Another issue is that condo rules are so restrictive in Toronto that you can’t do anything with your outdoor space. I have a good size terrace and I’m not even allowed to BBQ out there. I have to get permission to put plants out. They don’t seem to have so many restrictions in the US. There is a building in Dallas with a penthouse that has the entire roof as a terrace and it has a pool, outdoor movie screen, and a nice BBQ area.

    I know some of the new towers downtown have larger penthouses with large rooftop outdoor spaces but they are considered exclusive use common elements the management company would never allow you to convert it into a truly unique space. Mostly because it would require bylaw amendments which most of the petty/jealous 400s/f unit owners would never vote for as there is nothing for them to gain from it.

  9. Rose

    at 3:55 pm

    Hi David,

    I just finished reading “I See Your $70 Million, And Raise You To $80 Million!” and noticed you referenced Trulia towards the bottom of your article. I’m wondering if you would kindly attribute us by pointing back to our site (substitute our link). I am reaching out from Trulia the real estate search website and would like to know what you think.


    Thanks for your time and consideration. I hope you have a great week!

    Kind Regards,

Pick5 is a weekly series comparing and analyzing five residential properties based on price, style, location, and neighbourhood.

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