When the sale of One 57's estimated $90 million "Winter Garden" penthouse closes, business bloodhound and hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman will become part-owner of likely the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York City. And what does Ackman plan to do with the 13,500-square-foot property? Not, as one would be wont to think under the heft of so large an investment, live in it. Oh no. Ackman, more or less, intends to flip it. In a recent New York Times profile, Ackman elaborated on his plans, "I thought it would be fun[just an aside here, note what Ackman considers fun]so myself and a couple of very good friends bought into this idea that someday, someone will really want it and they'll let me know." Ackman is banking on the "uniqueness" of the apartment, the Times points out in an article aptly titled "A $90 Million Condo Flip Shows What's Wrong With Financial Capitalism", to appeal to "some other rich person in a few years" who is willing to pay far more than Ackman and friends are dishing-up now.
So it seems the Winter Garden penthouse is damned to join the fate of so many other Midtown luxury apartments: empty and dark, most of the time. Before someone else realizes the "uniqueness" of the property Ackman is betting on (he calls it the "Mona Lisa of apartments," to use a completely non-trite metaphor), the investor and friends will throw the occasional party under its curved glass atrium, and continue to pay the apartment's undoubtedly bonkers maintenance fees and property taxes. Meanwhile, Ackman will continue to live with his family in The Beresford on the Upper West Side and make face-melting bets with other peoples' money.
· Bill Ackman and His Hedge Fund, Betting Big [NYT]
· A $90 Million Condo Flip Shows What's Wrong With Financial Capitalism [NYT]
· Bill Ackman Revealed As $90+ Million One57 Penthouse Buyer [Curbed]
· All One57 coverage [Curbed]