No stranger to issues with its buyers, the snazzy new 170 East End Avenue recently found itself in a new type of pickle when Long Island financial adviser Edward T. Stein?who closed on a $1.6 million pied-a-terre in the Upper East Side building last summer?paid for the apartment using funds from his Ponzi scheme. Stein eventually got busted and the 1,335-square-foot apartment was put back on the market through a court-appointed receiver. A couple put in a $1.3 million offer on the second-floor condo, and the court felt it in line with appraisals of the property and approved the sale. That's when, as Josh Barbanel tells it, this story takes an even more interesting turn.
Horrified by the thought of an apartment in the building selling below $1,000-per-foot and depressing their property values, the building's condo board exercised a little-used option and bought the apartment back at the same price offered by the buyer. The board president is also the building's developer, Orin Wilf, president of Skyline Properties. Wilf owns five apartments in the building (including the penthouse now asking $17.5 million), so he had some real incentive not to let even just one unit in the Johan Santana-housing building go cheaply. He also purchased Stein's furniture and artwork, and the furnished apartment is now back on the market for $2.45 million, currently the cheapest in the building, but at a much more comfortable $1,800-a-foot. Crisis averted!
· Ponzi Pad Bounces Back [NYT]
· 170 East End Avenue coverage [Curbed]