New York Daily NewsKatherine Clarke
July 7, 2014
It's the clash of the penthouse titans.
In this corner, the challenger, weighing in at 7,500 square feet, is Sky Loft — a two-story penthouse, sheathed in glass and set above an historic Art Deco building at 145 Hudson St. in Tribeca. It’s priced to move at a whopping $48 million.
In the opposite corner, the champion, weighing in at 15,434 square feet, is The Ritz — a duplex penthouse at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park City. It’s priced at $118 million.
Wait a second — this sounds like a heavyweight taking on a flyweight. But Sky Loft’s trainer, er broker, says his southpaw is pound-for-pound the better bet.
"I'm willing to challenge any broker out there to a battle of the penthouses," Oren Alexander of Douglas Elliman said of the Hudson St. listing.
He backs up his bluster with plenty of punch: The glass aerie, set to come on the market this week, has four enormous bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, and a landscaped wraparound terrace almost as big as the apartment itself.
"This is an amazing glass house on top of a building," said Alexander, who shares the listing with his brother Tal. "This is the golden circle of Tribeca. It's where you want to be."
But Ryan Serhant, the broker listing the Ritz property, is ready to rumble.
"This is the biggest and best penthouse on the market right now in the city," Serhant said of his listing. "To have the top two floors of the Ritz Carlton is a pretty big thing. I'll take these views to my grave. They're the best I've ever seen."
The winner gets a rematch with the former — and maybe future — champeen, a 7,061-square-foot penthouse at 11 North Moore St. with 20-foot ceilings and a private rooftop pool. Its magic number: $40 million.
"Never in my whole career have I sold something with this much space and ceilings this high," said listing broker John Gomes of Douglas Elliman, who has the listing with Fredrik Eklund. "It's exquisite."
The top-floor aeries are the latest in a string of uber luxury penthouses to battle for the attention of buyers in megahot downtown Manhattan. And all have an interesting backstory.
Alexander's palatial spread in Tribeca, created by 7 World Trade Center architect James Carpenter, is owned by William Duker, a private investor who served a short jail sentence in the 1990s for overbilling the feds for legal work.
Duker bought the apartment for $30.55 million in 2009 after the former commercial building was converted to condos. He has never lived in the space, designed by PH Design Studio, or used its floor-to-ceiling cherry wood hearth with a wood- burning fireplace, steel and glass elliptical staircase, polished concrete and teak flooring, oversized sliding glass doors, and a four-car garage, though he has likely enjoyed the panoramic views of Manhattan and the Hudson River.
Duker, an art collector, also installed museum quality glass that allows for artworks to be hung on the walls without the threat of damage from sunlight.
The unit has been listed for sale several times since Duker bought it, but, with the market for high-end pricey homes looking hotter than ever, he’s betting that the third time will be the charm.
Meanwhile, Serhant, of Nest Seekers International, listed the Ritz-Carlton pad last month. If it sells anywhere near the asking price, it’ll shatter the ultimate glass ceiling: the current record holder of $88 million for a unit at 15 Central Park West.
The current record for a penthouse sale downtown was set in 2013 when someone paid $50.9 for an aerie at Walker Tower in Chelsea.
The Ritz penthouse, at 10 West St., is a combination of three units and has a terrace on the 40th floor with views of Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty. The new owner will also get hotel services provided by the Ritz-Carlton, such as housekeeping, valet parking, a spa and a gym.
|The Penthouse Collection at the Ritz-Carlton Downtown|
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker