The Upper East Side mansion of art heir David Wildenstein has just set a real estate record for a New York City townhouse at a cool $79.5 million, according to real estate newspaper The Real Deal. The previous record of $53 million was paid for the Harkness mansion, sold in 2006.
News of the sale follows several years of false starts including a failed deal with Qatar, and two separate lawsuits. The report describes the buyer as “an entity affiliated with Roy Liao, CEO of HNA Holdings Group, the same company behind the $2.2 billion deal to buy 245 Park Avenue.”
As reported by artnet News and others, in early January, billionaire investor Len Blavatnik sued David Wildenstein for $10 million, claiming that Wildenstein reneged on the sale of the townhouse. Wildenstein’s attorneys argued it was an informal handshake deal rather than a binding sale agreement. In early March, a judge dismissed Blavatnik’s suit according to Curbed, a move which appears to have paved the way for the latest deal to move forward.
The Wildensteins first tried to offload the property in 2014, arranging a $90 million deal with the Qatari royal family, who reportedly sought to use the building as a consulate. When that deal fell through, the Wildensteins sued the royal family.
Last August the family put the mansion pack on the market—with an additional $10 million tacked on to the price tag—clearly a price buyers deemed too lofty. Despite that the reported $79.5 million ($3,180 a foot) is a Manhattan real estate record, it is still more than $20 million below the latest re-listing price.
HNA’s press office did not immediately respond to artnet News request for comment. Carrie C. Chiang of Corcoran real estate reportedly represented the Wildenstein family. She did not immediately respond to artnet News’ request for comment.
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