Real Estate

When it comes to the world of luxury real estate, closing a deal can be as nuanced as it is cutthroat. Here’s a look at how one leading New York agent closed a double sale five years in the making, totaling roughly $33.75 million.

The Who: These two latest luxury sales are just a few out of thousands completed by top national producer Chris Fry of New York-based Elegran, who over the course of his career has amassed over $2 billion in total sales volume. Having sold residences at many of New York City’s most iconic structures, including The Plaza, The Pierre and 53W53, Fry knows well the ups and downs of marketing notable, premier properties like those found at 111 West 57th Street.

The What: Considered the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere and the skinniest skyscraper in the world, 111 West 57th Street, also known as Steinway Tower, was completed last year after six years of construction. Originally a 16-story structure and former Steinway & Sons store, the tower now stands 84 floors high and consists of 60 luxury condominiums—14 in the landmarked 1925 building and 46 full-floor and duplex residences within the new soaring addition. Residence 52, the first of the two properties purchased by Fry’s client, encompasses a sprawling full-floor interior consisting of three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. Floor-to-ceiling windows make for stunning views of the city from any direction, including an uninterrupted vista of Central Park and beyond. Purchased for visiting friends and family, the second property, Residence 16S, covers 2,779 square feet and features a wraparound outdoor terrace. The units sold for $25,637,500 and $8,111,561, respectively.

The Where: Steinway Tower sits in the heart of what is known as Billionaires’ Row. Aptly named, the stretch of ultraluxury residential skyscrapers mainly located along the southern end of Central Park is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world. Sales in this part of town regularly top the most expensive global residential real estate sales, with some even reaching a quarter of a billion dollars. An address of 111th West 57th Street puts Steinway Tower almost directly in line with the center of Central Park. “We joked that if you leaned to the left you’re on the west side of the park and if you lean to the right you’re on the east,” says Fry.

The How: Through a connection with a developer, Fry was able to get his client, a wealthy Chinese venture capitalist, early access to purchase prior to the general brokerage community and the public. The contract signing took place back in 2017 and all seemed to be going smoothly until the pandemic hit, says Fry. “Work was completely shut down and even once everything started up again there were major supply chain issues because of all the high-end finishes that were sourced from all over the world.” Additionally, the building’s ambitious design created other obstacles that delayed completion, including an eight-month delay to install a new flooring system that would abate the extreme cooling caused by temporary holes through the building meant to reduce swaying. With all of these setbacks, the luxury specialist says he had to remain positive to curb any of his client’s anxieties. “It was a difficult process, but I was just trying to keep him pumped up about the properties because he knew that this was going to be one of the nicest buildings in Manhattan. Now that it’s all done, he loves it.”

The Right Now: Despite the same headwinds that are cooling markets all across the country, a November report from Elegran explained that metrics for Manhattan remain at prepandemic averages. The Midtown-based agency noted, “Floating atop an ocean of investments that purport the primary objective of principal preservation with capital appreciation as a secondary strategy, NYC residential real estate would appear to be the new gold standard.” The report continued, “New supply is at parity with the historical average, another optimistic signal that Manhattan sellers are behaving ‘normally.’ ”

Elegran is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.


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