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Abandoned Park Avenue duplex owned by the former Yugoslavia sold for $12M

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A neighbor bought the deteriorating property, which has been unoccupied since the 1990s

A virtually staged image of the terrace at 730 Park Avenue, #16/17B.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

A Park Avenue duplex that’s been abandoned for more than 25 years finally found a buyer, albeit at a lower price than its owners—the five successor states to the former Yugoslavia—had originally sought.

The apartment, located on the 16th and 17th floors of 730 Park Avenue, hit the market back in October with an $18 million price tag; according to the broker, Douglas Elliman’s Tristan Harper, it sold for $12.1 million in an all-cash, off-market deal. It had previously been appraised for $20 million, but its condition—currently uninhabitable and in need of a ton of work—affected the final sale price.

The apartment is one of the former Yugoslavia’s trophy properties in New York City, which also include an enormous mansion at 854 Fifth Avenue (asking $50 million, but currently off the market). But the ambassador who once called the apartment home abandoned it in 1992, after war broke out in that country (which was divided into the successor states of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia), and it’s deteriorated to a pretty bad place in the decades since. As a report in the New York Times in 2014 put it:

A typewriter gathers dust atop a table in the office; gold-rimmed China remains stacked in cabinets awaiting a dinner party never held. Large swaths of plaster have peeled off the ceiling and drifted down like dried leaves from a tree, blanketing the floors.

According to a press release, the new owner lives adjacent to the property, and plans to combine it with his current home. But thanks to the co-op’s rigid rules that prohibit any renovation work except in summer months, that could take three years or more to complete, such is the condition of the apartment. (Lead paint removal and asbestos abatement are just two things that need to be completed before it’s habitable.)

Courtesy of Douglas Elliman
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

Of the successor states, Serbia was reportedly shelling out the most for the property, including the monthly fees; all five of the states’ governments had to sign off on the sale, as did the U.S. Department of State, allegedly.

Here’s the floorplan one more time: